DOT(WA) was originally a Department of Health, Child and Community Health Occupational Therapy Group (including rural occupational therapy) and was convened by the Assistant Principal of Occupational Therapy based at Royal Street, Perth. This position was responsible for what was then known as Community Developmental Occupational Therapy, which differentiated from Paediatric Occupational Therapy linked to Princess Margaret Hospital. In the mid 1980’s both networks of occupational therapists working with children merged to become DOT – Developmental Occupational Therapists.
When the Assistant Principal Occupational Therapist position was abolished in 1989/90, the group wanted to keep going and then gradually enlarged during the 90’s to include private, disability and all paediatric occupational therapy service providers both in the metropolitan area and rural areas.
In 1997, DOT(WA) applied to became a Special Interest Group (SIG) of OT Australia WA. The title of Developmental Paediatric Special Interest group was decided by the group, however the identity of DOT still remained. At this stage the membership list had grown to just over 80 members.
Life for the relatively small group of occupational therapists who called themselves DOT remained the same until around 2003 when member numbers began to rise. By 2007 the membership was up to around 150 and it was at this stage that the DOT Executive began to investigate the option of incorporation as a Not for Profit organisation. 2008 saw many discussions and general meetings about the name of DOT and the option of incorporation. Through the many countless hours of research driven by the DOT Executive and painstaking planning, DOT became DOT(WA) in August 2008.
The group has now grown to over 300 members and this website was built to better serve this growing number of dedicated Western Australian occupational therapists and occupational therapy students who work with children and seek to better the services that they provide.