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History


Alzheimer’s WA (AWA) was established in 1982 by carers of people with dementia who saw the increasing need for a dementia-specific support organisation. In particular, a growing need of families for dementia specialist information and home support services. AWA’s formation was supported by notable members of the WA health profession, in particular Dr Dick Lefroy.

The organisation started life renting rooms in the (then) Homes of Peace facility at Inglewood before moving into purpose built premises at Shenton Park in 1993. The Mary Chester Centre became WA’s central hub for dementia specialist information, counselling, carers support, training and respite services. Recognising the need in regional WA, the organisation commenced delivering services through regional hubs in York, Kalgoorlie, Albany and more recently in Mandurah.

Over 35 years, the organisation has grown significantly to respond to the needs of people living with dementia, their families and the wider community. AWA continues to directly support people living with dementia, their families and carers. In addition, they offer training for individuals, organisations and community groups to improve the lived experience of dementia.

Historical timeline:

  • 1982 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Society of WA formed
  • 1985 – Dementia Specialist training commences for families and professionals
  • 1988 – Dementia Specialist community in home services commence with support of HACC funding
  • 1993 – Headquarters officially opened in Shenton Park including library and day centre facilities, Mary Chester Centre
  • 1999 – Alzheimer’s Association National Conference held in Mandurah
  • 2000 – Regional dementia specialist service hubs set up in Wheatbelt, Goldfields and Great Southern
  • 2002 – Organisation changes its name to Alzheimer’s Australia WA and its status to “Company by Limited Guarantee”
  • 2007 – AAWA hosts Alzheimer’s Australia 12th National Conference in Perth
  • 2014 – Exemplar Dementia Community Respite Cottage opened in Albany, Hawthorn House
  • 2015 – AAWA partners with WA Government to launch the countries first Dementia Friendly Communities State wide project
  • 2015 – AAWA hosts Alzheimer’s Disease International 30th Conference
  • 2016 – Dementia specialist community hub opened in Mandurah, Ella’s House
  • 2017 – Organisation changes its name to Alzheimer’s WA

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