Who won the 2016 Williams OT Innovative Service delivery award?

Williams Occupational Therapy sponsors the Occupational Therapy Australia SA Division Innovative Service delivery award.


The award is announced in OT week each year. The award for 2016 was announced at the OT Association breakfast on 24th October.
Nominees for this category need to demonstrate:

  • Evidence that an individual or group have initiated or assisted in the development of an innovative model of service delivery
  • Evidence that through the use of a unique model of service delivery the profile of occupational therapy has been increased or diversified
  • Evidence that the model has proven to be effective or efficient for service delivery
  • Evidence that the innovative model has been implemented within the last 5 year.


This award is close to our heart at Williams OT. Williams Occupational Therapy won the award in 2014 when it was sponsored by ECH. In this year Williams Occupational Therapy was recognised for their innovations in developing an all in one driving service. Find out more about our service model here. After the award lost its major sponsor, it was time for Williams OT to  give back. As a result, Williams Occupational Therapy has provided sponsorship for the award for the past 2 years.


The 2016 winner is:


Helen Whait and her business ActivOT.


In 2012 with the change of professional registration legislation, and move to AHPRA, Australia’s first OT franchise was born.  Whilst franchising is relatively commonplace in the general business world it is quite rare in the healthcare sector and the previous SA registration legislation actually prevented such a business model!

ActivOT aims to assist many OTs to achieve success in private practice through pooling of professional resources, a web-based secure electronic record system, shared marketing including website as well diversified professional development opportunities specifically targeted to the sectors being serviced.  Each franchisee has both financial and emotional investment in the business with a longer-term commitment.  This provides motivation, stability of workforce participation, and retention of staff and hence professional knowledge and skills.

The ActivOT franchise currently has 6 franchisees providing services across the entire adult sector – including disability services, workplace services, ergonomics, manual handling, community and residential aged care.

The model has been in place for 4.5 years now and continues to grow as the franchise gains momentum.  Helen Whait was nominated for a Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award in 2016 and was an SA state finalist in the Entrepreneurship Category.  As part of this process Helen has raised the profile of Occupational Therapy in the broader business community, through both the general media and the links with many other successful business women who are keen to find out more about not only the business but also the profession.

Further evidence regarding the ActivOT franchise business and the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.activot.com.au  and https://www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/brilliant-business-women/2016-finalists/


Helen is a passionate OT and is an advocate for veteran and the aging population health needs.
Helen states, ActivOT “offers practical services that encourage the elderly to partake in physical tasks such as showering, dressing and cooking without the help of a carer, by modifying the task or environment to enable them to complete it for themselves. I love the practicality of my profession and the sense of satisfaction I have at the end of a work day, knowing I have made a positive difference in many lives”


Congratulations Helen. Williams OT loves innovators in OT and your franchise model is something you should be very proud of. Williams Occupational Therapy hopes that more franchises in OT grow from your initiative.

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