New brain injury centre for the South

A new service for people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) will ensure more people in the southern suburbs and Fleurieu can embrace life after brain injury, removing the need to travel to the city for life-changing, holistic therapy.

Brain Injury SA (BISA) has been helping people with brain injuries overcome challenges to live independent, fulfilling lives for more than 25 years, putting them in the driver’s seat of their goals and recovery.

Until now, its ‘Rewire’ program was solely based out of the city. Delivered by a range of health professionals including speech pathologists, psychologists, physiotherapists and others working collaboratively, the program helps participants achieve their work and life goals, integrating family engagement and support to ensure optimal success.

Launched on 9 July 2019 by the Minister of Health and Wellbeing the Honourable Stephen Wade MLC, the southern service has been made possible with support from Flinders University, a longstanding partner of BISA through student work placements.

The new Noarlunga centre is located at Flinders University’s Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program building at 15 Alexander Kelly Drive, and will expand workplace learning opportunities for students studying a range of allied health degrees at Flinders’ College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“The expansion of our BISA collaboration to the southern suburbs provides more opportunities to continue excellence in specialist services for people living with brain injury and neurological conditions. It also enhances the opportunities for exchanging knowledge and ideas between our University and the disability service sector, which will potentially support future research,” says Associate Professor Chris Brebner, Dean of Education at Flinders University’s College of Nursing and health Sciences.

Minister Stephen Wade, Liz Forsyth (CEO BISA, centre) and Professor Alison Kitson (Vice-President of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University) at the launch of the Noarlunga centre (Photo: Catherine Leo)

Liz Forsyth, CEO of BISA says “Our understanding of how the brain can change and rewire is growing all the time. For example, previously it was thought that the adult brain was ‘hard-wired’ with limited capacity for change, but we now know this is not the case – however recovery does take time and the right inputs.

“The Rewire program uses evidence-based therapy techniques to drive neuroplastic change and demand is expanding under the NDIS, but it’s vital these services are accessible. Getting to the city is often just not possible for people managing disability who also have family and other commitments.”

Steven from Morphett Vale at the launch event with his family. Steven suffered a stroke in 2017 and ongoing rehabilitation in the city has been a challenge and expensive, he is looking forward to continuing his rehabilitation at the new southern centre. (Photo: Catherine Leo)

Acquired Brain Injury refers to the multiple disabilities that follow damage to the brain after birth, which result in deteriorated cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. Causes include accidents, stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning and more.

BISA’s services are focused on people aged under 70; enquiries and referrals can be made by email ( or telephone 08 8217 7600 or 1300733049, with more information available at

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College of Nursing and Health Sciences