Diversional therapists provide recreational and leisure services for individuals in healthcare centres and in the community to encourage them to take part in activities, assist in their social development and promote a sense of wellbeing.
To become a diversional therapist you usually have to complete a degree in health science at university with a major in leisure and health or therapeutic recreation. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
Diversional therapists may perform the following tasks:
Diversional therapists work with a wide range of clients whose needs arise from ageing, physical or intellectual disabilities, mental illness or undergoing medical treatment. They work alongside other health and community workers to help clients reach their full potential.
Diversional therapists work with individuals and groups in a range of settings, including aged-care facilities, respite care, community health centres and retirement villages. Diversional therapy programs are also offered in the geriatric, psychiatric and rehabilitation departments of public and private hospitals, as well as in correctional institutions, often in association with occupational therapy services. Diversional therapists may also work in agencies and institutions that provide special services for clients with visual, hearing and speech disabilities. These include Vision Australia, MS Australia and the Australian Red Cross. They may also work in private practices or consultancies. Job opportunities depend on the number of people living in agedcare facilities and residential care institutions, the number of aged citizens and funding for institutions and programs.