Our Story


Every day in Australia, as many as ten children are diagnosed with a neurological condition such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, or brain tumour.

Brainwave was founded in 1994 to provide practical support and care to children impacted by neurological conditions and their families.

Our founder was inspired to help other families after her own son was diagnosed with a brain tumour. We now reach families across the country, providing comfort and kindness when it is needed most. The assistance that we offer takes many forms, including allied health therapy funding and the provision of equipment such as mobility, sleeping, or feeding aids.

Social interaction and engagement in a safe, respectful environment through our family events and a strong community network, including our online parents forum, are also integral aspects of our work.

Real Life Experiences Inspiring a Brainwave Journey

In 1993, a little six-year-old boy named Nicholas was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was the eldest son of Josephine Nicholls. Jo’s mind was quickly filled with never-ending questions. What does this mean? Will he survive? Why him? How could this happen to her happy, seemingly healthy little boy? Her life became consumed with medical consultations, surgery, diagnoses, follow up appointments, and an overwhelming determination to make sure that Nicholas survived.

Finally, after many years, he received the ‘all clear,’ but that wasn’t before another tumour scare when he was nine and a further round of operations, appointments, pathology, hospital stays and a high state of anxiety – not least of all for Nicholas who by this stage was conscious of what was going on around him. Being the parent of a seriously ill child in the hospital is very humbling, and Jo became aware of the anguish that families go through, with outcomes that were not always as positive as hers.

The more time spent in waiting rooms, the more Jo could see how this experience impacted not only the child but their parents, siblings, grandparents – everyone. Jo was lucky. She had resources, friends, and family that supported her, but for many families, this was not the case. With a passion for making a difference in people’s lives, Jo founded Brainwave in support of young people and their families living with a neurological condition.

Our Vision

To have 37,600 families across Australia sharing, supporting and thriving as part of our Brainwave family.

Our Mission

Our mission is to connect and care for every Brainwave family as they navigate their child’s health journey. We believe that a little bit of the right support at the right time goes a very long way.

Our Values

Core values are the guiding principles that dictate the behaviour and action of Brainwave, these values are at the heart of everything we do. Brainwave’s values are:

Be respectful:
We will treat all people with dignity, fairness, compassion, and respect.

Be caring:
We will ensure that we approach people and issues with sensitivity, confidentiality, and care.

Be inclusive:
We are welcoming to all and offer assistance without prejudice.

Be positive:
We have a positive and uplifting approach and seek to engender a sense of hope and purpose in all we meet.

Be community-minded:
We will foster cooperative relationships in the community to deliver on our promise to Brainwave families.