Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association was founded in 1975, by “Pink Twins” Dorothy and Moyia O’Brien, Queensland’s first occupational therapists. They saw the need to help families and communities and used their own funds to establish SWARA in the Roma Street Parklands.

Dorothy and Moyia O’Brien’s legacy continues to flourish today through community inclusion and skills that bring independence, respect and trust. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Act 2013 has brought increased choice and control for clients around their support services and at the same time a need for greater responsibility, self-respect and confidence. The O’Brien’s philosophy and human values have enabled this great flexibility, responsiveness to change and excitement about our future.

Development of support skills include hospitality at the Sunshine café, the Sunshine bakery, community inclusion, recycling enterprises, horticulture, communications, creative and performing arts, learning skills for independence, employment pathways and education and training options.


Our Philosophy and Values

Our philosophy is one of unity in diversity. United by our shared values (the gold thread that connects us all) and celebrating each individual’s diversity (the pearls linked by that thread) the SWARA philosophy is to bring out the human values that are:

    Love, truth, right action, peace and non-violence are the values that have sustained SWARA for over 40 years serving the wider Brisbane community. They promote community inclusion and reduce judgement at the conscious and subconscious level. Human values create a safe, loving learning environment in which everyone is able to achieve their full potential.

    Each person expresses their diversity through their words (love as truth), actions (love as right action), feelings (love as peace), and understanding (love as non-violence). Love is an expansion of our heart, ultimately and inclusive of all. It is experienced at SWARA continuously.

    Moyia and Dorothy’s metaphor is, everyone who comes has a spark within them. At SWARA we turn that into a flame.