Brainwave was formed in November 1998 in response to new scientific evidence on the impact that experiences in the early years have on the brain development of a child. The catalyst was when the late Dr Robin Fancourt (pictured far right, bottom row) – a New Plymouth paediatrician and Dr Bruce Perry, an American neuroscientist and child psychiatrist, spoke at the 12th ISPCAN (International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) conference in Auckland in September 1998. Dr Robin Fancourt, Judy Bailey, Dame Lesley Max and Sir Ian Hassall established the Trust initially funded by Dr Fancourt to deliver presentations around the country.

In 2004 Brainwave was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act under the official name – The Aotearoa/New Zealand Infant Brain Development Trust before becoming Brainwave Trust Aotearoa and registering with the Charities Commission in 2009.

Later in 2009 we were saddened by the death of Dr Robin Fancourt after a long battle with cancer. In 2003, Fancourt was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to children – the fourth highest award that can be made in this country. Apart from her wonderful family, she leaves behind her a lifetime of committment to damaged children and the wonderful legacy of the Brainwave Trust Aotearoa. We are committed to continuing the fantastic work she began back in 1998.