When two Changing Places facilities opened in the Surf Coast Shire to support people with a disability, one group was particularly proud.
The All Abilities Advisory Committee (AAAC) – which is seeking expressions of interest for new members – advises Surf Coast Shire Council on how to improve access and inclusion for people of all abilities. AAAC member Janet Brown said seeing projects like the Changing Places facilities in Anglesea and Winchelsea come to fruition was worthwhile.
“The committee has achieved a lot. Supporting Council’s application for Changing Places comes to mind as a highlight. Since opening over summer, the two facilities have been so important and it’s wonderful to know that people with high support needs and their carers have these spaces,” she said.
There are several vacancies on the All Abilities Advisory Committee, which is made up of community members, representatives from service organisations, Council officers and a Councillor representative. It meets six times per year.
“I’ve been on the committee for about five years,” Ms Brown said. “Like most people, I have family and friends with a disability. After having worked in the sector, it provoked a lifelong commitment to help create a more inclusive community. When I saw this opportunity come up, I wanted to see if I had something to offer.”
The Gherang resident described the committee as interesting and enjoyable.
“There are people from all walks of life and we all offer a variety of knowledge, experience and opinions, as we do our best to support Council’s access and inclusion strategy,” she said. “If you think you may have an interest in joining the committee, please go for it. You might be like me and find it very worthwhile. It would be particularly great if we had more people with lived experience of disability on the committee – that’s what we need.”
Mayor Rose Hodge also encouraged people with a disability to express their interest.
“Learning more about the first-hand experiences of people with a disability is incredibly important as we strive to create an inclusive community where everyone can participate,” she said.
“The All Abilities Advisory Committee provides invaluable advice and knowledge. I hope we receive a wide range of candidates.”
Successful candidates with any access or support requirements will be provided with support to ensure they can participate equitably.
Expressions of interest close Friday 17 July. Candidates should answer the following in less than 500 words:
What interests you in joining Council’s AAAC?
What expertise would you bring to the Committee?
What is your connection to Surf Coast Shire, do you live, work, study or recreate here?
What is your commitment to equal access and inclusion for people of all abilities?