TA Operations Manager, Maria Groner.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), City of Melbourne hosted a forum as an opportunity to hear and share how the DDA has enabled greater access and inclusion for people with disability. Travellers Aid Operations Manager, Maria Groner was invited to speak at the event with local government, community groups, advocates and innovators contributing to the discussion. 

A social worker by training, Operations Manager, Maria Groner, has more than 30 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, both in Australia and in her home country of Germany. Maria’s experience, gained in frontline roles through to senior management positions, have benefited from her deep commitment to social justice and her passion for improving the lives of those most disadvantaged in our society.  

Whilst the DDA has enabled greater access on public transport modes, there continue to be persistent barriers for people with disability. This is where a service like Travellers Aid comes in to provide a human solution where infrastructure may fail.  Our work supports the objectives of the Act by providing access and inclusion services at transport hubs, events and during public transport disruptions. We acknowledge that while the DDA has created positive change, there are limitations, including the barriers (and personal cost) that people with disability experience in making a DDA complaint. 

As our support services adapt and grow to meet current needs, we are pleased to be working with more event organisers, transport providers and the City of Melbourne to provide access and inclusion services where event infrastructure may not be fully accessible. Their support and commitment to addressing these limitations is a key factor in the ability to deliver our services to as many people as possible.