It has been another busy summer and autumn events season, with record numbers of people turning out to enjoy some of Melbourne’s major events. It’s such a pleasure to deliver accessibility and inclusion services that enable everyone to participate on their terms.

The big events started with the Australian Open at Melbourne Park where we assisted 60% more people than in 2023. Over the two weeks of this vibrant tennis tournament we supported patrons with disability or mobility impairment to attend and enjoy the event with confidence.

Our support included buggy transport to and from tram and bus stops, and from the National Tennis Centre carpark to access the event precinct.

“My husband and I recently travelled to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open tennis. While there, I sustained a knee injury and could only just walk with the aid of crutches. We were able to access Mobility Assistance very easily and were offered wheelchairs every day. All of the people, volunteers mostly, were absolutely wonderful – kind, cheerful and willing assistants. I could see that there was respect and communication between team members as well. My husband and I were blown away by how well we were treated and what a difference it made to our experience of having poor mobility. There was no way, without such assistance, I would have been able to participate in this event. Well done to all of this amazing team, and the biggest heart felt thank you for all that you did for us.”

Sara wears sparkly pink fringe sleeves and pink cowgirl hat with her teal and high vis Travellers Aid uniform in a TA-DA pose standing with a black buggy on the path along Birrarung Marr. Two young women sit in the buggy in cheerleader uniforms smiling.

In February we joined the Taylor Swift buzz with a buggy service transporting Swifties who required support from Flinders St Station to the MCG. This was backed up with another successful year providing buggy connection services at the St Kilda Festival. We also introduced our services at the Northcote Rise Festival.

Extreme heat during Moomba led to the cancellation of some events, but we were still on hand for patrons attending the Labour Day weekend celebrations.

Our Moomba services included mobility equipment hire, wheelchair connections, as well as a quiet place to rest.

Numbers were booming at the F1 Australian Grand Prix and Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, both held on the same weekend. Our services assisted patrons in getting into and around the events, whether they arrived by public transport or by car.

“Yesterday I attended the Melbourne International Flower Show. This is something my friend and I do every year. Each year it is a little more difficult to get around (at 80). Thank you so much for supplying the buggy at the entrance. That long walk from the bus to the front door is daunting. It was greatly appreciated.”

In April we supported the A Walk in the Park fundraiser for Fight Parkinson’s, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Anzac Day Dawn Service and Parade at the Shrine of Remembrance. In May we provided support at the Australian Disability Network (ADN) Impact Conference, our first event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

We are also thrilled to be providing our service to delegates at the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Conference being held in Melbourne in August.

75 staff and volunteers. 2070 people supported. Almost 850 buggy rides. 1850 hours of support. More than 1170 wheelchair assists.