It has been an exciting summer for Travellers Aid staff and volunteers. Event season is in full swing and we have loved helping to make it as accessible and inclusive as we can! Catch up on what we’ve been up to. 

In January we provided access and inclusion services at the Australian Open. It was a massive effort planning, preparing, and delivering our services with record crowd numbers. An amazing achievement in enabling people to participate and engage in this world class event. We received wonderful feedback from many patrons including a woman who required assistance for her mother. She highlighted that they have been to Wimbledon and the French Open and that the Australian Open provided the best accessibility support of any tournament in the world!

‘The Australian Open is one of the few events where I know we can take mum and we have assistance to make it an enjoyable outing, and not a situation where mum feels she is a burden because she walks too slow, or it becomes too hard for her. It was so good to arrange to have mum picked up from the car in the car park and the assistance from TA to help with the wheelchair… She had a great time and was not exhausted from the process of just getting there’. 

– Travellers Aid service user 

On Sunday 19 February we supported festival goers at the lively St Kilda Festival. It certainly was a party atmosphere as our staff and volunteers transported people on board our buggy and minibus. One of the people we helped shared that she and her husband thought that they would have to miss out this year as she had an injury. The buggy service ensured that the couple were able to attend and enjoy a few hours at the festival and they were most grateful. 

The connection assistance operated from accessible public transport stops to the St Kilda Festival precinct from 9:30am to midnight! We also offered wheelchair and stroller hire at the event. It was a fantastic experience and a pleasure to work with the City of Port Philip and festival organisers for the first time to make this event as accessible and inclusive as possible.  

If you travel through Melbourne you will have noticed the planned disruptions to trains as upgrades are made to the the City Loop. In partnership with Metro Trains, Travellers Aid provided assistance to affected passengers at Southern Cross Station, Between Flinders Street Station and the Arts Centre and from Federation Square and the MCG for the Big Bash League games. Our team of Trio Bike riders kept people connected along St. Kilda Road during some scorching hot weather. Support was also provided to cricket fans at the Big Bash League where we connected people from Federation Square to the MCG and back via buggy.  

Selfie of Lord Mayor of Melbourne - Sally Capp with TA Ops Manager Maria Groner at AO23
Tennis legend Dylan Alcott giving a thumbs up at AO23
BBL Buggy with TA volunteer and smiling passenger
TA volunteer with wheelchair on platform with Yarra Trams staff at tram stop for AO23.
Aunty Joy sits in wheelchair with TA volunteer and Maria Groner at AO23.
TA volunteer with two TrioBike passengers on St Kilda Road on a sunny day.