Five new members join shire’s All Abilities Advisory Committee

May 9, 2024 BY

Councillor Mike Bodsworth (third from right) with All Abilities Advisory Committee members last year. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIVE new faces to the Surf Coast Shire’s All Abilities Advisory Committee will provide some new ideas on how to address and improve accessibility across the region.

Four Surf Coast residents and one resident from the Armstrong Creek growth area will join the advisory body, following the new appointments by the shire last month.

Carole Morrow of Torquay, Cheryl Middleton of Bellbrae, Jo Klemke of Armstrong Creek, Liz Conning of Jan Juc, and Penny Cilento of Torquay will look to inject new perspective es into the body.

The shire’s council representative on the committee, Mike Bodsworth, said he was excited to welcome the new members in the region’s quest for a more inclusive community.

“We welcome each of our new members and look forward to them helping us to continue working towards a more inclusive Surf Coast Shire, celebrating the contributions of people with disability.

“We have some important work ahead continuing to provide input on facilities and programs across the shire. We especially look forward to hearing advice from our committee members as plans for the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre come together.

“On behalf of the committee and wider shire community I thank and congratulate our outgoing committee members Mark Modra, Thomas Byrnes and particularly Caroline Maplesdon and Richard Porter for their great contributions and achievements.”

Ms Maplesdon will have devoted 22 years to the committee by the time of her final meeting in June, including time as chair.

Mr Porter will have reached 19 years in the committee by June, including time as deputy chair.

“They have made such profound contributions, making a difference in voluntary roles,” Cr Bodsworth said.

The new committee appointments are conducted by an expression of interest process to fill vacancies created by existing members opting to retire on fulfilling the end of their terms.

All committee members have a strong connection with the region, while many have a lived experience of disability.

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