Lived experiences to help determine shire’s access and inclusion

June 11, 2021 BY

The Surf Coast Shire council is encouraging the community to help shape an Access and Inclusion Plan 2021-2024.

THE Surf Coast Shire Council is encouraging residents to help establish a new Access and Inclusion Plan for 2021-2024.

The updated plan follows council’s ongoing commitment to building healthy, well connected communities where everyone has the opportunity to participate.

During the focus group sessions, council will be encouraging people with disabilities, carers and support workers to be among those to share their thoughts and experiences.

Pending COVID-19 restrictions, the four sessions are set to take place across June and will be led by Linda Blaik and Jen Eagles, who have lived experiences of disability, as well as the disability and human services sector.

All Abilities Advisory Committee member Thomas Byrnes welcomed residents of all ages to participate while noting public transport as an important topic for the access and inclusion agenda.

“We all live in this community and as such all input is equally important,” he said.

“A community is really a living thing so everyone has a voice.

“I would say to people with disability, carers and families that their experiences and thoughts are unique and of value and should never be underestimated.

“If we need to fix something but never hear of it there might be a chance it will never be solved.”

Councillor Rose Hodge said the updated action plan would help council to reach the goals set in its Access and Inclusion Strategy 2014- 2024.

“This is about enabling people of all abilities to actively participate, contribute and have fun in our community,” she said.

“Our aim is for our shire to be as inclusive as it can be for all, and ideally people with lived experience can help guide our way.

“We hope to hear a truly diverse range of thoughts and insights at our focus groups.”

To attend a focus group contact [email protected] or call 5261 0600.


The focus groups are set to meet at:

Torquay, Surf Coast Shire Council chambers, June 15, 6.30pm

Winchelsea Community House, June 15, 6.30pm

Lorne Community House, June 19, 10am

Anglesea Community House, June 19, 2pm

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