Afternoon Tea in Support of Spinal Life Australia’s new Accessible Australia App
Chair, Mrs Gyl Stacey and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mark Townend; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
Kaye and I warmly welcome you to Government House.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Today is an exciting day! As Patron of Spinal Life Australia it is my great pleasure to officiate at the launch of the Accessible Australia app this afternoon.
This app, already in testing through Spinal Life’s membership base, will be an incredible resource for people with disabilities, and the wider community. Already there are a plethora of apps and websites which compare menus, prices and even ambience in public venues.
But with the Accessible Australia app, there will now also be a place to investigate ease of access, parking and suitability for people with disability.
My hope is that this app eases the sharing of information between people with disability to know in advance the ease of accessing certain venues and places. With the completion of the Fernberg sesquicentenary extensions in 2015, including the installation of two lifts, I look forward to seeing Government House’s own accessible markers, welcoming all to what really is ‘the people’s house’!
Further, this tool can also be used by people without disability – venue managers, designers, engineers, planners – to reflect and take action to make more areas and venues in our country truly accessible for people with disability.
By having your voices directly contributing to the app, I have every confidence there will be a groundswell of change that permeates into these areas.
I note the theme for this year’s International Day of People with Disability, held last week, was “Building Back Better: towards a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world”.
This is an admirable goal and one which I certainly support – especially in this most remarkable year, where the anxiety of isolation and the disruption to routine and services was keenly felt by people living with disability.
It is through the ongoing work and advocacy of organisations such as Spinal Life Australia that we will build back better.
I thank and congratulate Spinal Life Australia for its vision in developing this app. It is a wonderful projection of the innovative mission which drives this organisation of which I am so proudly Patron.
I further acknowledge the Spinal Life Australia board, staff, volunteers and members who were involved in the development of the app, and Telstra Purple for bringing the expertise and financial contributors who supported the project.
It is my pleasure now to formally launch the Accessible Australia app and I look forward to watching this app grow and develop.