13 new members to Council’s Access and Inclusion Reference Group

Some of the new members of the Access and Inclusion Reference Group, from left, Maree Jenner, Council Disability Inclusion Officer Jodie Frost-Foster, Joy Sinclair, Dr Gareth Beal, Bobby Redman, Carol Oakley, Daniel Greenwald, Elisa James and Kathy Fela

Central Coast Council has 13 new members to its Access and Inclusion Reference Group (AIRG) who will support Council to further improve accessibility and inclusion on the Coast.

The AIRG will guide Council in implementing the final year of its current Disability Inclusion Action Plan, and will play an important role in the development of a new four-year Disability Inclusion Action Plan for 2021-2025.

These plans set out actions that Council will deliver to enable people with disabilities to better access mainstream services, facilities, information and support, to be fully and equally included in the community.

Council’s Director of Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said the AIRG played an integral role in helping Council to create an inclusive and accessible Central Coast for all residents with a disability.

“The 2020-21 Access and Inclusion Reference Group includes community members with a lived experience of disability, as well as those who work within the disability and community sectors,” Vaughan said.

“The group reflects the many dimensions and diversity of disability.

“Members were selected for their expertise in accessibility, community, legislation, advocacy and planning.”

Council interim Administrator, Dick Persson, said that the AIRG played an important role in ensuring that the voices of people with a lived experience of disability are heard.

“Council is committed to ensuring that it continues to improve access and inclusion for people with disabilities to be able to fully participate and contribute to community life on the Coast,” he said.

“To be a truly responsive and inclusive community, we need to hear the voices of people who live with disabilities and understand the barriers they experience to full community participation.”

The new members of the AIRG are Dr Gareth Beal, Keiran Booth, Kath Fela, Daniel Greenwald, Cassandra Holmes, Elisa James, Maree Jenner, Carol Oakley, Bobby Redman, Joy Sinclair, Darlene Thornton, Natasha Bartley and Sarah Robinson.

Council thanks and acknowledges the former Access and Inclusion Reference Group members for their input and commitment.

Media release, Nov 9
Central Coast Council