Changing Places opens in Melbourne arts precinct

Melbourne’s renowned arts precinct is now accessible for all with the opening of Victoria’s latest Changing Places facility at Hamer Hall.

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Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan unveiled the new state-of-the-art change room and toilet facility on Tuesday, March 12.

“Hamer Hall is one of Australia’s great concert venues, and this fantastic new facility makes it accessible for the whole Victorian community,” the Minister said.

“We want all Victorians to enjoy the activities that many of us take for granted, and Changing Places is a key part of making that a reality.”

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Changing Places are larger than standard accessible toilets and have extra features such as a tracking hoist and more space to meet the needs of people with a disability.

The Andrews Labor Government is providing $2.6 million to fund a network of 26 Changing Places across Victoria with the Arts Centre Melbourne receiving $100,000 for the Hamer Hall facility.

Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer said Changing Places plays an essential role in positive, social inclusion.

“Changing Places encourages the participation of people with a disability, their families and carers in our city’s cultural life and in particular the Melbourne Arts Precinct,” she said.

Victoria was the first Australian state to launch Changing Places and continues to lead the way nationally in making public spaces more accessible.

From 1 May 2019, the National Construction Code is being updated to include new ‘accessible adult change facilities’ based on the Changing Places design.

These facilities will be required in specified public buildings such as large shopping centres, sports stadiums, theatres, aquatic centres, museums, art galleries and airports.

Victorian Disability Advisory Council chair Colleen Furlanetto said she was delighted that the Changing Places project creates more opportunities for all people to enjoy the cultural wonders that Melbourne has to offer.

“One toilet at a time, Changing Places reduces barriers for people with disability.”

Changing Places is a key priority of the Absolutely everyone State Disability Plan for 2017–2020, which will see the Labor Government support a range of actions in partnership with the community to achieve greater inclusion.

To find out more about Changing Places, visit changingplaces.org.au.

Photo: From left: Colleen Furlanetto, Luke Donnellan and Claire Spencer

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