Accessible Transport Advisory Committee

Terms of Reference


  • ATAC is a key source for consultation regarding the accessibility of Victoria’s transport system, services and service delivery models, to ensure an integrated focus on whole-of-journey accessibility and on universal access and inclusion across all key policies in the transport portfolio.
  • ATAC is accountable to the Minister for Public and Active Transport and provides advice to the transport portfolio Ministers, the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), the Victorian Infrastructure Delivery Authority (VIDA) and its agencies, to Safe Transport Victoria (STV) and other State transport entities, as relevant and appropriate.

To provide its advice and recommendations, ATAC:

  • considers whole-of-journey accessibility issues and provides user-centric advice on priority areas for interventions to support full access and inclusion to transport users with disabilities, seniors and members of vulnerable groups
  • identifies current, emerging and/or potential whole-of-transport accessibility issues affecting or likely to affect people with disability, accessibility requirements, and/or chronic health conditions, that impact on their mobility across Victoria
  • identifies current, emerging and/or potential transport accessibility issues resulting or likely to result from a growing, more diverse and ageing Victoria
  • identifies current, emerging and/or potential transport accessibility issues likely to result from the introduction of innovative new technologies and transport service delivery models, with a focus on analysing their impacts on the mobility of people with disability, seniors and members of vulnerable groups
  • consults broadly with people with disability, accessibility requirements, and/or chronic health conditions, with senior Victorians and members of vulnerable groups, as well as with relevant organisations and peak bodies, government agencies and the broader community to:
    • identify systemic issues and risks, when it comes to whole-of-transport accessibility
    • understand broader user experiences regarding whole-of-journey accessibility in Victoria
    • understand user experiences regarding the status of access and inclusion in Victoria’s transport services and systems
    • recommend key areas of priority, risk and opportunity, and good practice.
  • ATAC investigates and provides advice on any other matter referred by the Minister, relating to accessibility, inclusion, universal design and the co-design of transport policies, projects, strategies, services and service delivery models.
  • ATAC reports on the outcomes of meetings to the Minister on a regular basis. These reports are provided to the Minister by the ATAC Chair.


ATAC comprises of six individual members and a Chair. Members have extensive experience and knowledge about issues that affect people with disability, older people and vulnerable groups.

ATAC members represent a cross-section of the community, including:

  • people of all genders
  • young people and seniors
  • residents of regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne
  • people with sensory and physical disabilities
  • people with apparent and non-apparent disabilities
  • carers
  • professionals working in disability, accessibility and related sectors


ATAC meetings are held monthly.


To ensure business continuity, ATAC members are appointed for staggered terms of up to 24 months.


Liz Ellis - Chair

With qualifications in social work and lived experience of disability, Liz has 15 years’ experience working in the disability sector. Liz has worked as a Family Liaison Officer with Villa Maria Catholic Homes, assisting families to navigate the disability service system and prepare for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Liz has served as the Chair of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service and as a member of the Association for Children with a Disability’s Board, the City of Maroondah’s Disability Advisory Committee and the former Taxi Services Commission’s Accessible Taxi Advisory Committee.

Travelling with a motorised mobility device, Liz has a deep understanding of the barriers faced by people using a mobility aid when navigating the public transport network. Liz has previously served as a PTAC member, from 2016 to 2019. Liz is currently undertaking study in Cert IV Training and Assessment.

Melissa Hale

Melissa is a recognised leader in the Victorian deaf and hard of hearing community – with expertise in disability inclusion and advocacy and promoting systemic change, Ms Hale has 15 years’ experience working in the disability sector. Melissa is currently a Board Director with Expression Australia and the Head of Deaf Women’s Cricket Australia.

In 2019, Melissa won the Disability Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Volunteer of the Year Award, Deaf Australia Community Volunteer of the Year Award, and Deaf Sports Australia Volunteer of the Year Award.

Martin Stewart

Martin is a dedicated and passionate transport safety advocate for people experiencing barriers to access. Mr Stewart has years of experience participating in transport related committees including for Metro Trains, High-Capacity Metro Trains Consortium and PTV, and has also held positions with Disability Resources Centre, Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind and West Raid Western Regional Accommodation for Intellectually Disadvantaged.

Mr Stewart is vision impaired and a double amputee following a transport accident.

Martin is a frequent user of public transport in Victoria, but he also has experience using public transport in other states and territories in Australia, as well as in Asia.

Julie Postma

Julie Postma is a chartered accountant and a member of the Australian Sports Climbing Team as a paraclimber. Julie has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for over 30 years and is an ambulatory wheelchair user.

Ms Postma has significant lived experience and insight of visible and invisible disability, and the challenges it can create towards transport access.

Karen Fankhauser

Karen has extensive lived experience of disability, having navigated the world through varying degrees of mobility with a progressive muscular disability. Karen currently uses a power wheelchair.

Since moving to Melbourne, Karen has become a frequent user of the tram and train network. Karen is a former chairperson of the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Disability Advisory Committee and served on the Victorian Disability Advisory Council from 2019 to 2022.

Karen was awarded the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Citizen of the Year in 2018 for her commitment to her work as an advocate for the achievement of greater inclusion and accessibility for people with disability in the community. Outside of her advocacy work, Karen has achieved a Masters of Commerce in Professional Accounting, and runs her own tax agent business from home.

Daniel Giles

Daniel Giles OAM is proudly Autistic. He is a passionate disability advocate, regularly presenting on his Autism journey through his business with his father, Speaking Insights.

Daniel also has a strong interest in public transport, especially in his encyclopaedic knowledge of trains and often spends his spare time perusing rail related interests.

Daniel brings to ATAC his years of experience on a range of disability advisory committees for various organisations and at various levels of government. This includes the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the Victorian Government’s Autism State Plan (2009-2012), the Victorian Disability Advisory Council (2013-2019), the Public Transport Access Council (2016-2019) and the City of Greater Bendigo’s Disability Inclusion Reference Committee. Daniel has also been a member of the V/Line Accessibility Reference Group since 2016.

Daniel received an Order of Australia Medal in 2017 for Service to Disability and the Community. He works as a graphic designer for Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd and a Communication Access Assessor for Scope. Daniel looks forward to bringing his lived experience of disability, an Autistic perspective and his experience in disability advocacy to his role at ATAC.

Chris Edwards

Chris has been in leadership roles within the Disability Sector for over 25 years. He has significant Management & Governance experience and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chris is currently the Director of Government Relations & Advocacy for Vision Australia. Chris holds several Board and Committee roles with organisations including with Aruma, Disability Media Australia and the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Chris is also an active member on numerous transport Advisory bodies across all modes of transport.

Chris, blind himself, with his Seeing Eye Dog Eva is a frequent user of transport across Australia. This enables him to highlight good practice and contribute to making improvements in access for people with a disability using public transport in Victoria.