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 a focus on universal access and inclusion across all key policies in the transport portfolio.
- ATAC is accountable to the Minister for Public Transport and provides advice to the transport portfolio Ministers, the Department of Transport (DoT), the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) and its agencies, to Commercial Passenger Vehicle Victoria (CPVV) 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 disabilities, impairments and/or chronic health conditions, and impacting 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 disabilities, seniors and members of vulnerable groups
- consults broadly with people with disabilities, impairments 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 for Public Transport, 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 for Public Transport 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 disabilities, older people and vulnerable groups.
ATAC Members represent a cross-section of the community, including:
- men and women
- young people and seniors
- residents of regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne
- people with sensory and physical disabilities
- people with visible and invisible disabilities
- 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 (NDIS). Liz has served as the Chair of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) 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 (ATAC).
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.
After acquiring a disability, Mark left his corporate career and retrained as a careers counsellor focusing on people with a disability. In 2011, Mark was the recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship researching best practice career advisory services for university students with a disability in the UK.
Since then Mark has been working in the disability employment area with Bravo Consulting, working with secondary, tertiary and in the post education sector as well as involved with NDCO, NDIA and DEA with general training or advice for people working with people with disabilities or direct advice to people with disabilities.
In 2019, Mark worked on advisory groups for the Victoria Alive project and the national reference group for the international initiative for disability leadership. Mark is a regular user of public transport to access employment opportunities and participate in life. He is keen to contribute towards building a more accessible public transport network and identifying innovative ways to provide effective transport services to people with disabilities.
Dr Kevin Murfitt
Kevin is a Senior Lecturer in Disability and Inclusion at the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, and a Research Fellow leading evaluation on an employer engagement initiative to build disability confidence and inclusive practices in small to medium businesses. Kevin is an active member of Blind Citizens Australia, he volunteers with Dog Guide Handlers Australia (DGHA), leading their advocacy work, and has extensive board experience in the Not-for-Profit and disability sector, having served for more than nine years as Chair on the Vision Australia board.
He also has working knowledge of the accessible public transport standards, having been one of four disability representatives on the Federal Attorney General’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Working Group from 1997 to 2000.
During the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017, Kevin was awarded a Member of The Order of Australia (AM) for “Outstanding service to people who are blind or have low vision and in inclusive education”.
Sarah works mainly as a documentary writer and director, and for the past 20 years has worked mostly making media for, by and with people with disabilities. With an extensive background in film making and lived experience of disability, as the parent of a teenage wheelchair user, Sarah has spent considerable time and effort focussing on disability rights and activism. Her first documentary Untold Desires dealt frankly with the topic of sexuality and disability. This film won numerous awards including a Logie Award and an AFI Award. In 2003, Sarah developed the award-winning community television series No Limits and was the founding series producer of this long running disability themed series.
In 2010 Sarah travelled to the USA and England on a Churchill Fellowship to interview disability activists who lead campaigns for accessible public transport. This research forms part of her latest documentary film, Defiant Lives, a history of the disability rights movement. Sarah is the founder of disabilitybusters.com, a video on demand site to showcase programs about disability.
She has previously served as a PTAC member, from 2016 to 2019.
Mark is the Access and Inclusion Officer of the Greater Shepparton City Council. Mark is living with a disability and is a wheelchair user. Mark holds a Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning, and an Advanced Diploma of Disability. Mark has held several roles in the disability sector, including working as a Disability Access Consultant, providing advice relating to complying with the Australian Building Codes and Access Standards. This experience has enabled Mark to appreciate the importance of broader awareness around accessibility issues and the need for good coordination across the public and private sectors to improve accessibility to our legacy systems efficiently and cost-effectively.
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 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 (DRC), Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (RVIB) and West Raid Western Regional Accommodation for Intellectually Disadvantaged. Mr Stewart is vision impaired and a double amputee following a transport accident.
Mark 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. He has previously served as a PTAC member, from 2018 to 2019.