Young man in wheelchair with companion laughing

QPRC Disability Access Committee

The committee meets quarterly and is chaired by Councillor Biscotti. For further information, please contact Coordinator Community,  Joanna Wherry joanna.wherry@qprc.nsw.gov.au

Members of the Disability Access Committee

Bob McAlister

I used to work as a Tourism and Marketing Consultant and then as a Senior Manager in the not-for-profit sector for 10 years. As a toddler I had Polio and now live with Post Polio Syndrome. I now voluntarily assist not-for-profit Post Polio Syndrome organisations with funding and marketing concepts. I have a passion for organic gardening and using aquaponics and wicking beds to improve plant nutrition and save water and want to use public spaces to encourage immigrants to garden to help them learn English. I also want Defence Forces and front-line responders to use gardening as a way to share skills and evolve wellness strategies through community gardens. I meet with several international disability organisations online weekly to share success stories and discuss access issues.  

Jim Fowler

Being a member of the QPRC Access Committee has been a privilege for me and I believe I can contribute to my community in a positive way with my life experiences. I support the Queanbeyan-Palerang community in several ways, particularly through my membership of the NSW Rural Fire Service. I have been an RFS member for 43 years and served as the Senior Deputy Captain of the Majors Creek Brigade. In 1983, I was burnt and suffered a number of permanent injuries. In more recent years, I cared for my wife who was confined to a wheelchair for three years until she passed away. I understand what it’s like to move around the Queanbeyan-Palerang community with disability and how difficult it can be navigating pathways and shops in a wheelchair. I bring this understanding to the committee and am willing to discuss accessibility issues with the community.

Judit Kovacs

I have lived in Braidwood for more than 20 years where I still run my web/graphic design business after retiring from the public service. I have been very active in the community until some years ago when I became my husband’s full-time carer until he lost his battle against cancer last year. My slow progressing IBM has reached the point that I can longer walk without aids. This experience made me realise the level of disadvantage people with disability face. I have noticed many accessibility issues in Braidwood that make it difficult for the elderly and people with disability to get around town. There are many shops and services in Braidwood that I am no longer able to visit because the kerbs are too high and even one step can be too many. When the opportunity came, I thought I could make a difference by joining the QPRC Access Committee.

Helen Stig

I have a 30+ year old son with complex disabilities and I also have disabilities as a result of complex medical conditions that I have been dealing with for more than 30 years. This has given me a lot of experience and understanding of the challenges people of all ages with disability face. We moved to the region in 2013 to escape the Sydney rat-race and now have a wonderful 100 acre property, including the 1 acre we inhabit. The property has lots of native plants and animals that have luckily remained untouched by fires. Being married to a landscaper that specialises in native plants also helps and we love our little bit of heaven. I had a legal career for more than 25 years where I started as a “Girl Friday” and eventually became a practice manager. I then moved into adult education where I have extensive experience lecturing at universities and managing vocational colleges. I also ran classes for students with disabilities with great success. I have a passion for ensuring access and equity for all, especially seniors and people with disability.

Cr Michele Biscotti

I have strong connections with the Queanbeyan-Palerang region and my focus is to continue to develop and implement opportunities for growth in our community.

Queanbeyan-born and now living in Googong, I was a former Jerrabomberra resident and for eight years my family and I lived on a property at Mount Fairy. I also owned a store and delicatessen in Bungendore.

I joined the Australian Defence Forces and served as a specialist ground soldier with the RAAF for eight years. I have also conducted logistics for the Australian Government where I undertook two overseas deployments, serving in Papua New Guinea. I also served as a logistics advisor to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

I am a passionate community advocate, and am focussed on working collaboratively with the community to drive innovation and further improve our potential.

QPRC Disability Inclusion Action Plan (2022 – 2026)

A Disability Inclusion Action Plan outlines the practical, operational and strategic actions that QPRC will take to promote access to services, information and employment, and promote the rights of people with disability.  

This plan guides Council in meeting its requirements under the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014. The plan is overseen by an Access Committee comprising of representatives from across the region. Our progress against this plan is reported in the QPRC Annual Report.

Home Library Delivery

The library offers a home delivery service for people unable to visit the library for medical reasons, or due to age or disability. An individual profile of reading and subject preferences is created for each housebound customer and library staff select and deliver items to private homes and to nursing homes on a fortnightly basis. Selected items can include books, talking or large print books, magazines, and DVDs.

For further information and to enquire about joining the service please phone 6285 6238. 

Zero Barriers

QPRC is a member of Zero Barriers. The program aims to raise awareness and capacity among businesses in the local area to improve access and inclusion for people with a disability. Businesses will be provided with support from QPRC staff who will visit businesses across the LGA throughout the year. The program is free to join and participants will be featured as a ‘Zero Barriers business’ in the online directory. Visit the Zero Barriers website or contact Joanna Wherry 6285 6045 for more information.

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