Inclusion Not Exclusion

Regularly a group of family, friends and I love days like these; good music, good company and good food!

Two Sundays ago, January 22nd, 2017 Mum, Aunty and our close friends were excited to go to the Red Hot Summer Concert at Mornington Racecourse. This was our second gig there with the same promoters. Two years ago we went and immediately were shocked with how they had penned people in wheelchairs into a corner with fences around the small area; totally segregating them and their family and friends from the rest of the concert goers.  This year the promoters had organised a nice shaded tree for people in wheelchairs, but the problem was they were only allowing ONE companion into this nice shaded section under a large willow tree.

So my Aunty and friends went on the hunt for an area which would fit six of us including myself with our chairs and table. After Mum and one very pissed off Aunty exchanged some words with security guards, we ended up setting up camp outside the Men’s Toilets. Lovely!

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We absolutely love going to Day On The Green concerts! They have an area for people in wheelchairs where their family and friends (no matter the amount of people who had come with them) right behind the reserved area! Perfect position! I can see the actual stage and the big screens!

Unlike at Mornington Racecourse!

Two years ago Mum made it perfectly clear to the promoters at Mornington Racecourse we wouldn’t be carolled in the pen; segregated like sheep. We had hoped the promoters had took on our suggestions, but obviously they still have the mentality that people with disabilities don’t have meaningful relationships and would want to go to concerts like these with their friends.

Even though we enjoyed seeing great Aussie legends including John Farnham (I had flashbacks to when I was 10 singing along to Whispering Jack), life was made harder than it already is because we didn’t have adequate shade, we couldn’t see the large screen (when John Farnham was on some of my friends and I went right in front of the screen behind us – then we had a front row view!) and we sat was right beside the MALE TOILETS! What the!!

My family, friends and I hope by writing this post, the promoters will take notice of our suggestions and recognize the need to change their disabled seating arrangements and allow people in wheelchairs to sit with their group of family and friends and not be carolled in the corner somewhere…excluded!

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