Brisbane Symposium Panel Session

The panel session speakers gave participants plenty to think about at CUDA’s Brisbane Symposium focused on legacy planning for the 2032 Games. There were four topics of discussion: Housing, Transport, Tourism, and Local Government.

The aim of the symposium was to find ways to embed universal design thinking into the Implementation Plan for the Games Legacy Planning. Four speakers set the scene: Malcolm Middleton, Kevin Cocks, Melissa James and Rebecca Arnaud. You can access their biographies in the links below.

Thanks to live captioning every word was captured in a transcript. This gave plenty of material for the edited highlights which follow after the bios below.

Image shows the captioner in the foreground with the speaker panel in the background.

Symposium panel speakers left to right, Malcolm Middleton, Kevin Cocks, Melissa James and Rebecca Arnaud. Captioner Bernadette sits in the foreground with her stenographer equipment.
Head shot of Malcolm Middleton.

Malcolm Middleton, OAM, former Queensland Government Architect, addressed the topic of housing. 

Kevin is wearing a dark blue jacket and a light blue shirt. He has a short beard.

Kevin Cocks AM, Department of Transport and Main Roads addressed the topic of transport.

Melissa is wearing spectacles with a black frame and is smiling. She is wearing a white shirt and a black jacket.

Melissa James, Inclusive Tourism Australia addressed the topic of tourism.

Head shot of Rebecca Arnaud. She has light hair tied back and blue eyes. She is wearing a royal blue jacket.

Rebecca Arnaud, Brisbane City Council’s Manager, Legacy and Games Planning took a local government perspective.

Malcolm Middleton, OAM

Malcolm Middleton discussed the importance of good governance, because without it nothing gets done in government. So what is governance? It’s a mix of politics and management and trying to “influence different people at different times in different settings to do the right thing”.

Malcolm spoke about his role when Queensland was getting ready to adopt the Livable Housing Design Standard and how having the right person in the room at the right time made a difference to the outcome. His advice was that if you want something done, or to change, you have to be determined, political and plan the way to get governance in place.

Read more of what Malcolm had to say in the edited transcript about Queensland adopting the Livable Housing Standard and his thoughts on governance in government.

Kevin Cocks, AM

Kevin began with comments about the exclusion of people who are deemed inferior and the structural and institutional challenges posed by governments and their policies which continue this injustice. Governments have control of three major areas of our lives that are fundamental for citizens to build the platform for self-determination. They are transport, housing and education. These three areas have the power to include or exclude.

Kevin made the point that bringing about change when everyone wants business as usual is not limited to government. People revert to old behaviours and practices – the ones they are comfortable with. Working towards an inclusive society includes working towards an inclusive workforce – that’s part of change management.

Taking a universal design approach also means using co-design methods and Kevin explained TMR’s relationship with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN). TMR also worked with QUT to develop a universally designed AV people mover. TMR have developed an Access and Inclusion Strategy, and at its core is universal design. The outcome is to build an inclusive workplace and produce inclusive products, goods and services for staff and customers.

Read more of what Kevin had to say about his role at Transport and Main Roads and his thoughts on privilege and the exclusion of people deemed inferior.

Melissa James

Melissa began with the issue of disability not being an attractive proposition to tourism operators. She supported this comment by pointing out that advertisements very rarely show people with lived experience of disability. She added that even when disability is addressed by operators, their concept of ‘accessible’ is often misleading. That’s why her initial idea of having a website of accessible accommodation and attractions wasn’t going to work.

In her work as a consultant she found that operators didn’t think there was a ‘disability market’ to explore. However, when the Queensland Government offered funding, some people became interested. The Commonwealth Games provided opportunities for education and workshops to build capacity within the tourism industry. The outcome of course, is that if you make a place accessible for visitors, you make it accessible for locals.

It requires several things to get more accessible places and experiences: government funding and backing, education of operators, and building capacity. Some operators don’t know they have accessible features because they don’t know what accessibility is. Providing ongoing support to businesses to improve accessibility will help make it happen.

You can read more from Melissa’s edited transcript about her personal experiences.

Rebecca Arnaud

Rebecca’s background is in urban planning, and she emphasised the role of local government as the place where the action happens, albeit quietly. She spoke about her role as Manager of Legacy and Games Planning. She explained that the host city has to demonstrate that any new buildings or sports venues are needed for the community, not because of the Games.

Most events will be held in existing venues because new venues are not encouraged . However, this brings its own problems for accessibility because you don’t have a brand new venue to work with.

Image shows Rebecca Arnaud speaking with her words captured on the captioning screen.

Symposium Panel speaker Rebecca Arnaud sits to the left of Melissa James. Above them is the captioning screen which shows what Rebecca is saying about the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rebecca explained that the Games Legacy Plan, Elevate 2042, was devised by several stakeholders with their own interests. However, the next phase of Elevate 2042 is to pull together the first-generation implementation plan and there is an opportunity to contribute to this. Rebecca encouraged feedback and constructive ideas for the implementation plan.

You can read more from Rebecca’s session in her edited transcript about Brisbane’s role in the 2032 Games.

The captioner is sitting at a table near the speakers with her hands on the stenotype machine. Two speakers are seated in the background with the captioning screen above them.

Thanks to Access Captions for sponsoring the live captioning and providing the transcript.

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