Register for Accessibility Weekend and go in the draw to WIN an accessible Global Ballooning Australia experience over the Yarra Valley for you and your carer*

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Congratulations to our 2018 winner Roy Davie who wowed us with his innovation: "I'd like to see fully automated ramps on public transport at every door that are deployed when doors open and retract when doors close."
We chat to Roy to hear all about his Global Ballooning experience.
Tell us Roy, how was your experience with Global Ballooning last year?

I only booked in for this in April this year. 

The balloon ride was truly an amazing experience and memory with my wife and our 2 boys.  The Global Ballooning pilots and crew were incredible and very experienced. The easy accessible balloon basket was very easy to transfer into, I could position the seating blocks/cushions any way I needed to, and the staff ensured my safety was paramount, which eased the nerves.

Being in the air and seeing the sunrise over the Yarra Valley was truly breathtaking and so worth being there at 5:00am for. It's something I recommend for everyone who wants to go hot air ballooning, Global Ballooning make it accessible for everyone!

Accessibility in Melbourne is improving all the time, have you seen any notable accessibility innovations over the past year in Victoria/Melbourne?

Commuting most days to the city for work, medical appointments and sporting events, I have used different metro train lines. It's good to see that some stations have raised platforms to a height that is level with train doors. Yet we still have older trains in use on some major train lines, which does means drivers are still having to assist with ramps. Newer trains seem to have more ease of access and more areas for wheelchairs/mobility aids/those with disabilities etc. However, it is still only the very first carriage which is accessible for most wheelchairs and mobility aids. Be great if the entire platform was at the same height as trains, so there is more that could be done that could be cost effective.

Do you see the future of public transport accessibility heading in the direction that you envision?

 Yes. New stations and ones that have been upgraded have better access to platforms via lifts/ramps. Trains seem to be at a better height level to access in most areas. I used a tram for the 1st time earlier this year and found the accessible trams and super platforms extremely easy to utilise. I've used these trams more since. 

I think we are headed in a good direction, but more could be done, especially with regards to platforms, ramps on trains and all trains being the same height across all networks. Upgrading trams and tram stops to newer ones with wheelchair access would be great to see.

What is the best accessibility feature you’ve ever heard about or seen?

 Apart from Global Ballooning easy accessible basket, which is the first in Australia I believe, the best accessibility feature that I've seen is the new fully accessible disability bathrooms in key public places. These are an amazing innovation and design and it's great to see shopping centres, sporting venues and councils making bathrooms amenities more available and accessible for everyone.

Casey Stadium have recently opened a new area with indoor cricket, gymnastics and more show courts. This new area has one of these new designed full disability access bathrooms and it is incredible to see first-hand. 

Lastly, will you be heading along to any venues part of Accessibility Weekend this year?

Absolutely. Not sure what though just yet. I might try and get to a couple of places with the family. It's a great initiative from Independence Australia and one that helps to showcase getting out and about in some of Victoria's major tourist attractions.

Entries close 11:59pm on Monday 6 September 2021.

*Terms and Conditions apply. See below. 

1. The prize draw (“Prize Draw”) is open to attendees of Independence Australia’s Accessibility Weekend.
2. Entrants into the Prize Draw shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
3. To enter the Prize Draw you must complete and submit the digital entry form on the 2021 Accessibility Weekend website.
4. Entries are limited to one per person and all fields must be completed, including contact information.
5. Entries open at 8:30am on Monday 9 August 2021 and close at 11:59pm on Monday 6 September 2021.
6. One winner will be chosen by Independence Australia’s Marketing team in accordance with these
Terms and Conditions.
7. The winner will be notified via email and phone call communication using the contact details provided.
8. Prize is two passengers in Global Ballooning Australia’s Easy Access Basket, for one person with access
requirements and one able-bodied carer. Global Ballooning’s Easy Access Basket is available only to those who
are able to transfer in/out of a wheelchair or mobility aid with the help of a carer. There is a door on the basket and a seat inside.
Wheelchairs or other mobility aids are unable to be taken on board. If unable to transfer to and from Global Ballooning
mini bus transportation (2 steps to get inside), the prize winner will need to arrange own accessible transport to and from the Yarra Valley
meeting point (the accessible vehicle will need to follow the ground crew for the duration of the flight so will be required for a total of approximately 3 hours)
9. Flight over Yarra Valley is to be taken on a weekday (Monday-Friday). The winner must contact Global Ballooning Australia to organise a date.
The winner cannot book their flight on a public holiday.
10. Before acceptance of the prize, the winner will be required to accept Global Ballooning’s Easy Access Basket
Terms & Conditions which will be supplied prior to flight or can be requested via email:
[email protected]. More information on the Easy Access Basket here:
11. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Total prize value is $810.00
12. Independence Australia and Global Ballooning Australia accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities,
injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize.
13. Independence Australia and Global Ballooning Australia accepts no responsibility for costs associated with
accepting the Prize.
14. By entering the Prize Draw, you agree to the collection, retention and usage of your personal information in order
to process and contact you about Accessibility Weekend.
15. Should the prize remain unclaimed as at 3pm Monday 20 September 2021, Independence Australia may conduct a
further draw to re-distribute the prize at Independence Australia, Building 1, 9 Ashley Street, West Footscray VIC
on Monday 20 September 2021.