Travellers Aid Australia Celebrates 100 Years Of Extraordinary Service
bella - June 30th, 2016
For 100 years, across two world wars, through shifting populations and the rapid development of technology, Travellers Aid Australia (Travellers Aid) has been making a marked difference to peoples’ lives and will continue to do so for as long as there are vulnerable people in transit.
With facilities and services at Southern Cross Station since 1916 and Flinders Street Station and Seymour Station following, the not-for-profit has provided simple, practical, travel-related support, helping people move independently and confidently through the public transport system no matter what their background.
After World War I, the organisation supported refugees escaping war-torn Europe and when the Great Depression hit, Travellers Aid was offering its services to abandoned children and fragmented families as well as disillusioned migrants and other war casualties.
The Great Depression ended only to see World War II begin and beneficiaries of the organisation’s services became young women arriving in Melbourne looking for wartime romance or employment to support their men overseas. After the war, the organisation greeted and housed migrant families on their way to rural reception centres and even reunited lost children with their parents.
The 60s saw Travellers Aid meet the need of young Asian students arriving to study as part of the Colombo Plan and the 70s saw the organisation morph once again to welcome men, providing them with financial aid and other referral services. This paved the way for other emergency relief services, some of which have continued to the present day.
In the late 80s, the Travellers Aid Disability Service opened to provide support to people with disabilities. This new service was an important step in encouraging people with disabilities to make use of the many facilities and resources available in Melbourne by making their public transport experience easy and pleasant.
The Travellers Aid Disability Service led to Travellers Aid successfully operating the Melbourne Mobility Centre on behalf of the City of Melbourne and their role become one of assisting people with disabilities and guiding visitors involved in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
“Over the last century, no matter what Australia has been confronted with, we have evolved and responded as an organisation to meet the needs of people in transit through Melbourne and regional Victoria,” says Mr Elias Lebbos, CEO of Travellers Aid.
“Many of our beneficiaries have been women and girls arriving in Melbourne from overseas, interstate and rural Victoria, some fleeing domestic violence, looking for a better life.
“Not much has changed, we are still doing the same work today. Our main focus is on people who have been displaced, have a disability, experience mobility challenges, travel disadvantage or financial hardship,” he says.
Last financial year Travellers Aid provided 236,000 instances of service across its three sites.
Travellers Aid services include:
- Buggy and Personal Guidance Service at Southern Cross Station (travellers met and assisted on request, bookings necessary)
- Emergency relief assistance for travellers in emergency/crisis situations
- Travellers Aid Access Service (personal care assistance for people with a disability)
- Medical companion service
- Public internet (fee applies)
- Mobility equipment hire (fee applies)
- Fully accessible toilets with adult change tables and ceiling hoist
- Transit and travel information
- Comfortable lounge, toilets and showers, private rest rooms, baby change facilities (some fees apply)
- Luggage storage facility at Flinders Street Station (fees apply)
For more information please visit www.travellersaid.org.au
Not For Profit | Anniversary | Celebration | Public Relations | PR Melbourne | Travel