Your Cart

Nothing in your cart yet.

Continue Browse Publications

Media Centre Statement regarding Qantas and RAA Board

4 April 2024

Regional Arts Australia (RAA) is a not for profit, non-partisan organisation that is the national voice for arts in regional Australia.

Regional Arts Australia’s Board expresses our extreme disappointment about the recent experience one of our Board Members, Ms Anwen Handmer when travelling with Qantas. Ms Handmer is a wheelchair user and a practising artist who is a valued member of our national Board.

We believe that the difficulties Anwen encountered in her attempts to travel to Canberra with Qantas to attend a Board activity, were unacceptable and in our opinion not consistent with Qantas’ Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. Section 3 contains the following goals:

  • Goal 1 To continually improve our policies and processes to support our customers with disability.

  • Goal 3 To train our staff and leaders to support our customers with disability.

Our organisation believes that Qantas placed an unfair financial burden on Anwen’s travel, which was not foreshadowed in the Company’s Access and Inclusion Plan and did not provide sufficient adjustment in order for her to travel with dignity.

RAA has written to Qantas about Ms Handmer’s experiences and is still awaiting an official response from Qantas to our correspondence.

As an organisation which values the contribution people with lived experience of disability make to the cultural fabric of Australia, we extend an offer to Qantas to work with them to ensure their organisation is best positioned to:

  • make reasonable adjustments for people with disability to provide equitable and dignified access;

  • meet the needs of people with complex specific needs in both the booking and onboarding process;

  • meet the goals and ambition of their Access and Inclusion Plan.