Breaking down barriers to get back in the boat

Wednesday 7 July, 2021

Victorians are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities and people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities should be able to access the benefits of nature.

Parks Victoria has a wide range of facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our parks, something which three mates in Western Port recently learnt.

L – R  John Tinsley, James Bishop and Mario Recke setting off on their fishing adventure on Western Port
L – R  John Tinsley, James Bishop and Mario Recke setting off on their fishing adventure on Western Port

For years, Mario, John and James enjoyed fishing and boating on the waters of Western Port but from 2019, Mario had to stop. A degenerative condition that has impacted on his health made it too difficult for him to join these fishing adventures.

Recently, John and James hatched a plan to get their mate Mario back out on the water and connected with Tim from Purple Soup, an organisation dedicated to helping people affected by serious illness.

Tim knew that Parks Victoria had recently installed an accessible pontoon and hoist anchor point at Tooradin Jetty, so arranged to borrow a manual hoist for the day from Mornington Yacht Club through their Sailability Program and teamed up with Mario’s friends to take Mario out fishing in James’ boat.

Using the hoist, Mario was able to safely access the boat in his wheelchair and enjoy a day of fun on the water. We hear plans for their next fishing adventure are well underway.

Using the hoist to safely move Mario into the boat at Tooradin Jetty.
Using the hoist to safely move Mario into the boat at Tooradin Jetty.

Parks Victoria believes in the concept of environmental justice - that all people should have equitable access to nature for enjoyment, recreation, and to enhance their mental and physical health. With almost one in five Australians living with a disability of some type, Parks Victoria is undertaking work to remove barriers to park access and participation for visitors with disabilities.

As part of the work we recently installed anchor points for visitors to use their own manual hoists at Tooradin Jetty pontoon, as well as the free electric hoist at Patterson River. These hoist anchor points are suitable for the outdoor Hansa C Crane hoists that Sailability Clubs and other disability recreation groups commonly use. Similar anchor points are also provided on the Patterson River floating pontoon.

The Hanso C Crane hoist can be supplied by the user and inserted into the permanent anchor point at Tooradin Jetty.
The Hanso C Crane hoist can be supplied by the user and inserted into the permanent anchor point at Tooradin Jetty.

Find out more about Parks Victoria’s facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our parks at www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/all-abilities-access.

Tooradin Jetty was upgraded as part of the State Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works economic stimulus package. Watch this video ‘Rebuilding Tooradin Jetty’ to find out more about the jetty enhancements.

This story is published with the permission of the three friends.

Image credit: John Kenright Parks Victoria.


Media enquiries

Sally Hutchinson

(03) 8427 2453

sally.hutchinson@parks.vic.gov.au

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