Give us a Changing Place at the Show

The Royal Melbourne Show is Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event, held over 11 spectacular days in September at Melbourne Showgrounds. The 2016 Royal Melbourne Show will take place from Saturday 17 until Tuesday 27 September 2016. 

Conducted annually by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the Royal Melbourne Show celebrates and promotes excellence in Victorian agriculture, attracting around 450,000 people. However, there are no Changing Place toilet facilities at the Royal Melbourne Show which means that hundreds of individuals and families miss out or find themselves in undignified situations.

We would like to see a portable Changing Place or Marveloo at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show.

If you agree, please write to the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria at customerservice@rasv.com.au and CC info@changingplaces.org.au so that we can publish your story on this page. Help us prove that there is demand for this type of facility at the Show.

Your letters and stories

Maria – North Ringwood

My son is 14 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy. He is cognitively aware, is a mad Hawks supporter but don’t hold that against him.  He loves going out and about and we get out as much as we can.  He loves to go down to Eastland where he knows that his personal needs will be met.  Unfortunately this is something that we have to be aware of every time we go out.  We don’t have Changing Places everywhere we go and if we want to stay out at night, we have to do a change in the car which is not ideal due to privacy and it’s so damn hard lifting someone who is 45kg. I would love to be able to go to the Melbourne Show all day too, knowing that I have somewhere to change him and not get a pass out and go to the car and change him. No hoist, no change table, I have to transfer him to the car, then into the van and lay him down. Imagine having to lift someone who is 45 kg and he doesn’t help all that much with transfers.  It is a hell of a job to do. Then the reverse and get him into his chair on my own.

If we had a Changing Places facility at the Melbourne Show, it would make my life easier and staying at the show for a longer time and maybe we could even stay for the fireworks at night. 

When thinking of where to place the facility, they need to think of the distance carers need to walk, Melbourne Show Grounds is huge. Maybe they need to look at putting in more than one, one at either end of the grounds and one in the middle.

I went to the Melbourne Show last year and when I had to change my son, I had to go into the “Disabled” toilet but it was also a parent change room as well. Not only did we have to contend with carrying a picnic blanket, and all his change things. I had to lay him on the filthy floor once again which is undoubtedly very hard floor. I also had abusive parents banging on the door to tell us to hurry up, we were taking too long because they had to change their child in the same room on the comfortable change table on the wall.  It was very annoying being abused on top of the whole experience.  Imagine how my son would have felt about that. It was an awful experience, but we go out. I know some families that just don’t go anywhere because they just don’t have facilities to change their teen/adult child.

We went to the Independent Living Expo, on Wednesday 18th May, 2016. We caught public transport to the Melbourne Show Grounds, I assumed because it was a Disability Expo that there would be a change facility there for adults in wheelchairs.  This was not the case at all. Because I didn’t have our car, which is a converted Kia I had no option but to change my son on the floor of the disgustingly dirty disabled toilet, who knows what was on the floor. I felt so bad that I had to do this to him. I was also horrified that there were no previsions put into place for people like him.  It’s like they are treated like second class citizens and in 2016 we deserve a better change place. 

What has been put into place at Eastland is just outstanding. The accessibility, and space provided is incredible. I love the space as I can go into the room and move my son in his wheelchair and to where I need him with ease. The fact that there is a hoist and change table is incredible. And then to have a shower there in the corner as well is even better for those times of accidents.

Angela, Mount Waverly

Dears Organisers of the Royal Melbourne Show,

My family and I love going to the Royal Melbourne Show.  We enjoy seeing the exhibitors and displays, we love visiting the Country Women’s Associations cafe (their scones are delicious) but most of all my daughters (and husband) really love the show bags.

Unfortunately we have not been able to attend the show in the last couple of years as our youngest daughter, aged 16, has cerebral palsy and she has to be hoisted out of her wheelchair to use a toilet. In the past we have manually lifted her onto a toilet but she is too heavy to lift now. We thought our wonderful memories of the Melbourne Show would only be memories from now on until I saw the amazing Marveloo ( a disabled portable toilet with a ceiling hoist).  Having this special, disabled toilet available for Show patrons would mean we could once again go to the show like other families and enjoy a scone or two and get heaps of show bags and not have to worry about how to take our daughter to the toilet.

We urge you to consider having a Marveloo at the Royal Melbourne Show this year so that we and many other families can create more wonderful family memories together.

Please feel free to discuss this further with me.

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Don’t forget to CC in info@changingplaces.org.au so we can share your story

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