For 96 years Travellers Aid has been proudly assisting travellers to the City of Melbourne. Its service philosophy is built around something that many of us take for granted and that is the freedom to travel independently. With 20 staff and 45 volunteers, Travellers Aid aims to make everyday travel possible for all people by promoting autonomy, independence and social inclusion throughout its service delivery.
Travellers Aid has adapted as the needs of travellers to Melbourne have evolved, from greeting ships at the docks in the early days to providing internet access and the hire of motorised mobility equipment to the travellers of today. With over 260, 000 visitors to the city every day (not including residents, workers or students), it is no surprise that the services of Travellers Aid are appreciated by so many.
Assistance is provided to thousands of public transport users every year, including the elderly, people with disabilities and others in need. Travellers Aid works hard to enable all people to travel safely and confidently to medical appointments, education, employment, to negotiate public transport and access the city from regional and rural areas. This work has helped generations of people lead fuller and more independent and productive lives and will be all the more relevant and beneficial as Melbourne continues to grow.
Travellers Aid operates across three sites, the main ones being at Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station where a 7-day a week service provides facilities and relief programs to public transport users otherwise unable to travel for physical, social or economic reasons.
The organisation is a passionate advocate for travellers in need, particularly social justice issues concerned with equity and access. As such, it was actively involved in the development of Victoria’s Accessible Tourism Action Plan, aimed at improving tourism experiences for people with disabilities.
Travellers Aid also provide a range of short and long term volunteer opportunities including: mutual obligation or “Work for the Dole” programs; mentoring and supporting volunteers who are returning to the workforce after unemployment, illness or injury and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are leaning English; corporate and skilled volunteering; medical companion volunteers; project based volunteering; online volunteering (by distance) and student placements.