CONTRIBUTED BY STEPHANIE FABER
Disabilities can create many barriers in people’s lives, leaving them isolated from the community. Nature Freedom is an organisation based on Brisbane’s bayside that has been helping people with disabilities engage with their communities since 2017 through their inclusive and accessible activities, such as paddling and bushwalking.
This year, the organisation expanded its offerings to include Inclusive Cultural Tours at Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). The first of these tours was held in July and was enjoyed by everyone who attended.
The event was run in partnership with local tour company Yura Tours, whose founder Elisha met the group at Dunwich. While most of the group took the provided tour bus over to Point Lookout, Elisha provided her car so that one participant in a wheelchair could also take part in the tour.
The group reconvened at Point Lookout, where Elisha passed around native flora used by her people – the Quandamooka people. Being able to touch, smell (and even taste, in some cases) the island’s flora was a highlight for the vision-impaired participants in the group.
Afterwards, the group spent time along the walkways, taking in the incredible views of the beaches and the deep blue ocean stretching out to the horizon. They even spotted some whales off in the distance, breaking the water’s surface with bursts of white spray.
The event concluded with a light lunch back at Dunwich out in the warm sun, looking out onto the sparkling waters of Moreton Bay.
It was a tour everyone enjoyed and learnt from, regardless of their abilities. Participants are already looking forward to returning to Minjerribah on Nature Freedom’s next Cultural Tour in October.
For more information about Nature Freedom, visit naturefreedom.org.au.