Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.


Breaking Barriers: Event Leaders Pave the Way for Accessibility and Inclusion

By Maddi Devoy|

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET), operators of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and the future Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre have taken a significant step towards inclusivity with the launch of their latest Accessibility Action Plan.

Welcoming visitors from diverse backgrounds, MCET is committed to providing safe spaces to connect and engage.

According to the World Health Organisation, 16% of people worldwide have a severe disability, while almost 20% of Australians have a disability according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. This is a significant number of people who experience barriers to accessing public spaces and events.

MCET adopts the social model view, recognising these barriers are due to social systems and structures, rather than the individual, and the new Accessibility Action Plan seeks to address both physical and non-visible barriers.

The Plan focuses on four key goals; improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities; improving access to goods, services and facilities at MCEC and Nyaal Banyul; collaborating with event organisers to ensure everyone can meaningfully participate and engage in events; and changing discriminatory attitudes, behaviours and practices.

MCET has already made significant progress towards accessibility and inclusion across both venues.

The iconic Melbourne venue, MCEC has a range of accessible features available to support visitors with mobility needs, vision impairment and assisted hearing. MCEC’s new website launched last year was designed with inclusivity in mind, complying to WCAG 2.0 Level AA Accessibility Guidelines, and providing information about accessible features as well as virtual tours of the venue, allowing visitors to easily explore, navigate and plan their visit. Over the next three years, MCET has committed to further enhancing accessibility at the venue.

Construction of Nyaal Banyul, which is set to open on the Geelong waterfront in 2026 is currently underway. MCET is working closely with the Victorian Government and the consortium led by Plenary Conventions to ensure Universal Design principles are embedded throughout the venue, ensuring accessible gathering spaces for all who visit.

In addition, the Positive Impact Guide was launched last year to provide event organisers with tangible resources to embed corporate social responsibility into their events. The guide includes information on accommodations that can be made to support attendees, as well as partnerships with leading disability service providers, Travellers Aid and Alkira.

MCET’s Accessibility Action Plan was developed with input from people with lived experience along with expertise from accessibility consultants in the tourism industry. This included support from the City of Melbourne Business Capacity Program.

The Accessibility Action Plan has been designed specifically with accessibility and reasonable reading levels in mind, and is available in Plain Language and Easy English formats on our website .

Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulous

“We’re proud to work with the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Trust, and I congratulate MCET for their work on the Accessibility Action Plan that will help everyone who visits MCEC and Nyaal Banyul to feel welcome.”

Quote attributable to Chief Executive Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, Natalie O’Brien AM

“As leaders in the events industry, it’s our duty to set the standard for accessibility and inclusion. We’re proud to release our latest Accessibility Action Plan, affirming our commitments to providing welcoming spaces for everyone that visits our venues.”