We all should be aware of how our council rates are being expended, and there is no better time to see this in a nutshell than at this year's Ekka. The theme for the Brisbane City Council's 2013 stand in the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion on Gregory Terrace is An Accessible and Inclusive Brisbane. Inclusive communities not only provide access for people with disability but also for those who may be hampered in their access by being non-English speaking citizens. Council's mission to cater for its diverse range of citizens is highlighted in its current presentation at the Brisbane Ekka.
At the end of the Story Bridge façade is a multicultural wall in six of the most common languages spoken in Brisbane – English, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Arabic – explaining the Brisbane Residents Guide.
Several live multicultural performances at the front of the stand will highlight the Council's commitment to a diverse Brisbane. The final performance is set down for Wednesday August 14 at 10.30am.
Even if a citizen has neither a disability nor comes from a non-English speaking background, physical accessibility to all the city has to offer is highly dependent on the availability of public transport. Visitors can interact with Council in the virtual environment of driving a bus on five iconic and popular bus routes.
Council is participating in the Thiess Ekka Learning Trail, an educational exercise for school age children from Years 3 – 10. Explanatory booklets and their accompanying passports are available at the Council stand.
Council has also published a School Information Kit booklet. Topics range from aboriginal history through to suggestions as to how young people can get involved with their city. This would make a great Civics teaching resource if such a subject can still be fitted into the curriculum.
Another interesting and educational activity for the technologically astute younger generation is access to computer games. This is a great time for parents to relax and rest their weary bones while children exercise busy fingers and minds. It has been known to occupy some for almost an hour. Most participants are dragged away unwillingly.
A major project for the Brisbane City Council over the past three years has been the restoration of City Hall. A comprehensive video of all this has entailed is shown on a continuous loop at the front of the stand. It highlights the efforts of our home-grown master craftsmen who have restored this grand old lady of Brisbane to her former charm, while bringing her into the twenty-first century technologically.
If you still want to know more about Council services, a brochure stand contains information on the City Hall Mobility Centre, Council's Early Warning Network Alert Service and Study Brisbane. Council staff members are on hand to answer any questions you may have or direct you to the correct channels to follow up on your queries.