FestABLE brings together the best of a community

Published on 25 Jan 2023


  • Organised in partnership with the Fraser Coast Regional Council and several disability stakeholders to provide a safe and accessible event.
  • Attendees gave overwhelmingly positive feedback, endorsing a second FestABLE for 2023.

Creating better events

In late 2022, the inaugural FestABLE event took place in Pialba, Queensland.

This community event was held for, designed and managed by people with disability in collaboration with community leaders in the Fraser Coast, Maryborough region.

The FestABLE 2022 working group was made up of representatives from APM Communities, Fraser Coast Regional Council and a number of disability organisations.

These included Hervey Bay Disability Interagency Networking group (HB-DING), Accessible Globe TV (owned by a person with disability), Disability Support Network Fraser Coast, and people with disability who are members of the Hervey Bay Disability Consultancy group.

Accessibility success

FestABLE was held on a summer evening in a community space where attendees could feel safe, and able to access transport and pathways to and from the event.

The Seafront Oval event housed 61 stalls, with a live performance stage, entertainment, showbags along with featuring microenterprises run by people with disability.

The relaxed atmosphere gave more people and their families an opportunity to connect with disability service providers and community services.

Over 3000 people attended FestABLE, 400 of whom were people with disability.

The day’s entertainment was hosted and live streamed by a local person with disability, Rod Gothe, owner of Accessible Globe TV.

The live stream was attended by approximately 850 people.

Effecting positive change in the community

Previous large community events in the Fraser Coast were not always co-designed, accessible and attendance was poor.

The inclusion of local community services, peer groups and sole traders was limited by high entry costs.

The working group were guided by seven key principles:

  1. Celebrating a good life
  2. Giving back to the community by people with disability and local businesses
  3. Showcasing the unique talents of people with disability
  4. Designing and leading the event by people with disability
  5. Encouraging people with disability to share their services and wares
  6. Creating valued roles for people with disability
  7. Providing a safe and welcoming event.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive – with attendees enjoying the event and overwhelmingly endorsed a second FestABLE to be held in 2023.

“FestABLE was amazing. So many people with disability came along or joined in via livestreaming” APM Local Area Coordinator Sarah said.

“Everyone loved the live music, the interviews, and the up-beat atmosphere. It was great to help set up an event designed and run by people with disability specifically for people with disability, their families and community.”

“Our 2023 event will involve even more people with disability in a wide range of DJ, vendor, performance, leadership and support roles making it a truly co-designed and disability-led event” Sarah added.

With more people with disability expressing interest to join the working group or subgroups it’s sure to be a great event this year.

Find out more about inclusive and accessible events

APM Communities partners with many organisations and communities to create more accessible events.

If you want to make positive changes to your event, or in your area – get in touch with APM Communities by calling 1800 276 522 or emailing apmnet@ndis.gov.au.

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.

Our Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help people with disability, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need.