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Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council

Customers boarding a train at an assisted boarding platform

About the Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council 

The Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council (the Council) is an independent advisory body. It was established to provide strategic policy and accessibility advice on significant transport and infrastructure projects across the Queensland Government transport portfolio.

The Council will provide this advice to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail to ensure Queensland delivers a single integrated transport network accessible to everyone.

The Council is jointly administered by:

  • the Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Queensland Rail, and
  • supported with a Department of Transport and Main Roads appointed secretariat.

2022 Meeting dates

The Transport Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on the following days:

  • 23 February 2022
  • 11 April 2022
  • 16 May 2022
  • 18 July 2022
  • 12 September 2022
  • 14 November 2022

Chair—Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council

Michael FordRetired District Court Judge Mr Michael Forde has been appointed as the inaugural Council Chair. Mr Forde was admitted as a barrister in 1974 and served at the Bar of Queensland for 20 years. In 1995, Mr Forde was appointed to the District Court before retiring from the bench in 2009. 

Mr Forde holds a Masters in Public Sector Management (Hons) from Griffith University and in 2004, was awarded a Special Commendation in Judicial Excellence from the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.

Mr Forde also led the New Generation Rollingstock Train Commission of Inquiry and his recommendations highlighted the importance of early and authentic engagement with people with disability to deliver functional and compliant design solutions. 

Mr Forde's report was welcomed by the disability sector as the recommendations demonstrated his understanding of the community's concerns and requirements. 

Independent members

The Council consists of:

  • the Chair
  • 7 independent members appointed by the Minister for Transport and Main Roads for a term of up to 3 years
  • 1 Department of Transport and Main Roads representative
  • 1 Queensland Rail representative. 

In March 2021 The Minister for Transport and Main Roads announced the 7 new independent members of the Council. 

A number of members have a lived disability, including hidden disabilities.

Dr Emily Steel

Emily Steel

Dr Emily Steel holds a PhD in Law, Masters in Public Health and Bachelors degree in Occupation Therapy. Dr Steel has extensive experience in research, policy and practice across Universal Design, health and disability services. 


Mr John Mayo, Deputy Chair—Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council

John Mayo

John Mayo is Chief Advisor – Government, at Spinal Life Australia. Mr Mayo has extensive experience as an access and inclusion advocate and policy advisor about accessibility. 

Mr Mayo has worked on many accessible public transport projects. He has provided accessibility advice on customer access to public transport vehicles, buildings, infrastructure, precincts and information - all aimed at maximising the social and economic performance of venues and regions.

Mr Mayo is a member of the National Accessible Transport Taskforce. This taskforce works towards modernising the Australian public transport legislation. Mr Mayo is a recipient of the United Nations international Year of the Build Environment Award (Accessibility).


Ms Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley

Ms Sarah Hartley is a lawyer with a background in discrimination law and advocating for people with disability at Vision Australia. Ms Harley has a vision impairment and has consulted on a number of public transport projects.


Ms Wendy Lovelace

Natalia Naumann

Ms Wendy Lovelace is a registered architect with extensive experience in accessible design within the build environment. Ms Lovelace has worked across public transport and liveable housing design and has Multiple Sclerosis and uses a powered wheelchair.

Farewell Wendy

Our dear friend and advocate Wendy Lovelace sadly passed away Sunday 1 May 2022. Wendy combined her professional knowledge as an architect with lived experience to make the built environment accessible for all. She worked in a quiet, cheerful and resolute way to convince others of her cause.   

Wendy was determined to keep living the life she had always valued, travelling, exploring gourmet interests, enjoying the arts, including literature, music and theatre. Wendy valued the importance of friendship and connection and always had a good joke up her sleeve.

Although Wendy's health declined rapidly over the last 12 months, she did not allow this to interfere with her advocacy and advisory roles. Her courage in the face of adversity was remarkable. In the days leading up to her passing, Wendy was scheduling meetings to discuss her plans and proposals. Her great desire while in hospital was to be discharged, get back to work and in her words "be useful again". 

"The two hardest things to say in life is hello for the first time and goodbye for the last." - Moira Rogers

Wendy, you were a champion of change, a fierce advocate, a friend, and a woman of many talents. Your contributions to the Transport and Infrastructure sectors will always be cherished.

Our reflections

Person in a wheelchair

"Wendy loved life and made the most of it. Not only was she a passionate advocate for the inclusion of all people in our society but she also valued the importance of maintaining the life she valued, maintaining her dignity whilst defying the barriers that tried to make her 'captive of care'. Those who knew Wendy appreciated her passion, humour and gusto for life. Vale Wendy, you will be greatly missed but never forgotten." –Kevin Cocks, Executive General Manager, Accessible Transport Network, Office of the Director General, Department of Transport and Main Roads.

"Wendy did first rate work on ferries and ferry terminals. The Brisbane River ferry terminals with their gangways large and small are a testimony to her work, as are the accessibility features of the CityCat ferries. Wendy was a tireless advocate for accessible housing and it is some comfort that she lived to see this advocacy lead to the adoption of accessible housing standards in the National Construction Code." –John MacPherson, Manager, Accessible Transport Network, Office of the Director General, Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Ms Natalie Naumann

Natalia Naumann

Ms Natalie Naumann has a background in project management and local government, with extensive experience working on accessible public transport projects in North Queensland. Ms Naumann has Scoliosis and as a Townsville resident, represents regional Queensland.


Mr Shannon Wandmaker

Shannon Wandmaker

Mr Shannon Wandmaker is an aviation consultant with a strong background in aviation security and passenger facilitation. Mr Wandmaker is a haemophiliac with arthritis, and is an advocate for hidden disabilities.


Dr Kelly Bertolaccini

Dr. Kelly Bertolaccini

Dr Kelly Bertolaccini has a PhD in engineering and has undertaken extensive research into inclusive transport and urban planning. Dr Bertolaccini has worked extensively in academia to better understand the impact of accessible design and engineering for people with disability.


Through a combination of lived experiences, involvement in peak disability groups and technical and academic knowledge, the Council members will deliver and provide an informed input to assist the Queensland Government make informed decisions about accessibility and building an inclusive society for all Queenslanders.  

All appointments to the Council are made in accordance with the requirements of the Queensland Cabinet Handbook.

For more information on the Council, contact

Last updated
11 May 2022