Thursday, October 19, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Locals Light Up Small Screen

With Accessible Tourism campaign

For the first time, possibly ever, two young people with disabilities are starring in a new accessible tourism video that is being filmed right here in the Whitsundays.

Jenny and Charlie from the Cannonvale Learning and Lifestyle Hub were thrilled to take centre-stage in the Endeavour Foundation promotional video that not only markets the Whitsunday region, but also promotes inclusivity to all.

A recent study by Tourism and Events Queensland showed holidaymakers with a disability account for 17 per cent of all tourism expenditure and, with this in mind, it is easy to see how this video will benefit the whole region.

The same study showed that the disability sector injects a total of $3.3 billion into the economy, but the last few days’ experience has been priceless for two locals who became the stars of the show.

Jenny Atkinson and Charlie Bell are both well-known faces in the area and proof that living with disabilities does not hold you back from enjoying a full life.

This is one of the reasons they were chosen to star in the video, making them the first people with a disability presenting a film of this kind.

Jenny said she was happy and excited to be part of the production.

“I like showing people with disability what they can do,” she said.

“We live in paradise!”

Charlie agreed, saying that his favourite activities are spending time at the lagoon, sailing, swimming, and snorkelling around the islands.

“Sun, sea, fun and food – we all love a good holiday!” are the lines he says in the video.

The campaign commenced filming at the Airlie Beach lagoon on Tuesday, with a luxurious picnic experience supplied by local company, Ocean Dynamics.

The next day, the team continued filming at Daydream Island.

Telling the story of an idyllic, accessible vacation, the two film stars enjoy some of the top accessible activities and accommodation sites, primarily for people with disability.

“In the year of Accessible Tourism, this is a true celebration of holiday inclusivity, and we couldn’t think of a better way than to have Jenny and Charlie lead the charge,” said Sharon Wood, Head of Fundraising, Endeavour Foundation.

“We are also excited as we believe it’s a first – not only showcasing the region’s accessibility on video but having people with disability presenting it ... and why wouldn’t they!?

“The video highlights various locations on the mainland and on Daydream Island, that accommodates all people, showcasing places with sensory spaces, mobility assistance support, accommodation options, as well as sites that cater for people on wheels – so that’s wheely walkers, families with prams, and of course people in wheelchairs,” added Mrs Wood.

“No matter what our clients want to do, Endeavour Foundation can offer the support to achieve it,” confirmed Mrs Wood.

The video will be released before the end of the month.

Kristy Puckridge, Brigette Robbiard, Charlie Bell, Amanda Crockford, Jenny Atkinson and Jody Flaherty

Charlie and Jenny were filmed near Airlie Beach Lagoon earlier this week. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

The dynamic duo kicked back and enjoyed a relaxing picnic together. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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