Accessibility and Inclusion

The Winston Churchill Trust is committed to accessible and inclusive practices.

It is important to us that we work with you to create a positive Fellowship experience. Below you’ll find how we can provide support to you, as an applicant and a Churchill Fellow.

Pictured: Churchill Fellow Helen Smith

How we support accessibility and inclusion

The Trust is committed to accessible and inclusive practices, and a respect for the spectrum of diversity. We work to ensure that all of our Fellows, volunteers and staff feel valued and supported.

We are continually improving the accessibility of the Churchill Fellowship. We do this by:

  • Embedding an inclusive culture that anticipates, and seamlessly accommodates diversity

  • Listening to you and acting on feedback

  • Recognising our diverse Trust community

  • Providing access to support opportunities

  • Seeking to attract and retain a diverse Fellowship community which is representative of the nation we serve to improve.

We welcome applications for Churchill Fellowships from people from all walks of life. It is important to us that we work with you to create a positive Fellowship experience and encourage all applicants requiring additional support, including the provision of reasonable adjustments to contact the Trust Team.

Application Support

We can provide support to you, as an applicant, to complete your application in the online system and/or during attendance at interviews. For example, we may be able to provide with:

  • Provisions for attending face-to-face interviews using video interview alternatives
  • Technical support to complete applications
  • An Auslan interpreter to assist at first and final interviews.

Fellowship Travel Support

If you are awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas, we can provide additional support and funds to cover an additional person to travel with you. For example, we may be able to provide with:

  • Airline seat upgrades for Fellows unable to travel in economy class
  • Cover for pre-existing medical condition insurance premiums
  • An allowance to cover airfares, accommodation, meals, incidentals and rail travel for a carer/companion or an Auslan interpreter to accompany you as a Churchill Fellow
  • Additional funding for hire of an accessible car.

Post-Fellowship Support

Once you return from your Fellowship, we can provide support so that you can disseminate your Fellowship findings and maintain contact with the Churchill community. For example, we may be able to provide with:

  • Funds to employ an Auslan interpreter to attend Churchill Fellow Association functions with you
  • Hearing loop services for certain speaking engagements.

Morwenna’s Story

As a musician and arts manager with disability, I had witnessed many barriers for people with disability to engage with music across Australia, as either artists, participants or audience members. I used my Fellowship to explore inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage people with disability in the UK, Ireland and USA. I interviewed 124 people via 83 interviews from 74 different organisations – over 60 days and across 17 cities, in 3 countries on 2 continents. It was the deepest learning experience of my life and was truly life changing. It gave me the confidence to leave my day job on my return to Australia and establish a consulting business in the area I gained knowledge in through the Fellowship experience. The Fellowship has also led me to build partnerships with other like-minded organisations, such as Music NSW, with the aim of shifting the culture of the music industry across Australia to become more accessible and inclusive.

I had very positive experiences during all stages of my Fellowship journey – from the application stage, itinerary preparation, undertaking the travel and then writing up the findings on my return. The Churchill Trust team were incredibly supportive, helpful and flexible at every step along the way. While not all professional development opportunities are always accessible and inclusive for people from different backgrounds, the Churchill Trust certainty makes an effort to remove barriers for people with disability and is genuinely interested in supporting Australians from all walks of life to undertake research for the benefit of the Australian community. I encourage all members of the disability community, and people from other diverse backgrounds, to consider making an application in future years.

Morwenna Collet CF 2018 

Ebru’s Story

My Churchill Fellowship journey began by enquiring about the various stages of the application process.  I was trying to gauge how accommodating the Trust would be to my disability and how inclusive and accessible their practices were. As a blind applicant I had reservations about the application process, whether or not to identify as well as how I would travel independently and safely if I were awarded a Fellowship.   My concerns were quickly allayed by all levels of staff within the Trust who stressed that my disability would in no way prohibit my application from being considered or prevent them from awarding me the Fellowship.  Moreover the Trust assured me that the safety of all Fellows, irrespective of disability, is their priority and if this meant that I would require someone to accompany me for part or all of my Fellowship journey then they would be willing to accommodate that. The staff at the Trust recognised my trepidation and connected me with Fellows who also happened to identify as having a disability.

At all stages of the journey, from the initial enquiry to the rewarding of the medallion, the team at the Trust have been accommodating, flexible and always encouraging.  There was nothing ever too difficult for the Trust to overcome and this included my request to have my mother accompany me on my Fellowship journey.

My Churchill experience, and my learnings, have been absolutely lifechanging.  My experience has provided me with confidence and a better insight into my capabilities and how I can overcome my own prejudices on what I can and can’t achieve.  If my experience is anything to go by, I strongly encourage anyone, with or without a disability, to throw their hat in the ring and apply.  Don’t let your disability stop you!

Ebru Sumaktas CF 2017

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