Royal Australian Mint is hidden disability aware thanks to Sunflower initiative

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Royal Australian Mint is hidden disability aware thanks to Sunflower initiative

The Royal Australian Mint is excited to be the first Sunflower aware National Cultural Institution on the Canberra Sunflower map.

The Mint’s front-of-house Visitor Experience team have recently undertaken training with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower – a rapidly growing initiative spanning dozens of countries, including Australia, aiming to help the world identify and help people with invisible disabilities.

By wearing a sunflower lanyard, lapel or wristband, people with disabilities that aren't immediately apparent can signal to others they may need help, understanding or alternative communication methods as they go about their day.

The Mint’s Education and Visitor Services Coordinator Meg Shakeshaft said not every disability was visible.

“Living with a hidden disability, like epilepsy or autism, can make accessing the community more challenging for people. Hidden disabilities can be difficult for others to recognise, which is often the biggest barrier for people accessing additional support and understanding.

“People who have a hidden disability can choose to wear a Sunflower lanyard or wrist band, which discreetly indicates to staff and others that they may need additional time, support or understanding. This provides a consistent icon that is recognisable between locations, including travelling through the airport, on public transport, attending sport, or coming to the Mint,” Ms Shakeshaft said.

Royal Australian Mint CEO Leigh Gordon encouraged other cultural institutions to become Sunflower aware also.

“The sunflower icon connects organisations and communities across the country, encouraging and enabling more people to demonstrate tolerance and actively support inclusion for all. The sunflower encourages staff to ask someone if they can help, and assist people with living with disability to feel welcome, understood and valued.

“Taking the lead locally on this initiative is a proud moment for the Mint,” Mr Gordon said.

The initiative started at England's Gatwick Airport in 2016 to provide a way for people to discreetly flag their hidden disability so airport staff could offer the wearer support.

 

About the Royal Australian Mint

The Mint is an award-winning, world class Mint and a global leader in the mint industry. The Mint produces circulating coins for Australia and other countries; collectible and investment coins for domestic and international customers; and custom-made medals, medallions and tokens for individual or corporate clients.

The Mint is also a national cultural attraction that educates millions of Australians and international visitors on the history of Australia’s decimal currency, and the significance and value of coins.

 

Caption: Royal Australian Mint Visitor Experience team members – Joanne Gabrielle, Hanna Shteinman and Graeme Sixsmith – proudly wearing their Sunflower apparel to signal they are hidden disability aware.