Stockland partners with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program

3 min
17 July 2023

Stockland is proud to announce its partnership with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program as part of our commitment to making our town centres inclusive and accessible to all customers, and to raise awareness for people with non-visible conditions or disabilities.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program is a global initiative across 39 countries designed to support people across the world living with non-visible disabilities and medical conditions. The Hidden Disabilities lanyard, wristband, or pin is a simple tool that enables the wearer to indicate that they may require a little more time, support, or assistance to navigate their day.  

Stockland Executive General Manager – Town Centres, Michelle Abbey said our approach to social sustainability across our centres is layered and holistic.

“We listen to our communities and draw on their lived experience, as well as seek input from the not-for-profit sector and experts, to introduce programs and initiatives that make it easier for people to visit and enjoy their time at our centres,” said Ms Abbey.

“Our social sustainability goals at our centres are achieved through a mix of infrastructure, navigational tools, and education and awareness raising like the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program.

“As part of the program, customers at our centres can receive a free lanyard, wristband or pin to indicate they have a non-visible condition or disability and may require additional assistance, understanding, or more time.”

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program lanyards, wristbands and pins will be available at the Customer Care desks at 12 of Stockland’s town centres from 17 July. Posters with QR codes will also be displayed at some of our centres for customers to order their lanyards online.  

“Stockland employees across our town centres, as well as our security and cleaning contractors, have received training about the program and are available to assist customers should they need it,” added Ms Abbey.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Australia and New Zealand Director, Justin Bruce thanked Stockland for helping to raise awareness for the Sunflower.

“By adopting the Sunflower program and training their employees to offer support to Sunflower wearers, Stockland are helping visitors and employees with hidden disabilities to become visible when and where they choose, to access the centres and to feel welcome and included. This builds a more inclusive society for all,” said Mr Bruce.

Other programs and initiatives to improve inclusion and accessibility at our town centres include amenities and facilities upgrades at several town centres, such as changing places facilities, quiet rooms, all gender bathrooms, and accessible bathrooms. Navigational tools like Sensory Maps are also assisting people with disability and sensory processing differences to plan their trip before visiting our centres.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program is available at:

  • Stockland Burleigh Heads
  • Stockland Forster
  • Stockland Glendale
  • Stockland Green Hills
  • Stockland Hervey Bay
  • Stockland Merrylands
  • Stockland Point Cook
  • Stockland Rockhampton
  • Stockland Shellharbour
  • Stockland Townsville
  • Stockland Wetherill Park

Background about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program

  • Some disabilities, conditions or chronic illnesses are not immediately obvious to others. For some people, this can make it hard to understand and believe that someone with a “non-visible” condition genuinely needs support.

  • The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program is a simple tool for people to voluntarily share that they have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent.

  • It lets people know that they may need a helping hand, understanding, or more time in shops or public spaces, like shopping centres.

  • The program has been created to encourage inclusion, acceptance and understanding of people with a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent.

  • The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program is a global initiative across 39 countries, where staff are being trained at airports, supermarkets and emergency services.