About Us

Travengers was inspired by the founder Agnes’ younger autistic sister, Elise.

Travengers was launched in January 2020, after many years of frustration with the lack of opportunities for young people with social support needs.

Our Why

Many young people on the autism spectrum or with hidden disabilities struggle to fit in in the world, to make friends, or to build independence apart from family. Some may spend a lot of energy trying to fit in, by masking and adapting to a society they don’t feel like they fit into, while they see others do without being able to access it themselves.  

Being excluded or struggling to find your people can cause loneliness, anxiety and other challenges. This is why we started Travengers AU – Supported Youth Travel. 

Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to socialise, travel and to be a valid part of a community where they are accepted and appreciated. Through Travengers we connect people to build social networks, friendships, travel and build skills and confidence to move forward. And we aspire to educate others around us on our way. 

 

Some Insights

Our Mission & Vision

Mission Statement

We will create equal opportunities for young people with social support needs to travel, challenge themselves, build connections and enjoy a good quality of life.

We will educate others through our travels, and create a ripple-effect of acceptance and understanding.

Vision

A world where travel and social connections is possible for all young adults.

A world where people with hidden disabilities are accommodated for, and accepted and appreciated for who they are.

To be available for young people across Australia and beyond. 

Our Values

Kindness

And respect between us and everyone involved, no matter who we are and our backgrounds.

Curiosity

To listen, and to keep learning. To seek new adventures, and to be open minded.

Freedom

Creating opportunities, and empowering others to live as they wish.

Connection

Feeling connected can mean a lot for your mental health. We seek to create meaningful connections.

Meet The Team

Who We Are

Agnes Abelsen

Founder & Director
Agnes is a Learning Disability Nurse from Norway, and is passionate about equal opportunities and advocacy for young people on the spectrum. She also loves exploring and being active outdoors.

Steph Wilson

Travel Organiser 

Steph loves travelling. She has been to over 30 countries herself and helped travelers go to over 150 countries during her career, and has travelled around following the Special Olympics.

Nicholas Lapsley

Trip Planner
Nicholas is studying Entrepreneurship and loves challenging himself with new activities. He has Cerebral Palsy and hearing loss, and likes to prove people wrong about his capabilities.

Nicole Buhrmann

Tourism & Marketing
Nicole grew up in Switzerland, and is studying International Tourism Marketing. She absolutely loves to travel, and loves sharing her passion for travelling with people around her.

Ella Teague

Support Guide
Ella is studying to become an OT and loves travelling. She also loves to socialise and challenge herself, and supporting others to achieve their goals.

Greg Stewart

Support Guide
Greg is a boxing trainer, Support Worker and life coach. He's passionate about mental health and has a warm nature and a chilled vibe!

Jamaica Palispis

Tourism & Marketing
Jamaica is studying Business in International Tourism. She believes all young people deserve the opportunity to travel and live life, and therefore fell in love with Travengers' mission.

Mark Luis

Business Administration and Event Planning
Mark is studying Bachelor of Event Management. Mark loves basketball and is transferring his skills in team work and communication to the team.

Our Support Guides

All our Support Workers/guides have a minimum of First Aid Certificate, Police check, Working With Children Check, Yellow and/or Blue Card where applicable, 2 references, and relevant experience. We  follow the NDIS Code of Conduct, as well as our own tour training and procedures. Enquire to become a part of our team of Support Guides!

Our Story

Travengers was inspired by the founder Agnes Abelsen’s younger autistic sister, Elise. Elise was diagnosed late, and during her years in a “mainstream” school, she often fell between the cracks, not feeling like she fitted in anywhere. Now being 21, Elise wants to have friends, study, have a job and travel. She has amazing qualities, yet the world is not built for different.

Through studying Learning Disability Nursing and working over a decade with people with disabilities and on the autism spectrum, Agnes met many others struggling with loneliness, anxiety and making friends.

Then in 2017, Agnes moved to Australia to work in disability. Here she heard about a young man and his carer travelling from Europe to and around Australia. They were having the time of their lives. Hearing this, Agnes realised she had never met a young person with support needs on her travels, even though she had met many wanting to do so, including her sister. 

Knowing how much it means having something to look forward to, having people around you who accept you, and what having a good quality of life means for someone’s mental health – it sparked a strong motivation to make a change.

Besides, if Agnes could travel the world, why shouldn’t her sister be able to?

And so… the idea of Travengers was born, and in January 2020 it was finally launched, right before the pandemic. Since then we’ve connected many people through trips, social events and virtual tours, we’ve built a team, established an advisory board, and are in the process of expanding our services. We want young people and their families across Australia to be assured there are opportunities out there to meet people and be more independent, while experiencing the joys of travelling. 

There are still a lot of misconceptions around autism and hidden disabilities, and we will continue to work on our mission towards acceptance and inclusivity.

Our Supporters

We are fortunate to be supported by some great organisations.

Support our mission

Does what we do align with you? Get involved and make a real difference by supporting our vision.