Aug 22, 2012

Bikes 4 Life Makes an Impact in Wadeye, Remote NT


Our Bikes 4 Life Volunteer Crew from Melbourne and Perth flew into Wadeye from Darwin on the 13th of August. The largest Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, Wadeye is accessible only by boat or air during the wet season.
'The smiles on those children’s faces was so gratifying for us, it was a pleasure to know that we improved the lives of so many young people. Thank you again to Kym Dann and the TDC for inviting Bikes 4 Life to your community.' 
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FULL ARTICLE: 
Our Bikes 4 Life Volunteer Crew from Melbourne and Perth flew into Wadeye from Darwin on the 13th of August. The largest Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, Wadeye is accessible only by boat or air during the wet season.
We were met at the airport by the lovely Kym Dann, who co-ordinated our whole visit and was our guide to Wadeye. Kym is the Social & Emotional Well Being Manager of the community and had been in the job for 6 weeks, but it was soon clear that she is well regarded by the many families she cares for.

Kym works under the umbrella of the Thamarrurr Development Corporation (TDC), a great organisation which is owned by community, and whose profits go back into the community. Amongst the huge variety of programs they run, they make natural products from native local plants (including billy goat plum said to be the world’s richest source of vitamin C) and farm crocodiles. They even get involved with bike charities! Personable and kind John Berto (“I’m of Tiwi mob”) is the CEO of TDC Wadeye. (pictured below)

The bikes were transported from our Perth workshop to Pacific National rail by Visa Global on the 2nd of August, then sent via rail to Adelaide and finally on to Darwin, the rail transport alone taking 7 days! The bikes arrived in Wadeye on the 13th, after 3 days on the road from Darwin, towed by a TOLL truck (thanks to Nick Elkins at TOLL Express) and were housed in our donated ANL container as they were distributed to the community.

Mechanically able and clever Matt Keene from our Melbourne HQ and Bikes 4 Life Representative, Damon Wilkinson (who was responsible for collecting this container full of bikes) helped the youngsters bring the remainder of the bikes to a road worthy state. The TDC  hosted a barbeque for us on the second day and we had the opportunity to meet representatives of the chief ‘clans’ and other local organisers like Phil Mitchell of TRAAC. The only school in the region also received a donation of 50 + bikes from us, to reward students for attending school, which is a huge problem in the community, and to also assist them with the travel to and from school.

The smiles on those children’s faces was so gratifying for us, it was a pleasure to know that we improved the lives of so many young people. Thank you again to Kym Dann and the TDC for inviting Bikes 4 Life to your community.
During our stay in Wadeye we also met with Tony Frawley, CEO of AFL NT, and discussed how Bikes 4 Life could benefit and work with the AFL NT’s Indigenous Football Programs, of which Tony runs over 9 for the AFL in the Northern Territory alone (the biggest being their Wadeye Project). We have been in talks with the AFL Indigenous Affairs guys here in Melbourne (Jason Mifsud- AFL Community Engagement Manager) so it was great to extend that relationship and for the AFL to actually see us during the execution of one of our Indigenous projects. It was a total coincidence that will hopefully lead to a new partnership for us! So thank you AFL and AFL NT…!

And of course, without our generous sponsors Bikes 4 Life wouldn’t be able to deliver so a huge thank you to our major sponsors of our Bikes 4 Life 2012 Indigenous Program: Visa Global Logistics; ANL Container Hire & Sales; TOLL Express; GWA; Pacific National Rail; Highlands Mining; FUEL C.D.I and Man With a Van for the monumental journey those bikes took to get to the remote and needy community of Wadeye, NT. And to our volunteers also, many thanks – You are our life blood and not only do we love you, we couldn’t do any of this without you!

See www.bikes4life.com.au - Volunteers and bikes needed in Melbourne Brisbane & Sydney!
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Would you like to volunteer with Bikes 4 Life?
- We are recruiting in a number of areas so send us an email today expressing your interest: admin@bikes4life.com.au!!

** Interested in nominating a group, individual or whole community to be the beneficiary of our bikes?
 Check out our appeals program and make your nomination today! 

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