The remote Western Australian community of Kununurra is set to benefit from the generosity of Southern Highlanders with the imminent arrival of a shipping container of refurbished bicycles.
Closing the door on the container packed with hundreds of bikes was Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Duncan Gair, Steve Glendenning from Resource Recovery Australia and volunteers from Bikes 4 Life.
“This container is the culmination of almost a year of work from the volunteers from Bikes 4 Life,” Mayor Gair said.
“This is now the seventh container the team has shipped from Council’s Resource Recovery Centre.”
The previous container load of bicycles was delivered to disadvantaged school children in Myanmar late last year.
On arrival in Kununurra the bicycles will be handed over to the team from East Kimberley Job Pathways (EKJP) which works with the local community by providing greater employment pathways.
Southern Highlands Bikes 4 Life and Resource Recovery Australia (RRA) volunteer Hans Radowitz has been invited to visit Kununurra after the arrival of the container. The RRA manage Council’s Reviva Centre (located within the grounds of Resource Recovery Centre), and it was their relationship with both Bikes4Life and EKJP that facilitated the opportunity to provide bikes for communities in need in remote Australia.
“The Chief Executive Officer of EKJP has kindly invited us over to see how they plan to use the bikes to run education programs for the town’s youth,” Hans said. “At the same time we’ll use the opportunity to run some bicycle maintenance and repair workshops for the locals.”
Mayor Gair said that in addition to helping those less fortunate the volunteers were saving hundreds of bicycles from being scrapped or crushed.
“This is a truly wonderful effort and one that Council is extremely proud to be involved with,” he said.
Formerly known as Bicycles for Change, Bikes 4 Life is an Australian not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to recycle bicycles and transport to communities in need. The local branch works out of Council’s Resource Recovery Centre.
Since starting in 2010 Mr Radowitz and his fellow volunteers estimate they have restored almost 3,000 bicycles donated from across the Shire.
“I reckon I’ve repaired just about every make and model of bicycle there is,” he laughed. “But it’s the generosity of our Shire’s residents that still surprises us.”
Mr Radowitz said as soon as the latest container left the premises a new one would take its place.
“We’re not resting on our laurels and plans are already in place to fill another Council and Resource Recovery Australia sponsored container,” he said.
“We accept all types of bikes but given the conditions they’ll be used in, mountain bikes are the most sought after.”
The latest shipment coincides with Council pledging $1000 each year towards the cost of transporting the containers.
In addition to bicycles, collapsible wheelchairs, crutches and walkers are also accepted.
Bicycles and wheelchairs can be dropped off free-of-charge at Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Centre during normal business hours.
For more information visit www.bikes4life.com.au or phone 0403 073 643.
Bikes 4 Life is a registered charity and incorporated association operated entirely by volunteers.