Title

Bike project recognised for community engagement award

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 4-15-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place

Fremantle

Abstract

A not-for-profit program centred on building brighter futures using pre-loved bicycle parts has won students Lachlan and Bridie Ritchie the Heart Award at The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) Fremantle’s Arts and Sciences Awards Night held in April.

The Heart Award is presented to a student or students that demonstrate the School’s commitment to social justice and community in displaying education and awareness of issues such as reconciliation and sustainability.

Lachlan and Bridie were nominated for the award by Dr Martin Drum, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Fremantle, for their ability to inspire people around them and their selfless service on Campus and in the community.

Their program, Dismantle, has been running since mid-2010 and is based on recycling and rejuvenating bicycle parts to encourage alternative transport and promote better health initiatives in the Fremantle area.

The idea flourished when the students began exploring poverty and inequality in society and saw change as an effective way of ‘dismantling’ those cycles.

Since its inception, Lachlan and Bridie have fixed, upgraded and built hundreds of bicycles, as well as conducting the inaugural Freo Tweed Run last year which saw more than 200 people dressed in their most dapper fashions cycle up and down Fremantle streets.

The next chapter of Dismantle’s growth in the community will see the Ritchies bring a bike mechanics and restoration course to disadvantaged youth in an effort to provide them with positive role models and the opportunity to feel included in a friendly atmosphere.

The Bike Rescue Project will be a 20 hour course set over 10 weeks, giving students a chance to learn the basics of bicycle restoration before adding their touch to a donated bicycle.

“I guess we are trying to be the change that we want to see in the world,” Lachlan said.

“We are both passionate advocates for human rights, environmentally friendly living and social equality.

“Like any revolution, we believe that the transition to healthy, sustainable living begins one person at a time. It has got to come from the ground up.”

Bridie said receiving the Heart Award was a proud moment as it allowed her and Lachlan to reflect on what they had achieved.

“Bikes are such a fantastic medium that link with so many areas including the environment, health and arts, so the possibilities for future programs are endless,” Bridie said.

Dr Drum said he was proud of Lachlan and Bridie’s achievements.

“We are fortunate to have two young people who are so deserving of our Heart Award, which is the award that exemplifies the commitment of our School towards community engagement,” Dr Drum said.

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093