Postie bike fundraiser delivers

Postie bike fundraiser delivers


Events
What a backdrop. The riders who tackled the Gibb River Road for the unique fundraising event.

What a backdrop. The riders who tackled the Gibb River Road for the unique fundraising event.

Aa

WIDE open spaces, pindan dirt as far as the eye can see, and waterholes with crocodiles.

Aa
 Participants gear up for another day of fun, riding their postie bikes through the stunning Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Participants gear up for another day of fun, riding their postie bikes through the stunning Kimberley region of Western Australia.

WIDE open spaces, pindan dirt as far as the eye can see, and waterholes with crocodiles.

Throw in a red postie motorbike and it certainly doesn't sound like your typical fundraising experience.

But for some 70 people, the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley has been their home for a week as they have supported the not-for-profit Bright Blue Charity for Sick Children by participating in the eighth annual Gibb River Postie Bike Ride.

The ride is an adventure with a difference, with participants using postie bikes provided by Australia Post to complete the trip, taking in the epic scenery of the Kimberley while negotiating creek crossings, unsealed roads and sleeping under the stars.

When it first began the ride was a nine day, one-way from Broome to Kununurra, but demand grew to the point that over the past few years a return trip was scheduled.

Some of the riders stop for a break on their postie bike trek.

Some of the riders stop for a break on their postie bike trek.

This year 35 places were offered for each route, with the first trip kicking off in Broome on June 7.

Riders made their way from Broome to Derby, and then had stops at Windjana Gorge, taking in Tunnel Creek, Silent Grove, a visit to Bells Gorge, Mt Barnett, Ellenbrae, Home Valley station, El Questro and finally Kununurra, while the second trip was completed in reverse.

According to Bright Blue donor development and fundraising officer Yoon-Mi Kim, each participant on the 900km trip had a fundraising goal of $5000 for the charity, with some participants having secured double that amount.

In addition they paid a registration fee covering the use of a bike for the duration of the trip, a tent, camping fees and meals, and had to have either a learners or full motorcycle licence.

The money raised from the event would then go towards Bright Blue projects which included supporting brain cancer research, creating brighter futures for victims of burns, and putting smiles on the faces of sick children in hospital.

"It really is an amazing opportunity for people to experience the awe-inspiring vastness of outback Western Australia and help children that are less fortunate," Ms Kim said.

She has travelled with groups on the ride in a support vehicle, including the first leg this year, and said while it was a very challenging experience for those riding the bikes, that was also what made it appealing for the participants in addition to fundraising for the charity.

"Riding the Gibb River Road on a postie bike is not easy, mainly because of the difficult terrain," she said.

"But there is something quite magical about it, and many people form lifelong bonds with those they've travelled with."

Not something you see everyday  a line-up of postie bikes on gravel roads in the State's North West.

Not something you see everyday a line-up of postie bikes on gravel roads in the State's North West.

Bright Blue was started by former WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan, and has a mission of making a positive difference to the lives of sick children, by assisting in the prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses, particularly those linked to issues police officers see every day including the abuse of drugs and alcohol, and social disadvantage.

The charity has focused on three major causes as beneficiaries for funds raised in recent years, the first of which is supporting new drug discoveries into childhood cancer research at the Children's Cancer Institute in Sydney, New South Wales.

Another is working with Interplast, an Australian charity based in Melbourne, Victoria, to assist with sustainable surgeries for kids living with burn contractures and cleft palette in Mongolia.

This is achieved by funding surgeons to travel to the east Asian country to treat children with serious burns, while also providing training to locally based doctors.

Bright Blue also supports Radio Lollipop, the childrens' hospital-based radio broadcaster which allows children to request favourite songs, win prizes and hear their own voices on radio.

Ms Kim said in the past, funds raised from the Gibb River Postie Bike Ride had been used to purchase a new control deck for Radio Lollipop in Perth.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by