Huon Valley News

Celebrating our volunteers: The Tasmanian Bike Collective

At a young age Anthony Davidson’s bike was his “freedom machine”. He could take off with a backpack and go camping with friends or on his own.

Nowadays, Anthony doesn’t own a car. He gets around on his mountain bike with a trailer on the back for his dog and rides from his home in Pelverata to wherever he needs to go.

“I had a car for 11 years and decided I couldn’t justify having one anymore, not with the impact cars have on our wildlife, health, society, climate and environment more broadly.”

Anthony has recently taken on part-time work with the Tasmanian Bike Collective (TasBC), a place where young people are mentored and trained through the medium of bicycles.

Since its inception TasBC has created a network of three collectives: Risdon Vale, Clarence Plains, and the Huon Valley. Anthony works with students from Huonville High School and Huonville Primary School, along with Dane Paulsen (pictured below on the right), two other volunteers and a PCYC police officer.

But before being a paid employee, Anthony was a volunteer mentor too.

He chose to volunteer with the Tasmanian Bike Collective because he loves working on bikes and wanted to help kids get onto bikes.

Anthony works two days a week at the workshop which is based at the Huonville PCYC.

“I definitely see a different side to the kids than a lot of the teachers. Here we see them probably behaving better than in school,” Anthony said.

“We see the kids picking up new skills, both mechanical and personal, and this of course boosts their confidence.”

Dane is a local teacher in alternative education and volunteers his time with the collective once a week. He said in the workshop there is a different hierarchical structure compared to a school.

“The kids aren’t passive participants. The strength is in working alongside the kids. We’re all learning as we go, and the kids appreciate that. We’re all solving problems together.”

Dane said he really enjoyed volunteering for the collective. Living just around the corner and with his kids attending Huonville Primary School it is in a convenient location, and it aligns with his passion for working with marginalised kids.

The Tasmanian Bike Collective was started by its founder Anthony Edler more than 15 years ago. The collective mentors and trains young people through the medium of bicycles, developing work skills, confidence, resilience, healthy character traits and attitudes.

You can support the collective by buying a bike, donating bikes and parts, making monetary donations and becoming a volunteer.

As part of National Volunteer Week, we are celebrating the incredible work volunteers do throughout the Huon Valley by sharing stories of people who make a difference in their communities and the inspiration behind what they do. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for these stories.

National Volunteer Week is 16 to 22 May 2022.