In September 2012 the annual Postie Bike Challenge came to WA for the first time, with 62 competitors completing the 3,000km journey through outback WA from Perth to Broome.
For more than 10 years, competitors in the event have donated their Honda 110cc postie bikes to a Rotary Club – and 2012 was Broome Rotary’s year. The club organised a big welcome for the postie bike riders when they arrived in Broome and, at a celebration dinner that night, the riders were told how Broome Rotary would dispose of the bikes.
As a gesture to our “fellow Kimberley Club” we donated 10 bikes to Kununurra Rotary and we gave another 10 to Mosman Park Rotary for supporting the Postie Bike Challenge in Perth. Three bikes were donated to Broome PCYC for its youth education programs and two bikes were given to the Kimberley Training Institute’s mechanical workshop.
That left Broome Rotary with the task of selling 37 motor bikes, quite a marketing exercise in a relatively small town like Broome. But by year’s end 24 bikes had been sold to individual buyers who responded to our sales campaign, for a total return of $26,500 – all of which was distributed to various community groups and charities. Two more bikes, one in poor condition, were sold in February 2013, raising an extra $1900.
But the highlight of the year was our inaugural White Ribbon Gala and Charity Auction (see next page) which featured four postie bikes painted and decorated by local art students from Kimberley Training Institute and St Mary’s College. These four “mobile works of art” sold for a combined $7750 – taking the total yield from postie bike sales to date to more than $36,000.
The White Ribbon Gala (see separate page) raised a total of $17,000 which was distributed evenly between five organisations: The national White Ribbon Campaign; Broome Men’s Outreach Service; the Marnja Jarndu Women’s Refuge; the Kullari Patrol; and the local St John Ambulance brigade.
With seven postie bikes left to sell, Broome Rotary is planning another community event for the first half of 2013, featuring a postie bike auction. In addition to the funds already disbursed (see table) the Club has committed $5000 to a water and sanitation project in Timor Leste (East Timor).
Postie Bike “Lizzie” (pictured right) was painted and decorated by artist Caroline Diss to resemble a frill-necked lizard. It sold at auction for $2100.