Melbourne, Australia info@b4hmelbourne.org.au

New Bicycle Storage Facility & Operations Centre

After a long search for a new facility, we are pleased to share that Toyota Australia has provided a fantastic site for Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne, that will serve as the heart of our operations, with plenty of room to grow. With so much space and a great new location to store and pack, we are ready to get back on the road to collect bicycles from all over Melbourne.

B4H Melbourne Board Members and Collection Team at Toyota Product Centre, Melbourne

We are super excited about the partnership with Toyota Australia, who share our passion for mobility, sustainability and community. Together we can rehome more bikes, keeping them out of landfill, by donating them to our international partners who work with remote African communities to create sustainable transport and development opportunities.

One bicycle can change a life, a container load can change a community, but it wouldn’t be possible without supporters like Toyota. If you would like to get involved too and help us fill this great new site with bicycles, check the ways you can donate now.

B4H Melbourne Annual General Meeting 2021

The 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) provided a great recap of B4H Melbourne’s milestones this year. 

Andy Gild, cofounder and CEO of B4H Melbourne, summed it up perfectly when she said that “what we do is all about the impact”. Reflecting upon B4H Melbourne from the very beginning until now certainly echoes this sentiment. Over the years 27 containers have been sent to Africa, landing in Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar and Botswana. Each container has a huge impact in Africa, with every bicycle, and every shop having a profound impact on people’s lives. 

A summary of the 27 containers sent out by B4H Melbourne.

Despite all of the challenges with COVID this year, 856 bicycles were prepped to ship, 436 bicycles were shipped and 129 bicycles were sold back into the community. In August this year, container 27 touched down in Namibia packed to the brim with 436 bicycles, 34 solar panels and two wheelchairs. A huge thank you goes out to Queenscliff Men’s Shed who generously funded the container! 

An overview of B4H Melbourne 2021.
Our fantastic volunteers packing up container 27.

Excitingly, 2021 saw B4H Melbourne begin implementing its 30K30 strategy. The strategy aims to repurpose 30 thousand bicycles, support 30 sustainable workshops and potentially partner with 30 organisations by the year 2030. The first partnership has been formed with the fantastic organisation Slipstream Coaching, pathing the way for B4H to make great strides in its contribution to the community. 

Even during lockdowns work was undertaken behind the scenes, in particular B4H Melbourne worked closely with Michael Linke (CEO of BEN Namibia) to pivot to a bicycle entrepreneurship program. So far, 92 bicycles have been offered through the shops at a discount and six month repayment period, and there has been an extended offer to low income workers who have been affected by pandemic wage cuts. 

Of course, none of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure B4H Melbourne’s success. Whilst there are many notable volunteers, a special thanks goes out to Mandi Gunsberger and Keir Paterson who are now stepping off the Board after making valued contributions. Another congratulations goes out to Bill Martin and Mary-Jane Willis, both of whom were recipients of the Matt McCullough Volunteer Award 2021 for their outstanding voluntary contributions to B4H Melbourne. 

The wonderful B4H Melbourne Committee.

Along with the ups of 2021, B4H Melbourne has also experienced a great loss. In April 2021 Pat Montani, the B4H global founder, tragically passed away after a short battle with cancer. Pat was an incredible human being who devoted a huge amount of time and energy to this amazing grassroots organisation and has enabled communities around the world to develop and flourish. Container 28, which will be sent off in early 2022, is dedicated to Pat and will be sent in his honour.   

2021 has been another huge year for B4H Melbourne and we are so excited to see what 2022 holds! 

Click here to read the full B4H AGM CEO Report.

Strategisation Book Co-Authored by Our Volunteer Board Member Mike Harley

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Albert Einstein 1930 

Mike Harley, Volunteer Board Member (Non Executive Director) at Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne and co-author of ‘Strategisation: The Art Of Mobilising People to Implement a Winning Strategy’ is also a very keen cyclist. Mike says, “I love cycling; it’s my greatest joy. I love the exhilaration when flying downhill, the satisfaction of reaching the summit after a hard uphill slog; I love the camaraderie, the coffee, the beers, the freedom, the fresh air. But mostly, I love the sense of movement, motion – of being ‘mobilised’.’

Mobilisation is the central theme in his new book. It is also an underpinning driver at Bicycles 4 Humanity, where the focus is on alleviating poverty by providing sustainable transport in the form of a bicycle to improve basic mobility—in essence, mobilising communities by increasing their access to education, health care and social services.

$5 from the sale of each copy of Strategisation purchased directly from the website will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne.

You are welcome to join our online Book launch Webinar for free on Monday, 6th December 201 at 5pm AEDT.

Online Book Launch Webinar Registration 

If you would like to buy a copy of the book and donate to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne use the link to the Strategisation website below:

https://strategisation.com.au

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne – Annual General Meeting 2021

Join us for our Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2021 on Sunday, 28th November 2021 at 3pm – 5pm.


This year we are hoping to reconnect and connect with as many of our supporters, volunteers and incredible people who have generously donated bicycles, money and time to share in Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne’s initiatives during 2021.

We want to celebrate the highlights, plan for our future and explore opportunities to further empower communities in Namibia, Africa and locally in Australia. 

This year you can join us in person face-to-face, or online via Zoom from wherever you choose.

Register via the Eventbrite link below to join and we will send you the all important details.

Register to join our Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne AGM 2021

Searching for Our New Storage Site

After 10 YEARS at Parkvue Storage and Sundowner RV it’s time to relocate our donated bicycle collections and storage to a new facility. Helps us pedal into 2022 with room to grow.

Do you know of any potentially available warehouse/site that may meet the below criteria?

  • Centrally located within 15km of Melbourne’s CBD, ideally inner east close to major roads/freeways
  • Long term commitment to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne – ideally via a lease
  • Ideally rent free/minimal rent
  • Ideally a warehouse with at least 200sqm space inside and sufficient space outside to accommodate a 40ft shipping container 
  • If the site is an outside / land only, we would require ~400 sqm to accommodate 2-3 20ft containers which would house tools, parts and some bikes, a 40ft container, and a work space
  • Any warehouse or site would need to have power and services connected

Do you have any key contacts that may be able to help? They may be:

  • Key people within the following local councils that may be able to assist (Yarra, Melbourne City,  Port Phillip, Darebin, Boroondara, Hobsons Bay)
  • Corporates, property fund managers, private property owners, commercial real estate agents
  • Key people within State government instrumentalities (e.g. Dev Vic, Victrack, Melbourne Water, DHHS)


If you think you can help please contact Matt Bufardeci (Volunteer Manager) via either:

Mobile: 0402 723 069

Email: matthew.bufardeci@b4hmelbourne.org.au

Container 27 Has Landed In Namibia

Container 27 has touched down in Namibia, Africa and is being unpacked by the team at BEN Namibia as we speak.

After facing some bumps along the road, from global shipping container supply issues to significant cost increases and all the COVID-19 disruptions we are relieved to know that container 27 has landed safely. 

This container was packed to the brim with 454 bicycles, a large number of which were collected, repaired, cleaned and donated by the wonderful Queenscliff Men’s Shed Bicycle Group. Bill Hall, member of Queenscliff Men’s Shed, was generous enough to explain the process in a bit more depth. Bill describes the Queenscliff Men’s Shed as a “place of great camaraderie” and provides a safe space for men and somewhere they can go when they need someone to lean on. The generous spirit fostered at the Queenscliff Men’s Shed manifests in their phenomenal contributions to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. 

The volunteers at the Queenscliff Men’s Shed collect bicycles from all around the district, before spraying them with detergent and giving them a power wash before starting mechanical work on them. The mechanical stage involves taking the front wheel off, turning the handlebars around and taking the pedals off and attaching them with a zip tie to the bicycle, allowing more bicycles to fit inside the container. The aim is to get four to five bicycles completed each day. 

As well as this incredible effort, the Queenscliff Men’s Shed also sold a number of bicycles, which allowed them to donate $2,000 towards container 27.

In addition to the 454 bicycles, container 27 also contained 34 solar panels, donated by Andrew Wilson and Essential Solar. These panels will allow some of the bicycle shops, supported by our partner organisation BEN Namibia, to become solar powered.

Don’t forget, if you volunteered at one of our recent bicycle packing days or donated bicycles then you also played a part in container 27’s transportation and arrival.

We can’t wait to hear about all the adventures the bicycles get taken on as they begin their new lives across the Namibia and Africa.

Celebrating a Decade of Volunteering at Bicycles for Humanity Western Australia Headquarters

2021 is a big year for B4HWA Chapter! 2021 is the year they celebrate their ten-year anniversary of volunteering. Earlier this year, over 70 people attended a celebration at Midvale to commemorate the event, which featured a speech from guest of honour Ken Wyatt (Federal Member for Hasluck). 

Excitingly, 2021 is also the year that B4HWA founder and Operations Coordinator Jamie Brindle was honoured as one of the 10 finalists in the ABC Spirit of Volunteering Award. 

Established back in 2011, B4HWA was created to address barriers to development and healthcare in rural Africa. In the ten years following their establishment, B4HWA has had a huge impact with 19 containers holding over 6900 bicycles delivered to Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya Zambia and Malawi. The most recent container touched down in Namibia earlier this year, with 406 bicycles being shared between eight shops. 

In addition to these remarkable overseas donations, B4HWA also donates bicycles to schools in remote communities in Western Australia. B4HWA recently welcomed a new regional hub in Esperance, marking the fourth regional hub in WA. The Esperance Hub is led by Graham Mackenzie and his colleagues at the Rotary Club of Esperance. 

B4HWA’s work doesn’t stop there! They are currently undertaking a research and development project with the aim of developing other useful bicycle based aids for Africa. The newest invention is a bike that has a trailer attached to carry water! 

We are so excited to see what B4HWA has in store for the next ten years! To keep up with their newest developments head over to https://b4hwa.com

Bringing Together Global Bicycles For Humanity Chapters

Our global grassroots bicycle empowerment movement has begun working together more closely than ever. And it’s just the beginning!

Sparked by the recent and tragic passing of Pat Montani, founder of Bicycles for Humanity, volunteers from Bicycles for Humanity chapters around the world are coming together virtually to explore how to sustain the global organisation and work together to create an even bigger impact.

“This is something that we have been trying to instigate for many years, but it never eventuated”, said Andy Gild, co-founder of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. “We hope to develop closer connections between the different chapters, to share ideas and possibly even resources.”

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne 15 years ago as a global grassroots movement that recognised the important role which mobility plays in empowering individuals and communities. Since then, 50 global chapters (some small, some larger) have been established under his watch, and the Bicycles for Humanity movement continues to gain momentum.

By unlocking the value of recycled bicycles, Bicycles for Humanity is mobilising volunteers and supporters across the globe to create change in communities in need in Africa, Mexico, Central America, Asia and Australia.

Andy is optimistic about the opportunities these collaborations offer: “By bringing together Bicycles for Humanity volunteers from across the globe, we can ensure Pat’s legacy is supported into the future and that his dream of empowering people and improving lives, through the simple bicycle, becomes the dream of many more”.

Volunteers plan to meet again towards the end of July. The focus will initially be on ensuring we develop capability to continue to mentor new chapters/interested parties, revising the global Bicycles for Humanity website and sharing fundraising ideas, which is the biggest challenge for all.

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Packing Day – July 2021

We have missed our face to face connections with our extended Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family. So we are calling on all our volunteers to come to help at our next packing day.

Please join us for the second COVID Safe packing session of 2021. 

When: Sunday 11th July 2021, 10am – 3pm

In the event of bad weather, an alternative date will be the following Sunday.

Where: Parkview Secure Self Storage, 359 Lower Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

Please park on the street. Access is via the small gate adjacent to the main gate which will be closed on the day. 

COVID Safety:

Social distancing to be observed, however as we are out in the open, masks are optional. Volunteers will be required to sign in with QR code located on the main whiteboard. Alternatively, a paper registration list will be available. 

How: Register your interest via email here and please let us know if you have any specific BBQ dietary requirements.

What: Thanks to Kwan for putting together a behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo:

With Heavy Hearts – Honouring Pat Montani founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement

It is with tremendous sadness we share news of the sudden passing of the founder of the Global Bicycles for Humanity Movement, Pat Montani, after a short battle with cancer.

Pat was an inspiration to so many individuals and communities, across many continents.

Pat started Bicycles for Humanity from his home town of Whistler, Canada, in order to mobilise health care workers. Along the way, the focus became about mobility in general and helping others gain a better life. 

Over the past 15 years, under Pat’s watch, 50 chapters of Bicycles for Humanity volunteers have collected bicycles and sent them to partners in Africa, Mexico, Central America and Asia.

This led to Pat’s more recent work supporting communities in Africa with healthcare, education and tourism, mainly through the aid of technology. 

Pat was a driving force behind the formation of Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne and a constant guide over our now 13 year journey.

Pat believed passionately in a grassroots model where volunteer groups in the developed world partner with communities in the developing world. This is something for which we at Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne continue to strive. 

Our challenge now will be to bring together the global Bicycles for Humanity chapters in order to ensure Pat’s legacy lives on.

Pat’s story is an inspiring one. You can read the article about Pat’s life in Pique News Magazine online to find out more about this wonderful humanitarian.

There was also a tribute article to Pat in The Namibian newspaper by Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia.

Our hearts and thoughts are with Pat’s wife Brenda, their family and friends at this difficult time. 

Rest in Peace.