Melbourne, Australia info@b4hmelbourne.org.au

The Bear Essentials – Bike-packing for Humanity

Mike and Lorraine, long time friends of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne, are undertaking a mammoth bicycle ride across New Zealand – 400km and 6,700m of climbing over gravel roads!

While it’s not for the faint-hearted, Mike and Lorraine are doing it for a good cause – to raise funds for Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. So far, they have raise $900 out of a target of $1,000. If you want to help them reach their goal by donating, or simply follow their journey, check out their myCause fundraising page below:

https://www.mycause.com.au/p/303947/the-bear-essentials-bikepacking-for-humanity

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Volunteer Packing Day – February 2023

We have our first Packing Day of 2023 coming up.

If you haven’t seen the new site yet, now’s your chance.

We need as many hands as possible to help prepare our bicycle donations for transport to Namibia.

New or experienced volunteers are both welcome.

When: Sunday, 12th Feb 2023, 10am – 3pm

In case of extreme heat, the day will be postponed.

Where: Our new site at Toyota Altona – 494 Grieve Parade, Altona North (enter at Gate 7)

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

What: Cleaing and packing of donated bicycles into the next shipping container.

Note: A BBQ lunch will be provided for all volunteers on the day – please advise any dietary requirements

Check out this behind the scenes time lapse video of what the packing day entails through the magic of Vimeo:

2022 Matt McCullough Volunteer Award Winners

A massive congratulations to our 2022 Matt McCullough Award Winners – Ira Felinski and Tim Mulligan.

Ira receiving his Volunteer award from Andy Gild CEO & Founder

Ira is our Website Manager, who has been volunteering with us for 5 years now. Ira was instrumental in redeveloping, designing and managing our current Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne website. Ira has recently successfully navigated our transition to a new domain name (b4hmelbourne.org.au) with aplomb.

Tim receiving his Volunteer award from Andy Gild CEO & Founder

Tim in our Packing Team is a master of packing bicycles – he has stacked nearly every bicycle we have received into shipping containers to be sent to improve the lives of African communities and support our projects.

Thank you so much for your volunteer contributions Ira and Tim to Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne so far.

If you are interested in volunteering with Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne, see more info on our website: Volunteer

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne Volunteer Packing Day – November 2022 Highlights

Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne volunteers had a very successful packing day on Sunday, 20th November 2022 at our new site at Toyota Altona. 

Weather was a mix of rain and sunshine but it didn’t deter 25 volunteers who all put in several hours of solid work to prep and pack a record 208 bicycles on the day!

The Toyota site worked a treat and having all the extra space was so useful.

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped and thank you Toyota Altona.

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.

Bicycles for Humanity 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.