Melbourne, Australia

New CEO of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne

We are excited to announce Anne Chan as the new CEO of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne.

Some parting words from the outgoing CEO Andy Finestone (Gild), who has been fundamental to the running and growth of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne for the last 17 years.

If a bike had a windscreen I would be looking through it to a very exciting future! After a long search for the right person to take over the handle bars and steer Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) Melbourne towards our 30K30 goal, we have found Anne Chan!

We are very lucky to have Anne Chan re-join us to take over as CEO. As a previous volunteer, Anne has a deep understanding of what, how and why we do what we do. Anne helped us attain our tax deductibility status in the early years and has also spent time in Namibia, gaining hands on experience of the challenges setting up and running a bicycle workshop and associated organisation. She brings her expertise and passion at a time when we have a solid foundation on which to continue to grow. It is also very special that Anne has a connection to my wonderful co-founder, the late Matt McCullough whom we continually miss, and will be able to continue to guide his legacy forward. 

It seems like yesterday, but in fact it was 2007. I was peering out the minibus window as the vast, hot and dry Namibian countryside flashed past. We were on our way to meet Hilya Ekanjo, the first female bicycle mechanic in Namibia, in the north of the country. Wanting to understand how our soon to be partner organisation, Bicycle Empowerment Network, Namibia (set up by the fabulous Michael Linke), managed to distribute pre-loved bicycles into the community by setting up shops and training locals in both business and mechanical skills.

I watched the many people walking, some carrying large loads, for what must have been 10s of kms. Little did I know that 17 years later Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne would be a fully-fledged, well established, 100% volunteer run organisation replete with a dedicated and passionate board, leadership team and deep volunteer base that has almost finished packing our 36th shipping container and have repurposed close to 16,000 bicycles, solar panels and many bike spare parts to over 6 countries in Africa. We have seen the impact of these bicycles on women, men, children and communities, giving access to education, job training or work, which would otherwise be limited by walking impossibly long distances. 

I am very proud of all that Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne has achieved and I step aside from the CEO role with a great deal of excitement for the future. And I am not going far. I will support Anne as she transitions into her new role and will remain on the Board of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne where I can still contribute to our larger social impact.

We know that through volunteering we gain so much more than we give. I have no doubt that my wellbeing has truly been supported by the beautiful people who now make up our large Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne family, both in Australia and internationally. I have learnt so much as our little organisation has slowly evolved and blossomed into what it is today. 

I am truly grateful for each and every volunteer who has contributed time, energy and laughter. I am truly grateful to every single person who has donated a bike, money or expertise. I am truly grateful to my friends who have endured countless ear-bashings around every aspect of Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne. And I am truly grateful to our wonderful partners in Australia and Namibia especially for continuing to pull resources for a bigger impact. None of what we have achieved together could have been done alone. 

See you on the road!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *