Bikes Palya* offers a unique program benefiting disadvantaged communities across Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara lands and other remote South Australian regions. Bikes Palya deliver health and safety outcomes through facilitating BMX track building, hosting community bicycle events, and bicycle education workshops. Since 2014, Bike SA members have donated over 200 bikes to communities, giving over 400 children and youth, improved access to cycling recreation options. The program incentivises school attendance and engagement as well as targeting boredom and antisocial behaviour issues that arise during critical school holiday periods, when many other services are absent.
Education and training through mentoring programs offer long term benefits to youth, developing existing interests and strengths into transferable skills and career pathways. By linking with employment services, safe riding and BMX track construction have created jobs in 10 communities, with an 5 additional regions planned for 2019. Inter-generational relationships formed through the program add resilience and strengthen social fabric. Regular physical activity through cycling and healthy lifestyles address high rates of diabetes and obesity in remote communities. Most importantly, Bikes Palya connects with and inspires youth to excel at something they enjoy, using the bicycle as both a tool and metaphor for freedom and independence.
*Palya means great in Pitjantjatjara. Bikes Palya = Bikes are Great