Friday, 12 April 2024
    Brainwave bikes give people purpose
    20
    Sep
    Disability

    Brainwave bikes give people purpose

    Brainwave Bikes, which opened on Saturday in a 700-square-feet superstore in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Dingley with 600 reconditioned second-hand bikes, claims to be an Australian first: an initiative to reduce landfill, generate income for Brainwave Australia (a charity for those with brain injuries or neurological conditions), and provide work experience for those young people through the WISE job placement program, The Age reports.

    “We are hoping to be the Officeworks or Bunnings of this category,” said Paul Bird, chief executive of Brainwave.

    “We want to avoid pity purchases. Someone buys something from a charity, but it’s not good quality so they don’t buy it again,” he said.

    There are some real gems among the 600 bikes, all of which are available to buy online at brainwavebikes.org.au.

    Amid the retro bikes and funky mountain bikes are a girl’s cute 12-inch (30-centimetre) pink bike with dolls seat for $35.

    Shop trainee Daniel Coats, 24, who is a client of Brainwave, is excited about his job. His duties will include interacting with customers and mechanics and organising his own transport and lunch.

    “Brainwave Bikes has given me a purpose in life,” he said.

    The need is great. At the recent government jobs summit, Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott said only about 54 per cent of the nearly 4.5 million people living with disability were in the workforce – a participation rate that has not changed in 28 years.

    And Australia has the seventh-lowest employment rate for people with disabilities.

    Each year about 500,000 bikes end up in landfill. The numbers are predicted to swell because during 2020-’21 – in the middle of lockdowns – Australians imported 1.75 million bicycles.

    FULL STORY

    ‘Given me a purpose’: Second-hand bicycle superstore to show where there’s a wheel there’s a way (The Age)

    PHOTO

    Brainwave Bikes