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Hannah Figueroa selected for the Melbourne Social Equity Institute Community Fellowship.

We are thrilled to announce that Hannah Figueroa, our Impact Evaluation Lead, has been selected as a Community fellow for the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne.

This new work comes on the back of a literature review on youth employment in Victoria post-COVID-19, done under the guidance of our Head of Impact and Innovation, Kirra Johnson.

Hannah’s research aims to improve our understanding of the unique challenges faced by young people from various socio-cultural diverse backgrounds in accessing employment, and the kinds of factors that inform youth decision-making and aspiration around chosen employment and career pathways. The project addresses the  current lack of qualitative data on these specific groups, and the structural barriers within the labour market. 

S’moe, enjoying the benefits of the Good Cycles Youth Employment Program
Professor Jo Barraket

Hannah’s research will directly engage its community to build evidence and qualitative data from the lived experience of young people with multiple barriers to employment. This data will continue to inform and improve our Youth Employment Programs’ effectiveness and help more young people access meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities.

We are also excited to share that Professor Jo Barraket will be serving as Hannah’s academic mentor. Professor Barraket is a leading expert in social enterprise and social impact, and her guidance will be instrumental in shaping Hannah’s research project.

“This critical work will enable us to to have much more valuable, richer data  that is more meaningful and impactful both to us – as an organisation and support provider – and to the young people in our program with socio-culturally diverse backgrounds and experiences: as a minimum, the project will improve our program activities so that it better addresses the specific challenges and barriers to labour market entry faced by these at-risk cohorts of young people.”

– Kirra Johnson

Hannah’s selection as a Melbourne Social Equity Institute fellow is a testament to her dedication and hard work in furthering the inclusion, engagement and participation of underrepresented groups in our community. Her research has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of young people impacted by the pandemic, and we congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.

Hannah and the other talented Community fellows at MSEI for 2023

We can do so much more to address the structural inequalities that prevent so many young people from realizing their full potential. Hannah’s research is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to seeing the impact that her work will have in shaping policies and practices that promote greater equity and inclusion in the labor market. Congratulations, Hannah!

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Choosing the right lock for your needs

There are 4 common categories of locks:

1. Coiled cable locks

On these locks, typically the cable bit is around as thick as your little finger. They are cheap, lightweight, versatile in terms of what you lock your bike to, easy to carry but not very secure as they can be cut with hand tools like bolt cutters. These locks are good for locking your bike for short periods of time in a location that is fairly safe. For example

The OnGuard 8030 Coiled cable lock (available online or in-store)

2. Armoured Coil locks

Armoured Coil locks are thicker and heavier than the above. The inner cable has a shield of solid metal plates around it to prevent almost all hand tools from getting through it, while some have a coating designed to jam an angle grinder blade. They are much heavier than the smaller cable locks but still have the same versatility but are harder to carry on the bike. Example:

The OnGuard 8024 armored lock (available online or in-store)

3. D-Locks

D-Locks (also called U-locks or shackle locks) are the most secure locks. They are typically solid steel and need to be cut twice (rather than once) to free your bike. Usually heavy, fairly expensive, and a bit unwieldy to carry, but the best option for security. You can get mini D-locks which are lighter and easier to carry but their versatility in terms of what you lock your bike to are reduced. Great for locking your bike for long periods of time. We suggest locking your rear wheel and frame to the bike hoop or post. Example:

The Abus Ultra 402 D-lock (available online or in-store)

4. Folding plate locks

Folding plate locks, probably our favourite and most popular lock. Almost as secure as a D-lock but has the flexibility of a cable lock and carries well on the bike, they are fairly heavy though and not cheap. Good for commuting as most come with a good mount to hold the lock on your bike where a drink bottle cage would go. Example:

The Abus Ugrip Bordo 5700 lock (available online or in-store)

When choosing a lock consider these key questions

  • Where and for how long are you locking your bike?
  • How secure does your lock have to be?
  • How will you carry your lock?
  • Could you leave at work if you don’t make stops to and from work?

Hopefully, you never experience a stolen bike!

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Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality #WorldMentalHealthDay

There are a lot of great initiatives going on. Just as well – it has been pretty tough going lately. Everything Good Cycles does to make mental health a reality for all is actively supported by you, our members. We do not provide a ‘mental health service’. There are other important and accessible initiatives to make a real difference to mental health and well-being, like:

  1. Promoting cycling
  2. Fostering participation
  3. Creating jobs 

Cycling is so effective for well-being that riding is one of the ‘alternative prescriptions’ doctors around the world recommend for mental health. If you want to know more about just how much you are helping yourself by cycling, read more from our friends at Bicycling Australia. 

Obviously, it’s a lot easier to benefit from cycling if you have access to a bike. That’s one of the reasons Good Cycles has donated 60 bikes in the last 12 months to help people participate in the social and economic life of our communities. It might include exercise, visiting friends, or getting to work. It doesn’t matter whether you ride for the mental health benefits; they happen anyway.

It takes a bit of coordination and planning to create jobs, and as supporters of Good Cycles, it’s one of the things our members enable. The research evidence is ‘strongly supportive of a causal relationship’ between unemployment and mental ill-health. Our jobs are specifically targeted for those who are under-represented in the workforce so it is also one of the initiatives that improves mental health equity. Thanks again, members. 


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How meaningful employment unlocks opportunities

Omer was always able to find work, however he experienced discrimination and racism due to his refugee background. Compounded by working in workplaces unsupportive of employee wellbeing and professional development, his previous jobs gave him little sense of purpose, nor – more significantly – provided for any meaningful progression along the direction of his desired career pathway: working in the field of community and youth work.

Finding his way to Good Cycles, he became a part of the Lime e-bike team as a bicycle mechanic. Describing Good Cycles as “the first business in which I worked that actually implemented its OHS and anti-discrimination policies,” Omer has found Good Cycles as a place “where people can fairly thrive and succeed.”

While learning about bike share and honing his skills as a mechanic, Omer was also able to build connections and come to learn about social enterprise.  Omer recalls,


“In my first week at Good Cycles, I went into Kate [Head of People and Impact]’s office … and she explained to me what a social enterprise was, what she studied, and what her position was. It was probably the biggest ‘light bulb’ moment in my career. The fact that you can help people and still be profitable was a new concept to me that I’m still fascinated with until this day. I made the decision to work in community service but didn’t know in what capacity or how. All I knew is if I hung around Good Cycles I would get there somehow.”


For the first time, Omer felt valued, engaged, and safe at work and from that his aspirations to become a community service worker was crystallised.


“Having a caring nature I think I always had the cultural awareness and aptitude for social work. But I never knew that is what I wanted to do. It was Kate that really helped me tap into that and believe that I can make it into a career.”


Being a father of two, he needed to find a solution that would accommodate his desire to study while being able to support his family. Omer’s determination to fulfill his career aspirations and help his community was not ignored.


“Good Cycles gave me the opportunity to work part-time and have minimal impact on my income as it allows me to work overnight. Without this, it will be difficult to study and cover my expenses.”


When young people are given the opportunity to be heard and feel included, their professional and personal development grows, unlocking a bounty of employment pathways for them.


“Kate introduced me to a youth work organisation and people in the Programs team are always looking out for any opportunities, whether bike mechanic or community work related.


By finding meaningful work and building connections at Good Cycles, Omer has been able to overcome barriers and discover his ambition.


“As an aspiring community service worker, my experience at Good Cycles is critical. I have got to know people from diverse backgrounds and their experiences. … some of their stories are just amazing, I have come to truly appreciate it. Being in this environment has provided me with invaluable experience…”

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Jane Kahler

Jane is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and General Manager Risk & Governance and Group Company Secretary of Intrepid Travel. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

With over 20 years finance experience in both Australia and the UK, previous experience in the cycling industry, and a passion for corporate governance Jane is well placed to support Good Cycles in their purpose and growth.

Jane is also a keen cyclist.

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Knowles Tivendale

Knowles has over 20 years’ experience on strategic planning and transport integration projects for public sector organisations and government departments. He works collaboratively with clients and stakeholders to achieve his vision of developing integrated, efficient and sustainable public transport solutions.

In his twelve years as a consultant, and previous ten years in local government, he has led multidisciplinary teams on complex projects including: researching and producing integrated transport plans, strategic frameworks, business cases and options assessments; evaluating transport networks including financial and economic modelling; developing transport network improvement strategies focussed on delivering enhanced customer value to the wider community; and policy development with a focus on creating cities that are vibrant, efficient, productive, sustainable and resilient.

Knowles currently also lectures on transport, mobility and traffic systems at Monash University and La Trobe University (Bendigo). He is also the President of Dandenong Primary School Council.

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Jonathan Ayres

Jonathan brings over 20 years of experience in investment management and private client focused roles to Good Cycles. Prior to his current Managing Partner role at Koda Capital, he spent over 6 years at Bank of Melbourne as Head of Bank of Melbourne Private and Head of Premium Banking & Business Growth. Preceding this, Jonathan spent 12 years at NAB across private wealth and investment management, including Head of Financial Planning & Advice for the NAB Private business nationally and Regional Leader for the nabInvest Group Asset Management business.

Jonathan is a passionate and progressive leader of people with a strong track record of building and growing financial services businesses through a genuine focus on growth and the client experience.

Jonathan’s experience has encompassed all aspects of business management: strategy and business plan development, financial management and balance sheet management, full P&L accountability, operational management, governance and compliance frameworks, risk management, sales and distribution models, business development, relationship management, marketing and brand and business ambassadorship.

Jonathan is also a member of the International Cycling Executives Community Activation Board.

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Emily Synnott

Emily is a proven leader, collaborator and specialist in social impact and social innovation. With over 17 years’ experience working across consulting, government and the for-purpose sector in Australia and the United Kingdom, she has held several senior roles in systems change and social policy. Key areas of expertise and social and sustainable procurement, young people, civil justice systems, future workforces and enabling employment. Emily is Associate Director Social and Sustainable Procurement at ArcBlue.