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We recap our 10 Year Celebration event!

The Good Cycles 10 year party was a joyous celebration of social enterprise, history, and our fantastic employees.

Under the sheds of the Queen Victoria Market, our November 16 celebration coincided with World Social Enterprise Day, as we held our own festival of Social Entrepreneurship.

Purpose Precinct and Green Collect opened their doors for trade selling their “for purpose” and upcycled products. All our tasty food was provided by our amazing social enterprise buddies — STREAT, Free To Feed, All Things Equal, and Crepes For Change. And we had all of Good Cycles capabilities on display, showcasing a variety of bikes and machinery across our 4 Divisions; Good Bikes, Good Labour, Good Deliveries and Good Spaces.

We had it all—delicious mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks from Liquid Infusion, a fun Photobooth for our Good People Mosaic, and tunes from Kassandra & Him that had us grooving all night.

It was touching to see a number of guests and staff sporting HI-Viz safety gear in solidarity with our many employees who wear it everyday, in particular the late-night and early-morning crews who couldn’t make it that night.

The evening was enriched by video messages from co-founders Luke Wright and Loretta Curtain plus speeches from Chair Darrell Wade, Co-Chair Lucinda Makrakis, and Good Cycles CEO Jaison Hoernel, each sharing the emotional resonance of the night and eloquently narrating our ten-year journey.

We mixed the old with the new, with a strong and diverse contingency of young people, taking to the stage. A special acknowledgment goes to Stef, Abby, Oliver, Lucy, and Vaughn who each reflected on how Good Cycles has shaped them as individuals, emphasising the importance of belonging to an organisation that creates a safe and inclusive workplace.

"Wearing Hi-Viz tonight symbolises the foundational building blocks Good Cycles has laid down, to create a safe workplace in which young people can succeed and thrive"
Jaison Hoernel
Good Cycles CEO

Our journey was made possible through all our partners over the years, and the generous support of event sponsors Lendlease, Paul Ramsay Foundation, and Queen Victoria Market. Plus a heartfelt shout-out to the dedicated staff from Purpose Precinct and Green Collect who worked tirelessly during the 10 Year Celebration to host the festival of social enterprise.

Special thanks are extended to event organisers Adam, Hannah, Kirra, Joe, Cory, and Khan. Gratitude is also owed to our Gracie St neighbours, advertising firm GDJ, Lara, Cathy, Sally, Hanna and Cormac from Cormac Creative Studios for their countless support and creative hours in crafting the night.

Noteworthy mention goes to Khalid, a former supported employee who left us to create Kushitic Productions, capturing the night’s action and presenting us with all the images featured here, plus the captivating video above celebrating our milestone.

Last but not least, sincere thanks to our own John Bech for his remarkable voice-over skills and to all our fantastic team members who contributed to the creation of the ‘Ride along’ 10 Years of Change video. The event was a beautiful celebration of all the Good People who help us deliver our Good Cycles of Change.

Be sure to join our mailing list for updates on upcoming events and news

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Good Cycles marks 10 years of change on World Social Enterprise Day

Celebrating ten years of change on World Social Enterprise Day

Good Cycles begins its 10-year anniversary celebration on World Social Enterprise Day, November 16, 2023, what a great day to celebrate 10 years of change. This momentous day gives us a chance to reflect on how we got here, the impact that we have made and provides a guide into our future of impact and growth.

2013–2017

In 2013, founders Loretta Curtin & Luke Wright created Australia’s first bike based social enterprise, using the bicycle as vehicles for positive change. Our goal, to train young people and break down their barriers to employment.

I could not hold a steady job, it was really hard. With Good Cycles, they gave me the structure … the support. And I had mentors.​ ~ Andy, Good Cycles employee-trainee

Through the Pedal Empowerment Program and with the help of corporate and government partners including Westpac Foundation & the City of Melbourne, Luke and Lorretta trained, upskilled and donated bikes to refugees, asylum seekers and young people from diverse backgrounds including those within the justice system.

In 2016, our fresh-faced CEO Jaison Hoenel joined Good Cycles bringing with him his global knowledge of bike share, retail, and an idea to expand and to create more jobs for young people.

2017-2021

After almost four years of repairing thousands of bikes and training hundreds of young people, Good Cycles starts creating meaningful jobs by delivering services by bicycle.

By partnering with the likes of Melbourne Bike Share, Citywide, Toyota, DM Roads, Fulton Hogan & more, our services include carshare cleaning, environmental waste collection, asset maintenance, solar bin checks, and delivery, logistics and more.

 

“I didn’t feel like there was an expectation that I’d do anything that I wasn’t capable of. It was very accommodating for me.”
~ Eve, Pedal Empowerment Program and Car Services

Using bicycles as work vehicles enabled Good Cycles to offer jobs to young people while removing thousands of cars, vans and light trucks from our roads.

In 2022 alone, Good Cycles prevented 20,000 kg of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and removed 50 light vehicle movements from our congested roads a week!

 

This job has given me purpose and a reason to wake up in the morning, so I’m very grateful for that.

~ S’moe, Good Spaces Team member

2021 – 2023

December 2021, saw Good Cycles go beyond the bicycle acquiring Open Spaces, a commercial landscaping and horticulture business which helps young people find jobs. At Open Spaces, the crew are responsible for landscaping, collecting litter and mowing grass for the entire length of the Western Ring Road; across fifty plus Fire Rescue Victoria sites across Melbourne.

We opened our fourth bike shop in 2022 with Nightingale in Brunswick’s award winning social enterprise apartment complex and we are servicing all the Lime share bikes, across Melbourne and now Sydney.

During this time we define our social impact through our Youth Employment Program, which provides countless hours of employment, coaching and support to young people facing barriers to employment.

"Good Cycles gives me the credit for the good work I do. It’s nice to have someone check in with me on how I am, and what I want for my future."
Lucas
City Services

December 2022 saw us partner with STREAT and the Victorian Government to launch the Purpose Precinct, at the Queen Victoria Market a hub showcasing and selling the wares of over 40 social enterprises, including….

Ten years on, we are still innovating to create meaningful jobs, currently employing about 150 people across Melbourne and Sydney. Over the 10 Years we have directly impacted 767 young people through “Good” employment and training opportunities.
Impact that breaks down barriers to employment, nurtures our community, is good for the environment and creates good cycles of change.

World Social Enterprise Day gives us a chance not only to celebrate our work, but to raise awareness and praise all social enterprises do to make the world a better place, to create more just and equitable societies, and to reflect on the positive impact we have made on the environment and in our communities.

To keep up to date with all the good things we’re doing, click the button below to join our mailing list.

STAY TUNED for updates on our 10 year celebration… More to come!

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Ministerial Launch of The Purpose Precinct

We were honoured to have Minister for Employment Vicki Ward officially launch the expansion of The Purpose Precinct, almost a year after its String Bean alley launch.

Australia’s first dedicated social enterprise precinct has been officially opened at the iconic Queen Victoria Market (QVM) – giving Victorians a fresh opportunity to shop local ahead of the festive season. Minister for Employment Vicki Ward has today opened the expansion of Purpose Precinct – a new shopping destination featuring 100 local social enterprises selling homewares, clothing, food and gifts.

Co-developed by leading Victorian social enterprises Good Cycles and STREAT and supported by the Social Enterprise Network of Victoria – the precinct recently moved from its temporary home in Stringbean Alley to multiple spaces within the F Shed Laneway, at QVM.

The socially-conscious shopping destination will bring more visitors to the market and create 75 local jobs – including for Victorians that have faced challenges finding a job.

As the festive season approaches Purpose Precinct will give shoppers an option to buy gifts from socially-conscious and purpose-led businesses like Clothing The Gaps, Homie, Mildura Chocolate Company, Green Collect, Free to Feed and more.

Social enterprises are defined as businesses that channel at least 50% of their profits into achieving their mission – whether that’s tackling social problems, improving communities, providing people with access to employment and training, or helping the environment.

 

Good Cycles is responsible for employing Purpose Precinct’s retail staff with a focus on helping young people break through barriers to employment via its Youth Employment Program. As our CEO Jaison Hoenel describes it as, “a registered charity all our profits are directed towards impact, but as a social enterprise and through the Purpose Precinct we can demonstrate how to create meaningful jobs and a safe space for their employees.”

And staff members like Vaughn would agree, he loves how social enterprises are “focused on the human side of business.” Vaughn simply loves having conversations with shoppers and sharing the stories that shape the range of impact driven products on sale.

“Using a work-first approach, Good Cycles creates value out of safety for its young employees"
Jaison
Good Cycles CEO

The Purpose Precinct has a strong focus on impact and sustainability with many products made from recycled or repurposed goods and materials. The Precinct is funded through the Labor Government’s nation-leading Social Enterprise Strategy 2021-25 and the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund.

There are currently more than 3,500 social enterprises trading across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, which employ an estimated 60,000 people and contribute $5.2 billion annually to the Victorian economy.

Take part in the conversation and learn about the future of retail. 

Visit the Purpose Precinct at F Shed in Queen Victoria Market.

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We say farewell to car cleaning services

October 2023 marks the end of an era for our car share cleaning services

Launched in 2017 with GoGet, Flexicar, and then later Kinto, our move into car cleaning was a major milestone for Good Cycles, as it began our transitioning out of bike training. Our new focus, was to create meaningful jobs. Jobs that used the bicycle and environmental innovation to get cars and trucks off the road, while also supporting young people to new employment pathways and break through their barriers to employment.

Since 2017, we have provided employment to 142 staff members. In 2022 alone, car services cleaned over 7000 vehicles and prevented 350,000 litres of water waste by using waterless car cleaning technology.

Over the past six years, we have been privileged to have the support of GoGet, Flexicar, and Kinto. Their willingness to work with us, a social enterprise, has made a positive impact in the lives of countless young people by providing jobs and stability.

It’s through these partnerships we’ve been able to create jobs that align with our mission of reducing the barriers to employment for young people, and provide a stepping stone in a young person’s employment journey.

Since our car cleaning services began in 2017, we have:

Provided employment to 142 staff members
0
We completed almost 40,000 car clean services
0
Prevented approximately 2,000,000 litres of water waste with waterless car cleaning technology
0

Amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the support for our car services division shined brightest as car cleaning was deemed an essential service. Importantly, employing staff members throughout the challenging periods of lockdowns enabled our employees to work with secure employment, in a Covid-Safe environment.

Good Cycles is proud to report ZERO job losses have been recorded as the contract concludes. We are excited to be able to share that every City Services staff member has been trained in a new role, transferring relevant skills and knowledge within new and upcoming projects at Good Cycles.

Good Cycles extends a BIG thank you to our car services partners:

Good Cycles constantly seeks out new areas of growth to further the positive impact we are committed to making, while seeking new opportunities that align with our mission. 

To keep up to date with what Good Cycles is delivering in the upcoming months, follow our socials, and our ‘Good News’ section of our website.

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Ride2Work Day recap 2023

The sun was shining on thousands of cyclists, as we offered free safety checks as part of Bicycle Network’s annual Ride2Work day

Blessed by some lovely springtime weather, commuters were encouraged to leave their cars at home and ride to work, with thousands of cyclists taking part. It was a busy day for our Good Bikes crew, as we activated two event sites, did some onsite servicing for 80 Collins St, and even had a partnership with the riders from GMHBA Health Insurance in Geelong.

One site was right in front of our Docklands Bike Hub store on Harbour Esplanade, the other at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. There was a great buzz as our friendly team offered safety checks and tune-ups, while the kind folk from Bicycle Network counted participants and provided healthy snacks and delicious coffee.

It was great seeing Lime there showing off their bike and scooter share. Since 2020, Good Cycles has partnered with Lime to provide “Good People” for fleet maintenance; keeping the batteries charged, tyres pumped, and ensuring they run smoothly.

Out in Geelong, we offered commuters from GMBHA some special servicing deals through our Membership, and then back in Melbourne while people got to work, our on-site servicing were down in the 80 Collins St end-of-trip facility fixing bikes preparing people for their ride home.

“It’s awesome to be out in the sunshine, enjoying the day surrounded by awesome people while giving a couple of newbies a chance to try to expand their skills in the bicycle retail space."
James
Good Cycles Mechanic

If that wasn’t enough – it was also a great day for two new Youth Employment Program participants, joining the Good Bikes team. “It’s awesome to be out in the sunshine, enjoying the day surrounded by awesome people while giving a couple of newbies a chance to try to expand their skills in the bicycle retail space” says James.

Ride2Work Day 2023 was a fun-filled day. It was great to be a part of one of the biggest events in the years’ cycling calendar. A big thank you to Bicycle Network for all their support, and to every rider who chose the most sustainable and healthy option for their commute; to go by bicycle!

If participating in this year’s Ride2work day meant dusting the cobwebs off your bike, or using it for the first time in a while, and you’ve discovered you’re in need of a tune-up, drop it into one of our stores, or book a service online. Our mechanics provide professional servicing and repairs to all types of bicycles. To find your nearest Good Cycles store, hit the link below.
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Vaughn’s YEP journey at the Purpose Precinct

We recently sat down with Vaughn, a delightful and compassionate young person, who is currently working for Good Cycles as a retail assistant at Purpose Precinct in Queen Victoria Market.

Vaughn’s Youth Employment Program journey has had its challenges, but through coaching and support, he’s focused on becoming “a well rounded human being.”
Vaughn works in Purpose Precinct’s retail offering; a curated marketplace that brings together a number of Victorian social enterprise businesses, with products in homewares, clothing, food and gifts. It’s clear that Vaughn has an affinity for people and sharing the amazing stories of the products he sells. According to Vaughn, by sharing the story behind the products, people are more likely to engage and remember these social enterprises in the long run.
“You can talk about why it’s so exciting and the change they’d like to see… The change they are seeing around them is now a booming industry for social enterprises.” – Vaughn
  Originally from Ballarat, Vaughn moved to Melbourne to look for work. While Vaughn did manage to find full time work through an apprenticeship, he still did not feel like he was gaining the transferable skills to sustain long term employment, nor was the apprenticeship “financially and emotionally feasible.”

The challenges involved with living independently on an apprentice’s wages overwhelmed Vaughn. With the mounting economic pressure of the cost of living crisis, many of Vaughn’s peers were living with their parents, a luxury not available to Vaughn.

Vaughn turned to his partner for advice. In serendipitous fashion, Vaughn’s partner happened to be working at Good Cycles’ City Services division:

“They told me, ‘you’ve got to come work for these guys,’ there’s so much potential here.” – Vaughn

Vaughn began his journey with Good Cycles’ Purpose Precinct in early April 2023, and has since been thriving. A committed participant of the Youth Employment Program, Vaughn would meet with employment coach Leesa, where they would discuss and set out small, achievable goals.

“Everyone is on your side … my goals are their goals” – Vaughn

The two would have regular meetings to see how Vaughn was going on the job at Purpose Precinct, but also to check-in on their mental and physical wellbeing. Leesa encouraged Vaughn to enroll in a Certificate IV in Hospitality, so that one day he could fulfill his desire of becoming a bar manager in the near future.

“Vaughn is a remarkable employee with an exceptional work ethic who was able to excel in his role as a retail assistant in a short amount of time.”
Leesa
Youth Coach

He believes the YEP program has made a positive impact on his life in general.
Vaughn has seen his customer service skills improve, gaining transferable skills in the process to also work in hospitality on the weekends. He would like to work in hospitality because, as he puts it, “I really, really enjoy customer service and I am a people person, which is strange for some people and I think there might be something slightly wrong with me,”

“My customer service skills have strengthened … and I have enjoyed the responsibility of managing people.”  – Vaughn

Vaughn’s skills with retail technology improved dramatically, a vital transferable skill to have in both retail and hospitality. Completing point of sale requests and learning the mechanics of inventory and merchandising, using Lightspeed to follow through with orders and invoices.

“Vaughn has always been passionate about working in hospitality and retail, always been eager to upskill and continues to push himself to grow as an individual.’’ – Vaughn’s Youth Employment Coach.

Within the 6 months of working at The Purpose Precinct, Vaughn took the initiative to lean into his leadership skills by supervising staff, housekeeping and networking with various brand representatives. Vaughn is looking forward to taking a supervisor role at The Purpose Precinct down the line.

Working at the Purpose Precinct has empowered Vaughn to be a more well rounded person. The real takeaway from Vaughn’s YEP journey has been the growth of his interpersonal skills. Being able to put those types of transferable skills on a CV, Vaughn can now show his next employer all the wonderful things they achieved while working at Purpose Precinct.

“Learning how to talk to all sorts of people has always been very important to me, but I haven’t necessarily been the best at it.” – Vaughn

Compared to some of his previous hospitality jobs with uncertain hours, having regular shifts at work meant Vaughn had the opportunity to be more financially secure. This consistency has been key in enabling Vaughn to reach his first goal of financial independence.

Collaborating with his Youth Employment Coach (Leesa), Vaughn’s journey led him to grow personally and professionally. Vaughn states that he now has a ‘’routine and a structured schedule,’’ and his confidence has been gradually improving thanks to the ongoing support of his youth coach and peers. With a concrete plan and a supportive network, Vaughn has a bright future ahead.

The Youth Employment Program provides coaching for young people to overcome employment challenges through one-on-one training sessions and on-the-job training. It’s designed to reduce barriers to employment by offering:

  • Real jobs to people aged 18-29
  • A steady income
  • Tailored training and personal development

In 2021 Good Cycles partnered with fellow social enterprise STREAT to deliver the Purpose Precinct at Queen Victoria Market, establishing a hub to showcase for innovation of Victorian social enterprises. We owe our thanks to the Victorian Government and other partners such as HMST, the City of Melbourne, SENVIC and who have made this possible.

You can read more about Purpose Precinct here.

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We farewell one of our Youth Coaches, Jordan

Hailing from Scotland, Jordan joined Good Cycles in 2022. But as it would be, coming from faraway lands meant the lure to jump in a van and add to his Australian experience could not be ignored forever. Before he left us to begin what would surely be an exciting journey, we asked him for his insights and reflections of his time working with Good Cycles.

Tell us a little about what your role has involved, and what a typical day might entail as a Youth Coach?

As far as a ‘typical day’ goes, there’s no such thing at Good Cycles (and that’s exactly why I have loved it so much!). I usually begin my day facilitating toolbox talks with our employees in our City Services division. We cover topics such as mental health, financial literacy, personal safety, as well as completing the ever-important task of drinking coffee and having a good old chin wag.

I would then be out and about meeting with young people to facilitate coaching sessions, either at the beginning, during or after their shift. These sessions are goal focused and allow our young people to concentrate on what is important to them. This can include (but is certainly not limited to) exploring career options, enrolling in further education, saving for a new car, or just having a general catch up to see how their week is going.

Additionally, these coaching sessions allow me to empower young people to access service provision by referring them on to a multitude of our multi agency partners. Although predominantly based in North Melbourne, I usually find myself bouncing around our different sites to meet with young people. I like to refer to it as the Tour de Good Cycles: I might start my day off in North Melbourne, cycle to our Goldsbrough Lane store, then to our Queen Victoria Market store, and finish off at our Sunshine depot. For someone who hates sitting still, this suits me perfectly. Plus, all of the cycling helps to balance out my weekend pizza habit.

Having worked in the public sector as well as the NFP space, what key differences have you discovered while working with Good Cycles?

Nobody is stagnant. The Good Cycles crew are the most refreshing bunch I’ve ever worked with. Ideas are constantly being thrown around. Will it work? Won’t it work? Who cares, let’s try it (it usually works well). Rules can be broken, and my rebellious streak loves that. If a job role isn’t quite suiting a young person, we can tailor it to suit their needs. This flexibility has really helped me form extremely close working relationships with our young people in a way that may be difficult in a straight-laced public sector role. Most importantly, it allows them to thrive.

...The Good Cycles crew are the most refreshing bunch I’ve ever worked with. Ideas are constantly being thrown around. Will it work? Won’t it work? Who cares, let's try it (it usually works well). Rules can be broken, and my rebellious streak loves that.

What have you personally loved about working with Good Cycles?

I’ve really loved the genuine ‘can do’ attitude of each staff member. There is no real hierarchy, everyone treats everyone with the utmost respect which is often hard to find in the working world. I’ve felt like my ideas have been listened to, and there’s always someone to rely on if something doesn’t quite go to plan (especially with my bike! Shout out to Charlie and his crew of mechanics). Good Cycles moves at the speed of lightning. In my time here, we have grown incredibly quickly in terms of creating positive opportunities for young people, which is exactly why I applied for the role. We consistently help young people realise their true potential and flourish. What more could I ask for?

Thinking about your role and the young people you’ve been able to assist, what experiences will you take with you from your time with Good Cycles?

There have been too many. From supporting young people with their first job, helping facilitate positive outcomes during coaching sessions, riding along with the crew on shift, celebrating days of significance, supporting positive transitions into further education and new careers, and of course the staff BBQ’s. In Scotland we don’t really have the weather for BBQ’s, so when I first took on the role of head chef, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I can wholeheartedly say I now know how to cater to 15 hungry young people (with a little help from grill-master Cory).

Are you interested in joining Good Cycles and supporting young people through coaching and skills development? 

Looking to join a supportive workplace, and join an organisation committed to improving the lives of young people? 

Check out our relevant available roles over on our ‘Good Jobs’ page.

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Built for modern life: Tern bikes now for sale at Good Cycles

Tern bikes land at Good Cycles

Good Cycles is super excited to announce that Tern bikes have landed at our stores. Good Cycles has extended our partnership with Tern, and we are pleased to be a trusted stockist for one of the most exciting and well-built e-bike and e-cargo bikes on the market.

Our City Services crew have been riding a fleet of Tern bikes for years now, and have put these trusty workhorses through 1000’s of hours of rigorous work, while helping young people overcome barriers to employment. If you are in Melbourne CBD, then you may have already seen one of our Youth Employment Program participants ride a full loaded bikes throughout the city, collecting food waste from city cafes, or providing asset management for councils such as the City of Melbourne and Port Phillip, through partnerships with the likes of John Holland and Citiwide.

We made the switch to Tern bikes after our previous e-bikes suffered wheel and frame quality issues, proved cumbersome, and were not up to the duties of the job. Being designed and built with utility in mind, Tern bikes offer a work ready alternative that is strong, nimble, and modular, providing a means to fit a range of different height riders with just a few quick adjustments. From our proven experience, Good Cycles can attest to their build and ride quality, and is proud to be able to now offer and recommend the Tern e-bikes to our customers.

Over the last few years, Tern’s popularity in Australian cities has been growing rapidly, due to the subscription model offered by Lug+Carrie. Now, Tern e-bikes will be available for purchase at Good Cycles stores, with the exception of our Brunswick Nightingale store, where we’ll be offering exclusive refurbished ex-demo models that will be available to purchase at special prices.

What makes Tern bikes special?

In looking at the range of Tern bikes, you’ll find some commonalities; all their offerings are built with ease of use, practicality, and comfort in mind. It’s for these reasons many families are ditching the second car (and all the expenses they come with) for an e-bike that can be used for hauling grocery shopping, taking cargo, and even taking the kids! Imagine dropping off the kids to school without having to search glaringly for a carpark at rush hour! Being a bike company that is dedicated to providing mobility solutions for the modern world, Tern also has a range of attractive foldable and compact options for those who live in apartments, and encounter lifts or stairs in daily travels.

As you’d expect, to be up to the task of such duties, the bikes need to be strong and reliable. One of the things we like so much about the Terns where other e-bike brands often fall short, is the use of familiar brands across their components; Shimano drivetrains, Schwalbe tyres, Magura brakes, & Ergon grips. Similarly, the e-bike’s powertrain is handled by Bosch, where most crucially quality and reliability matter.


It’s this curated approach to components that dictate the comfort and experience the rider benefits from when cycling, allowing the rider to go further with greater ease.

“Tern has never let me down on the job. The HSD e-bike is capable of carrying up to 180 kg of cargo and the battery has a range of 110 km. That’s enough bike for a long day at work.”
Luca
Good Cycles City Services team member

Sustainable. Practical. Enjoyable.

Part of the Good Cycles mantra has always been with sustainability in mind. Good Cycles is thrilled to be a partner with Tern Australia and be able to have these practical and sustainable transport solutions on our shop floors, and in our brand line-up.

Come in and demo one now!

There is really only one way to find out if a bike is right for you. Naturally, you have to try it! We encourage you to take a bike out, and get a real sense of its practicality, handling and enjoyment. Have questions? Chat to one of our friendly retail staff and they can show you what options are available, and which may best suit your needs.

Interested in finding out about demo and event days featuring Tern bikes? Enter your details and join our newsletter below!

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Providing sustainable food waste solutions to Melbourne’s inner-city cafes

A few months ago, ABC News Melbourne reported a story, shining a light on some of the work Good Cycles does in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Beginning in May 2022, the Caledonian food waste program, also known as the Garbage  Butler program, was initiated with support by the City of Melbourne and Citywide, with the aim of reducing cafe food waste from landfill.

Renowned for its bustling cafe culture, Melbourne’s CBD is laden with cafes and eateries, with many occupying backstreets and laneways. In such highly trafficked areas, between the cities pedestrians and its busy streets, the e-bike and trailer are the perfect mode of service, able to weave through the tight route without creating the kind of obstruction a van or truck may if it were tasked to do the same role.

Each day the team operates, they depart from our City Services headquarters in North Melbourne,    riding into the city, where they visit a number of participating cafes, collecting food waste into tubs and loading them on to our built-for-purpose trailers. Later, the food waste gets processed, averting tonnes of biodegradable waste from landfill into rich compost fertiliser.

Good Cycles City Services team member S’moe, who’s been with Good Cycles since 2018, spoke to ABC reporter Iskhandar Razak on his personal experience in his role. 
 
Check out the video for the full story.

Most excitingly, the Caledonian food waste program has recently been confirmed as a permanent program, shifting from its pilot phase, to be rolled out to service more cafes and eateries in Melbourne’s dining precincts.

Caledonian food waste collection employees work as part of Good Cycles’ Youth Employment Program. Good Cycles is proud to be a part of this innovative, sustainable solution that not only removes food waste from landfill, reduces noise, vehicle congestion and CO2 emissions used to collect waste, but does so in a way that incorporates our mission of helping young people in creating ‘Jobs for the Future’. 

To read read more about our mission, on our Impact page.

"This job has given me purpose and a reason to wake up in the morning, so I'm very grateful for that."
S'moe
City Services Team Member

Good Cycles wishes to acknowledge the support of the programs partners:

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Docklands News drops by the Docklands Bike Hub

Recently, our Docklands Bike Hub had the pleasure of a visit from Docklands News

Since 2003, the print and digital publication Docklands News has been a resource for community orientated news for all in and around the 3008 postcode. Docklands News journalist, Kaylah-Joelle Baker, visited our retro-fitted shipping container ‘Hub’ to chat with the team about their experience working with Good Cycles, and what makes our organisation different amidst Melbourne’s bicycle servicing landscape.

(Pictured L to R) Good Cycles' Docklands' staff Abby and Byron, with Good Cycles' Brand & Marketing Manager Adam Lana

Good Cycles’ Docklands’ mechanic Byron summed it up succinctly in his conversation with Kaylah:

I find this place actually creates the opportunity to up-skill employees, whereas in other places there can be limited opportunities to be up-skilled on certain levels of knowledge and tasks. I find this place gives a lot of time to allow staff to learn under seniors and create opportunities to up-skill so you can end up running your own shop in some instances. A lot of people can stay at a lower level of development in other places, whereas this place finds or creates the time for its employees to discuss things.

To read the full article over on the Docklands News website, click here!

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A new Purpose Precinct set to bloom in positive growth!

Purpose Precinct Good Cycles Social Enterprise

The Purpose Precinct is growing!

We are excited to announce that the Purpose Precinct has moved into our new and expanding space in the F-Sheds of the Queen Victoria Market. Now encompassing three retail sheds selling social enterprise and circular economy goods.

First Launched in December 2022, The Purpose Precinct is a joint initiative between STREAT, Good Cycles, & SENVIC to showcase the many brilliant products of Victorian social enterprises, unifying a host of different & innovative brands in one central location.

This month, Minister Ben Carroll announced the Purpose Precinct would be moving from its home in Queen Vic. Market’s String Bean Alley, to the new space of the F Shed Laneway. Not merely just a change in location, the new site will be larger, meaning more capacity to support up to 100 exciting Social Enterprises from Victoria

We’ve already expanded the initial concept store into two retail premisses located in F14-15 sheds and we are excited to welcome Green Collect into shed F16 a social enterprise focusing re-use and circular economy products. 

But wait, there’s more to come. Still under construction is the Purpose Precinct’s hospitality offering with more retail, events and activation spaces in the centrally located F sheds and E-stalls to come. 

Perhaps the most exciting news in the announcement is that the new ‘Precinct’ opens the door to on and off-site training and employment pathways for up to 75 participants who’ve experienced barriers to employment. A cause all of us at Good Cycles are incredibly passionate about.

“We’re backing our social enterprises because they create positives outcomes for local workers and the community – and that’s why we’re expanding this precinct at one of our most iconic markets,” 

Minister Ben Carroll.

To read the full announcement, head over to the Purpose Precinct’s website.

The Purpose Precinct is located in the F-shed on the Peel St side of the market. Come down and check it 

This announcement welcomes what will become the new home of the Purpose Precinct, and bigger space to accommodate the growing number of Victorian Social Enterprises it supports. Together with our founding partners at STREAT and SENVIC, we’re thrilled to have the support of Minister Carrol, the Victorian Government, and Queen Victorian Market as we welcome this new space that will continue to showcase the brilliance of Victoria’s Social Enterprises.
Jaison Hoernel
Good Cycles CEO
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Nestled in Nightingale’s Evergreen building, ‘The Local Project’ visits our Brunswick store

'The Commercial Project' takes a closer look at the people and spaces that inhabit the Nightingale Village Precinct.

Recently The Commercial Project – a branch of The Local Project that lends a focus on multi-residential building living, visited our Brunswick store, to chat about the overlap in values and approach that opened the door for Good Cycles to take up residency on the ground level of the Nightingale Evergreen building.

Situated in the cul-de-sac of Duckett street Brunswick, the Good Cycles Brunswick location has been made possible by a co-op of building residents that sought a commercial tenant whose business aligned with the philosophy of its residents, and would complement the precinct.

Through practices of sustainability, a focus on inclusion and community, and a shared for love for all the benefits of pedal-powered 2 wheeled transport, Good Cycles is honoured to have our newest home in this award-winning space.

In this wonderfully produced video, watch the Good Cycles team speak to our mission, and the connection and support that exists from being situated in this unique and special community.

"...Our primary focus is around creating jobs for young people who experience barriers to employment, gain some experience and transferable skills that will take them into wherever they want to go in the future."
Kirra Johnson
Head of Innovation and Impact
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2023 World Youth Skills Day

July 15th 2023 marks World Youth Skills Day. This year we celebrate not only our young people, but also our skilled Trainers, Mentors, and Leaders

Each year on July 15th, World Youth Skills Day is observed as a day of significance, celebrating the importance of helping young people develop the necessary skills to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world.

Since Good Cycles was established in 2014, our mission has been to not only reduce the barriers to employment, but to equip young people with the tools and experience that will serve as building blocks for a brighter future.

What started as providing mentorship and practical technical skills in bicycle maintenance, today Good Cycles is able to offer participants pathways to learn skills across a whole range of different industries and sectors. It’s through this diversity of roles we offer we are able to provide more opportunities for young people to gain the skills and training they need to cultivate their own career paths.

Today, learning how to fix a bike is a small component of the kind of skills a young person may learn with Good Cycles. Through our City Services division, our Car Share cleaning & relocation operations, and the work we do through our Open Spaces division, the breadth of practical skills we are able to offer our Youth Employment Participants has never been greater. In addition, participants build confidence, work as part of a team, and get to feel a sense of pride in the work they do, and what they can accomplish.

In conversation with City Services team members, our City Services Manager, Mark Liddle, spoke to some of the significant skills the team had reflected upon in their roles; from the importance of time management, and utilising critical thinking and problem-solving skills, to planning for different contingencies a day may require. Team members also spoke to the importance good communication plays in their roles, be it talking to managers, customers, or other staff.

As of May 31 2023, 24% of Good Cycle’s total employees are young people in the YEP program, receiving various levels of support such as coaching, training and on the job learning. Critically, through the observations of our coaches and supervisors, over 80% experienced an increase in capabilities, paralleling the positive guidance and support our managers and trainers can provide.

"It's such an honour to see the growth in confidence and development of both technical and transferable skills in our program participants, the simple act of being given an opportunity to get their foot in the door, as well as some on-the-job support and guidance makes such a powerful impact. Our operational supervisors do such an amazing job. Providing support and guidance in a safe and inclusive workplace environment that allows our participants to develop skills and confidence, make valuable connections and thrive in their roles."​
Khan Churchill
General Manager of Programs

The theme for World Youth Skills Day 2023 is Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future. This year we celebrate the teachers, trainers and mentors that guide our young participants as they receive training and learn new skills, providing them with more confidence and preparedness for the evolving labour market.

Good Cycles is incredibly proud of our team leaders, managers, social workers and mentors that bring their passion and commitment towards helping young people who experience barriers to employment

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Good Cycles and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation – Setting wheels in motion for youth employment

With the help of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Good Cycles looks towards future growth

As a not-for-profit social enterprise, the impact we’re able to make is a direct result of the generous ongoing support from our members, our partners in local government, and the private philanthropic space. Since 2014, Good Cycles have been fortunate to have the philanthropic support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.


As Australia’s largest independent community foundation, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation exists to create positive social change. Through their vision of Inspiring philanthropy & sustained social impact, annually the Foundation provides grants of $12 million to not-for-profit organisations across Melbourne, with the goal of promoting social inclusion and elevating the life opportunities of individuals through organisations it engages with.

From our humble beginnings, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has helped Good Cycles in our ambitions to grow as an organisation, helping us affect more change, and create more opportunities for young people. It’s through the support of such partners we’re able to chart our future growth, and focus on scaling the level of our impact.

“In terms of how Good Cycles is helping my life, I guess is giving me credit for the for the work that I'm doing.. It's good to have someone else point it out to you but then also help you point it out for yourself.”
Lucas
Operations Coordinator, & previous YEP participant
…Overall it's like a big boost in confidence. Just the ability to plan for the future, actually having that security, (it’s) much easier to make decisions that are actually going to be constructive.
Eve
Operations Team Member

What began with teaching young people how to fix a bike whilst providing mentorship, Good Cycles has since grown to exist in a variety of sectors and industries, creating more opportunities for young people to gain a variety of real-world skills applicable to jobs of today, and the future. 

Good Cycles is grateful to have the support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, helping us in our mission to remove barriers to employment and improve the lives of young people.

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The Westpac Foundation kindly supporting the Good Cycles mission

Good Cycles youth Employment Program participant Lucas

Like many businesses and not-for-profits, the Pandemic was a challenging time. It was a period that sought the need for businesses to be creative, and prompted a need to re-focus and re-evaluate

As a Social Enterprise that is heavily invested in multiple service-based operations in and around metropolitan Melbourne, including bicycle retail & servicing, car cleaning, asset management, Open Spaces and more, our scope is broad. But throughout this time the focus has remained fundamentally the same: to give young people the opportunity to gain employment skills and build confidence.
An integral part of how we operate comes from the private sector, and it’s with the help of funders, like the Westpac Foundation, that we’re able to continue to concentrate on areas of growth, and where we can continue to make a difference.
Good Cycle’s is incredibly honoured to be a recipient of the Westpac Foundation Social Enterprise Grants Program who’ve generously donated $300,000 over three years, to help us achieve our plans for future growth.
Without the philanthropic aid of those who partner with us, we’d be unable to achieve the breadth of impact we’ve been able to affect in the not-for-profit space. 
Good Cycles is incredibly grateful to the Westpac Foundation, and our other partners, who believe in our mission of creating jobs, providing mentorship, and affecting change in the lives of young people.

To read about some of the personal accounts our employees have experienced while working with us, check out this fantastic article on the Westpac Foundation’s website, here.