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Check out the great work our team has been doing on our most recent FOGO Bin Liner Project!

Recently our team has been working together with Citywide to deliver bin liners on behalf of the City of Melbourne for food and garden organics waste to registered homes around town. We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work our staff have been doing these past few weeks, demonstrating teamwork and communication skills to complete this project.

What the project involves:

Under the guidance of Team Leader Gareth, the crew gathers in the morning and would receive a section of a map with participating residences. Each crew member receives a bundle of bin liners and travels to their respective drop off locations in a van. Using e-cargo bikes as well as travelling by foot, each team member delivers a bin liner to each property on their list. After every shift, the team reconvenes to check how many residences received bin liners and how many more remain for the next shift.  

Over the course of three weeks, the 7-person crew delivered bin liners to 10,000 addresses in the City of Melbourne. An astonishing accomplishment and all credit goes to our crew of young people who have meticulously worked together to get the best out of each other. “It’s been great to see how smooth the workflow has been. I’m so proud of the teamwork that has been on display throughout these three weeks,” says Team Leader Gareth. “Major shout out to Lucas as without his organisational skills, none of this would have been possible,” added Gareth.  

"Fantastic to partner with Good Cycles for our FOGO bin liner delivery program for a third time running. Their professionalism and can-do attitude made getting the job done easy and supporting young people on their journey to rewarding employment is such a great outcome. We look forward to future employment opportunities."
Tim Wright
Senior Recycling Manager, City of Melbourne

The Good Cycles team have proven themselves to be hard workers in a team environment, taking with them many communication and leadership skills that they can transfer into future employment.  As this project did not require a driver’s licence or other forms of certification, it is another example of meaningful, entry level work that breaks through barriers to employment. 

"Citywide is pleased to have supported another successful FOGO Liner Delivery Program for the City of Melbourne, in collaboration with our long-standing and entrusted partner, Good Cycles. The liner program aims to encourage the ongoing uptake of FOGO services throughout the Melbourne municipality whilst also serving as a valuable entry point for youth employment and skills development through Good Cycles' community partnership initiative. A win for the environment, the Melbourne community and young job seekers."
Gabrielle Lethlean
Sustainability and Continuous Improvement Lead, Citywide Waste

Our Good Logistics team has made an environmental impact on many residences within our community, helping to prevent tonnes of food and garden organics waste from ending up in landfill and helping shape the way we think about residential waste. Each delivery of bin liners means that we can take another step towards shaping more livable communities, converting residential food and garden organics waste into fertiliser and compost.

Find out more about the positive impact we’ve been making.

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Camilo’s experiences in City Services

We recently sat down with Camilo from City Services, to listen to his experiences at Good Cycles and what he has learned on the job so far

Camilo migrated from Venezuela in his late teens, learning English while working around town. After discovering Good Cycles through a Facebook group for Spanish speakers, it led him to a job working as a van driver in our Labour Hire partnership with Lime. His time on the road taught him some valuable communication and management skills, that helped break down his barriers to employment and opened up further leadership opportunities within Good Cycles. Twelve months on, Camilo reflects on his transition to a leadership position, emphasising the importance of learning on the job and being an empathetic listener, and the virtue it plays in motivating his staff.

Tell us about your experiences with Good Cycles

I’ve found that the work is fun and collaborative, which put me at ease on my first day. There’s a focus on keeping the workplace friendly while you learn on the job. When Good Cycles’ Impact Team contacted me for the first time, they made a good impression. They cared about my goals, and that motivated me to try my best on the job. I poured my heart and soul into my work, and it ultimately paid off when the Impact Team contacted me to see if I was interested in taking a leadership role in City Services. I was excited to know that I had made such a positive impact that Good Cycles were headhunting me. 

Tell us about your role as Operations Supervisor. What skills have you acquired and what have you learned about yourself?

During my first week in the office, my supervisor told me: “Expect the unexpected!” When I arrive at work, I first see who is on shift and scan the warehouse for available equipment. I get a sense of how the crew are feeling so I can meet them on their level. Over the past year, I have learned how to manage a team of over 30 people and I have improved my risk assessment skills. Under the guidance of my supervisors, my admin skills have also improved and I can better communicate with partners and clients.

How would you describe Good Cycles as an organisation?

I would say that the company is very patient with its staff. This is a place where you can feel comfortable learning on the job, where you are expected to make mistakes and gradually improve in your role. Everybody sets small attainable goals in a positive working environment that promotes inclusion and safety. Having the Impact Team to assist you in any issues you may have and all the resources they provide makes everybody here feel comfortable on the job.

"At Good Cycles, I was given enough responsibility to feel like my work was worthwhile."
Camilo
Operations Supervisor

What has been a highlight of yours while working here?

Apart from mastering cafe latte art, my first month working as a van driver would be high up on my list. I remember rescuing a scooter from the Yarra River and feeling such a sense of accomplishment. This job gave me the freedom to work the hours I wanted and made me feel like I was achieving something during my shift.

What’s in store for Camilo in 2024? Camilo shared with us his aspirations to undertake study in the field of Interior Design. Camilo’s positive attitude and hard work has been attested to by his peers, and Good Cycles is grateful for all his hard-work approach, the leadership he’s shown, and his cheerful, friendly demeanour he consistently exhibits.

Interested in joining the Good Cycles crew?

Visit our Good Jobs page and see what opportunities await you.

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What makes Good Cycles your friendly neighbourhood bike shop?

As a social enterprise that empowers young people with safe and meaningful work, we believe in the power of positivity. It is one of the moving forces for our good cycles of change. We recently asked some of our bike mechanics to shine a light on this positivity, and posed the question: What makes a bike shop accessible? Here are four values that our bike mechanics bring to our stores.

Listening

We make sure each customer is heard, that we respect your time and budget so you can get the best out of your customer experience. Listening to a customer will allow our mechanics to solve any issues you may have, which means you can get back to cycling and getting the most out of your bike.

Respect

We understand that your bike may be your primary mode of transport and is important to you. We can work together to get you back on the road with our quality service. For us, respect also means being honest with you if the cost of service will outweigh the price of your bicycle. Our mechanics will always be happy to assist you with any query you might have.

Being Approachable

We stay grounded by constantly reminding ourselves that we serve a diverse community of cyclists. Commuters, seasoned roadies, adventurous MTB riders, second hand bike enthusiasts all visit our bike stores for regular servicing and to purchase parts & accessories. We open our doors with gratitude for each and every person that visits us.

Engaging with the client

We never make presumptions of our customers’ wants and needs, nor their cycling skills and level of bike knowledge. We take the time to ask questions, to understand what each person wants so they can get the very best out of their bike. 

"We're here to do what's best for your bicycle, because we love seeing the cycling community grow."
James
Good Cycles Bike Mechanic
"Very friendly, invested and helpful; very reasonably priced for the CBD."
James T.
Goldsbrough Lane customer

Our mechanics take the time to take special attention to details and are collaborative in finding what’s best for a customer’s bicycle. We are passionate about working for the community and providing the quality service to get you on your way. And remember, when you shop with us, know that 100% of our profits go to towards employing young people facing barriers to employment. Why not make a positive impact today and bring your bike in for service with one of our friendly mechanics.

100% of our profits go towards employing young people facing barriers to employment.

Make a positive impact on a young person’s life by getting your bike serviced with us. 

Get discounts off servicing and accessories when you sign up to be a member this year.

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10 Years of Change video tells the Good Cycles Story and Champions Our Young People

We have been steadily growing as a social enterprise these past ten years, so to celebrate, we’ve gathered together staff and crew to feature in a 10 Years of Change video. The video shines a spotlight on each division of our organisation, demonstrating the Good Cycles of Change that began in 2013.

Showcasing our humble beginnings teaching young people to repair bikes, then highlighting the expansion of our social enterprise to provide jobs for young people facing barriers to employment. As you will see, the video champions our Young People, by supporting them to acquire transferable goals to reach their own goals. We will continue to develop new ways to create employment to makes a positive impact on community and on the planet.

"Our mission is to create safe and meaningful work that create good cycles of change within out community and protect our planet."
Jaison Hoernel
Good Cycles CEO

We’d like to send our gratitude to the wonderful folks at Cormac Creative Studios for bring our vision to life.

A special shout out to our very own John Bech, for providing his voice over for the video.

We’d also like to thank our generous partners for their continued support during our Ten Years of Change. Each and every one of you has made a positive impact to the lives of young people facing barriers to employment.

Video Transcript:

Spoken by John Bech

It all started in 2013. An idea born over a cup of tea to use the bicycle for positive change. Loretta Curtin and Luke Wright taught people how to fix bikes and break through barriers to employment. Through the Pedal Empowerment Program,  we up-skilled young people, serviced thousands of bikes and donated bicycles to help asylum seekers get mobile.

In 2015, we took over Bicycle Training Australia. Mixing Trainees with young people who were battling our justice system, new to Australia, or facing long-term unemployment.

In 2016, we opened the community bike hub in Docklands and our new CEO wins us the Melbourne Bike Share servicing contract.

In 2017, Good Cycles expands even further, opening its second community bike hub – this time in Geelong. But we didn’t stop there!

In 2018, we begin to deliver services on bikes. Everything from car share cleaning, collecting organic food waste, solar bin checks, deliveries and logistics, asset management and more. Creating meaningful jobs to empower young people while removing trucks and cars from our streets.

It’s 2021 and we go beyond the bike: acquiring Open Spaces, a commercial landscaping business to help young people find jobs landscaping, collecting litter and mowing grass for the entire length of the Western Ring Road. Our Youth Employment Program provides countless hours of employment, coaching and support.

But we didn’t stop there! In 2022, we opened our fourth bike shop at Nightingale in Brunswick and we are servicing all the Lime share bikes across Melbourne and Sydney.

Which brings us here – The Purpose Precinct, a hub that showcases the wares of over 30 social enterprises. Supporting the sector, while employing and training more young people.

10 years on, we are still innovating to create meaningful jobs. Good jobs that break through barriers to employment, that nurture our community, are good for the planet, and create Good Cycles of change.

Want to get involved in all things Good Cycles?

Enquire about our membership packages for 2024!

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2023 was another fantastic year, with plenty of highlights

We want to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff for all they’ve accomplished this year. Our Good People make us proud to be a part of the Good Cycles family. In fact, we saw a 40% increase in employment – amazing! We’re privileged to ensure safe and meaningful work for all our employees, so watch this space to see what’s in the works in the new year. Now follow us down memory lane and relive this year’s stand out moments.

 

February saw us launch our newest bike shop in Brunswick. Located in the Nightingale Evergreen building, nestled by the Upfield Bike Path, we have been welcomed by thousands of cyclists this year. We are so thankful to Nightingale Housing for supporting us throughout this journey. A special shout out to Woodbeast and YMCA Rebuild for the countless hours fitting out the bike shop – without you none of this would be possible.

June played host to the annual Melburn Roobaix, an exhilarating fun ride that twists and turns through Melbourne’s inner north. We provided fun and support for participants riding in costumes and all types of contraptions. Many cyclists received complimentary 3 month memberships to all of our bike shops as a thank you for participating. A brilliant ride was capped off with the news that Melburn Roobaix had raised $500 for FoodBank Australia.

 

In July, Good Cycles began its partnership with Brunswick Cycling Club. A fantastic opportunity for us to broaden our social impact and reach through passionate cyclists of all ages.

September was jam packed: we were featured on ABC News and Tern Australia partnered with Good Cycles. Tern’s range of Bosch powered e-bikes and cargo bikes will give you peace of mind since they’re accessible and comfortable to ride. You can find our range of Tern e-bikes and cargo bikes online and in store, where our friendly retail staff will show you how easy it is to replace your second car.

A few of our staff had the chance to be featured on ABC News as our FOGO Program stole headlines for its innovative organic waste collection service operating in Melbourne CBD’s cafes and restaurants. Reducing food waste in landfill as well as setting career goals in the equally innovative Youth Employment Program, everyday heroes showing out.


October’s Ride2Work Day was a huge success. We provided free safety checks for cyclists along the Docklands and MCEC as well as on-site servicing and tune ups. Free snacks from our friends at Bicycle Network and Lime Australia kept spirits high on what was a cheerful and memorable morning.

At the end of October,  Minister for Employment Vicki Ward officially launched the Purpose Precinct at its new home in F Shed, Queen Victoria Market. The social enterprise retail space is Melbourne’s one stop shop for gifts with purpose – stocking clothing and accessories, homewares, and kitchenware from Victorian social enterprises. Another step in building Melbourne’s circular economy and providing safe employment for young people, so come say hello to our staff the next time you’re at QVM.

November was a milestone month as we had our 10 Year Celebration, where we recognised 10 Years of Change and enjoyed the social impact we have made over the years. A great turn out and lovely to see so many faces on the night, be sure to check out our social media for more photos of videos and read our 10 Year Recap at Good News.

December rolled around the corner as we celebrated Open Spaces turning 2! The Good people at Open Spaces are dedicated to maintaining the lawns, bike paths and roads along the M80/Western Ring Road, working in all weather conditions and motivating all of us to go above and beyond. Congratulations on this milestone and keep up the good work!

Honourable Mentions:

Watch this space for all the good news and we hope to see around in 2024!

Stay safe and have a festive holiday season!

Thanks for your continued support, we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2024!

Want to get involved in all things Good Cycles?

Enquire about our membership packages for 2024!

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A bike mechanic’s journey with Good Cycles in the Youth Employment Program

Jason wandered into our Geelong bike shop as a wide eyed customer not knowing that Good Cycles was a social enterprise. Now he’s working with us, learning on the job and setting goals for his job of the future.

(Jason is not the real name of this Youth Employment Program participant, as they have chosen to remain anonymous.)

As an avid road cyclist, our YEP staff member always appreciated the knowledge and welcoming environment the team at Geelong provided, and quickly built a rapport with JP and the Geelong team. He really wanted a job with Good Cycles, but at the time there was nothing on offer.

Jason was new to Geelong, after moving out of home for the first time from regional Victoria. He quickly found himself in the pressure cooker of young adulthood, stuck in a work environment that wasn’t inclusive and lacked a positive work culture.

J.P., our Bike Shop Manager at Geelong, reached out and offered an opportunity to work as a trainee mechanic and retail assistant, which Jason didn’t pass up.

At first, Jason wasn’t a part of our Youth Employment Program (YEP) but as JP listened and learned more about his new employee, he approached Jason to see if he’d be keen to have a chat with one of our Youth Coaches, Leesa.

Good Cycles welcomed him into the program. Leesa now sees Jason on a regular basis to set personal goals and study goals, so that he can find long term employment in a job of the future. One of his goals is to go back to university.

"Jason recently set a goal to find a university course in Environmental Sciences and to start planning a move to Melbourne to broaden study and job opportunities in that field."
Leesa
Youth Coach
Since March 2023, our YEP participant has been steadily achieving the goals he sets out for himself. Interpersonal skills are what his manager JP wants to instill in the young bike mechanic and the team at Little Malop Street:

“At our bike shop, I like to think we uplift, encourage and educate… it’s all about creating a positive work environment and to give the confidence to ‘talk shop’ for hours on end.” ~ JP

At first, Jason didn’t think he was eligible for the Youth Employment Program. He gradually took the time to listen and gather a deeper understanding of the challenges that he and other young people face. Our YEP participant went in with an open mind and is now reaping the rewards of the program.

Our YEP staff member loves his job and has been working at Good Cycles’ Geelong bike shop for several months. In that time frame, he has expanded his bike mechanic knowledge and says the positive, people-focused work culture motivates him.

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
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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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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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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.