Donation of bikes as possessions as attempt to break poverty cycle

Tara is a town of less than 2,000 people in Queensland’s Western Downs. The Tara Shire State College takes in students from Prep through to Year 12. Desperate poverty haunts the region. OCTEC are doing their part to assist the next generation break the cycle.

Tara is a small town in Queensland’s Darling Downs region, about 300km west of Brisbane. The town faces significant economic and social challenges, and the Tara Shire State College reflects many of these.

According to Principal, Belinda Walker, “We are a P-12 school, made up of a diverse range of students and staff from a variety of different backgrounds. Many students are third or fourth generation welfare dependent, around 25 per cent are First Australians, and more than third have a diagnosed disability. We are the only high-school in the region, servicing an area of more than 10,000 square kilometres.”

In March, OCTEC’s Toowoomba/Ipswich Regional Manager, Rachel Scott, partnered with the school to launch the Bicycle Maintenance Club Program. As part of the venture, students are encouraged to join a lunchtime club, restoring old bicycles donated to the school. Not only does this program build community connection, it allows the students to develop life skills and experiences.

They learn to value their own property and that of others.

OCTEC supports the program through the purchase of tools, bike parts, and safety gear.

Following the initial 10-week program, 15 students graduated and received new bicycles and bike helmets, also paid for by OCTEC.

Our organisation’s sponsorship continues throughout the year with successful students to receive bikes at the end of the school term in June, September and December depending on their completion of the program.

It’s another wonderful example of community engagement.

Special acknowledgement of Rachel’s commitment to servicing and supporting causes that will benefit her local area and participants.


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