High school gets behind a wheelie good cause

Repairing an old bike
Bundaberg State High School manual arts teacher Greg Smith with his father John Smith and school students.

An old, broken bike might be trash to some but for students at Bundaberg State High School, it’s the opportunity to give back to the community.

The Bike Got Skooled restoration program came about last year when Manual Arts teacher Gregory Smith realised the potential of the broken bikes he had come across after some routine trips to the Council’s waste facilities. 

“I did a lot of dump runs with my father because he was moving house and I noticed people throwing away their old bikes,” he said.

“I grabbed a couple of them to work on and that's how the idea really kicked off.

“I thought, well why not make this something that will not only benefit the students but also the community?”

Mr Smith said under his Bike Got Skooled program, Year 11 and 12 students had already restored and donated up to 15 bikes to local charities.

 “This is something that started as a bit of an extra task for the kids to complete but has turned into something much more,” he said.

“I asked the students to put themselves in the shoes of the kid who would receive one of these bikes. How did they think this would make him or her feel? They really took to that.”

Year 11 and 12 students Daniel Todd and Liam Staib working on one of the bikes.

Mr Smith said the program would continue this year but included an added challenge, the Bundy Runner Project vehicle.

“I have expanded the program to feature the construction of three-wheeled bicycles that will benefit children with Cerebral Palsy,” he said.

“This is a special build that starts with cutting down bicycle frames that are the right shape and then completely building a new vehicle.”

How can you help?

Mr Smith said to assist with the new project, he and his students were on the hunt for wheelchairs.

“Some of the parts off wheelchairs will help build the new Bundy Runner Project Vehicle,” he said.

“If any businesses or residents have wheelchairs to donate, we would be very grateful.

“Once construction is complete and all safety inspections are passed, these vehicles will be donated to local Cerebral Palsy groups.

Recycling old bicycles
Year 11 students Cayden Bourke and Sabian Menyweather in the workshop.

Mr Smith said the Bike Got Skooled restoration program was becoming a success thanks to local support.

“I would like to say thank you for the support of the council with providing us with a load of unloved bicycles last year,” he said.

“Also, our principal Karen McCord has been instrumental in getting this program off the ground.

“We hope to continue growing this program to not only help our local charities but to also provide bike loans to cycling groups and other students in need.”

Bundaberg Regional Council encourages all facets of recycling.

To find out more on ways in which you can recycle, go to Council's website.