Each year the Tour Village is the heart and cycling hub of the Santos Tour Down Under, showcasing Australia’s largest bike expo to cycling fans from far and wide. For the second time in a row it was great to have Bicycles SA on site promoting their Bikes Palya program where visitors could donate pre-loved bikes to be repaired and gifted to Indigenous kids living in the APY lands in far north South Australia.
These bikes are now helping to translate the excitement and freedom of cycling into positive learning opportunities for Indigenous and isolated youth through programs that reinforce the values of pride and responsibility while promoting a healthy hobby. In schools where attendance can be very low, the Bikes Palya program aims to drive attendance rates higher and to engage with typically hard-to-reach youth through the power of the bike.
The program also provides skills training that can establish employment pathways in cycling industries. This is especially important in remote regions where job opportunities can be scarce. Bikes Palya offers training and support to those interested in pursuing a career in cycling-related fields, such as bike mechanics, tour guiding, and cycle tourism.
The name of the program, ‘Palya’, is derived from the Pitjantjatjara language, which means ‘great’, and it is indeed living up to its name. Learn more about Bikes Palya and the positive impact it’s making here.