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Navy cycles into town for a good cause

Members from the Royal Australian Navy came to Traralgon to raise funds for youth in crisis

By Latrobe City Council - 22nd November 2001 - Back to News

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Ten crew members from the Royal Australian Naval guided missile frigate, HMAS Melbourne, cycled into Traralgon on Tuesday afternoon, after a nine-day ride for charity, raising funds for young people in crisis.

The crew members from a wide range of Naval occupations from cooks to gunners, arrived at the Traralgon Centre Plaza after completing the Bairnsdale-Traralgon leg of a thousand plus kilometre charity bicycle ride from Garden Island in Sydney to Melbourne.

Met by Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, the riders appeared fit and had relished the challenge and the opportunity to raise funds for the Sir David Martin Foundation.

A spokesperson for the riders, LSPT Vanessa Dickson, said towns along the way had been welcoming and the scenery spectacular. "It took us a little while to get our bike legs, because we started the ride almost immediately on disembarking from the frigate after being at sea," Ms Dickson said.

"Apart from being lashed by rain on Sunday the ride has been great, and in general motorists have been courteous and respected our place on the road. Apart from personal fundraising through sponsorship, we have been able to collect some donations along the way and will hopefully raise about $5,000 for the Foundation.

"At the same time, we have visited a number of schools along the way and talked to some of the students about the Navy’s role and career opportunities. The year 10 students at Bega High and Bairnsdale High were interested to find out about potential careers in the military and as we have representatives from a wide range of Naval occupations, we were able to give first hand information, drawing on our own experiences. There are some really exciting opportunities in the Navy and the students were keen to talk to us.

The primary school kids at Lucknow South really opened our eyes yesterday, they had prepared a mass of questions they wanted answered, and swamped us with requests for autographs as well," Ms Dickson added.

Cr Jenkins said the example being set by the riders was commendable. "The representatives from HMAS Melbourne are a credit to the Royal Australian Navy, their Ship and their home towns all over Australia. "Through their fundraising efforts for the Sir David Martin Foundation, they are supporting young people facing issues of physical and sexual abuse, drug abuse and homelessness," Cr Jenkins said.

The riders from HMAS Melbourne were welcomed by the Traralgon RSL on Tuesday evening, completing the final leg of their journey to Melbourne, on Wednesday.


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