GENEROUS donations from Australia Post will deliver a much-needed boost for community-based program TRACTION to continue its work with high school youths. 

Australia Post has donated eight former postal bikes to TRACTION’S Small Engines Program which provides young people in need with the opportunity to develop mechanical and workplace skills relevant to the industry. 

TRACTION is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation which provides an alternative, action-based learning environment for youths, allowing them to realise their full potential outside of the classroom. 

Participants in TRACTION programs work on a range of equipment with support from mentors and volunteers including donated bicycles, and small engines such as lawn mowers and motorcycles.

The motorcycles donated by Australia Post are damaged or mechanically unsound providing participants of the Small Engines Program an opportunity to develop an understanding of mechanics and repair the bikes to roadworthy condition. 

TRACTION founder Sandy Murdoch said Australia Post had become an integral supporter of the program. 

“We have a number of former Australia Post staff who make the TRACTION program possible through volunteering. Volunteers are the heart of the program, it’s the experience they share and mentoring they provide, together with the donation of the postal bikes that brings benefit to the program.” he said.

 “We ultimately have eight new projects donated to us giving the students an opportunity to rebuild the engines, repair and refurbish the bikes and get them running like clockwork again. 

“It’s a great experience for our participants – their faces really light up when they restart the bikes for the first time – and it gives us the potential to generate further funding for the program once the bikes are fixed and sold. We’re very grateful to Australia Post for their generosity,” he said.

Australia Post national fleet manager, Terry Bickerton said after learning about the TRACTION program and its benefits for school students he was eager to show Australia Post’s support. 

“Supporting worthy community causes is important to Australia Post and we think what TRACTION is doing for the community is so important,” Mr Bickerton said. 

“We absolutely loved the idea of the Small Engines Program and wanted to provide support in any way we could.

“It’s great to see these old bikes being put to good use and making a change in the community,” he said. 

Retired Australia Post staff member Chris Wilson has also shown his support for the TRACTION program for the past two years. 

Happy to employ his former experience in HR Management Mr Wilson volunteers his time both on the floor and in the office ensuring TRACTION is around for the long run. 

“I love it here because TRACTION has a unique opportunity to influence the lives of teenagers, to help them make better choices about a range of issues including school and the workplace,” Mr Wilson said. 

“We achieve results in every workshop, whether the change is big or small, every young person that walks into TRACTION leaves with something, be it a life skill or life-long friends – that is the single best part about TRACTION, we are making a change in the kids’ lives,” he said. 

While the TRACTION program is centred on the restoration, repurposing or customisation of bikes, TRACTION also offers young people experience in a workplace-like setting and the chance to explore various disciplines like project management, communication, team leadership and workplace safety.

The Small Engines program was developed with the support of John and Scott Peterson with the help of their team at Pro Honda Motorcycles Moorooka, which provides rent-free space for TRACTION within its service centre.

“TRACTION helps keep young kids off the streets and gets them interested in their future by creating hobbies outside of the classroom,” John Peterson, Owner of Pro Motorcycles said. 

“At the Moorooka workshop participants are working in a real business environment, TRACTION may not be a school but it is a program where members experience real working operations and get excited about what they’re learning,” he said. 

TRACTION opened its latest workshop in Beaudesert this month, and currently offers programs at Alexandra Hills on Brisbane’s Bayside, Moorooka on Brisbane’s Southside and in conjunction with the YMCA Vocational School in Logan. 

TRACTION is continuously looking to grow and expand its initiatives and program offerings and appreciates any community support. 

For further information please visit www.traction.community