Dean Thomas, Guidance Officer at Alexandra Hills State High, approached TRACTION with the idea of enrolling an all girls group in our Bicycle Build program. We’ve always had a mix of boys and girls in the program, in fact we usually have at least two girls in each group of six participants, but we’d never had a all girls crew. What a fantastic idea! 

We matched the girls with a fantastic duo of female mentors Jo and Sara, and Sandra, one of our longest serving mentors, was also a regular during the program with the girls. Simon also played a key role in support of the girls over the 9 week program.

It has been a joy to see the girls progress through the program and they graduated last week, having built some fantastic bikes and new skills.

The girls set about their bike projects eager to learn and embraced the opportunity to share responsibility for team roles such as Team Leader, Parts & Equipment, Safety and Time Keeper. A highlight was when Jan from the Lions Club of Capalaba visited to  present a generous donation of new drills for TRACTION. Jayde hosted Jan on a tour of the workshop, introduced her to the participants and mentors and presented her a TRACTION shirt and cap as a vote of thanks.

It’s rewarding for the mentor team when TRACTION participants reflect on their experience in the program and provide feedback. The girls shared insights like:

  • “It helped me manage my anger and be more patient. I’ve made many new friends and had a good time with them. It has also taught me how to fix my own bike without having to take it to a shop”
  • “I’ve learnt how to take a bike apart and build it back up. I’ve learnt to help others in need and TRACTION has made me better behaved at school.”
  • “It made me want to go to school. I’ve learnt how to pull a bike apart and put it back together!”

Thanks to Dean for taking the lead to kickstart this initiative, to the mentor team for your wonderful contribution and congratulations to the girls for their fantastic effort and growth.