Black Dog Ride's Team


Our awareness raising activities are made possible by our huge band of dedicated and selfless volunteers, who take on many different roles in our many different activities. In 2019 over 400 people gave their time and energy to helping with rides and community activities right across Australia, making a real difference in people's lives right across the nation.

To our fantastic volunteers, thank you!

State and Territory Coordinators

These invaluable volunteers coordinate community projects within their state or territory, in addition to mentoring and supporting local Coordinators. Black Dog Ride could not amplify our message of depression and suicide prevention awareness across the nation without the tireless efforts of our wonderful volunteer coordinators and their amazing teams.

New South Wales – Graham "Bear" and Nerolie Falconer

Northern Territory – Shelby Bradley

Queensland – Michael Young

South Australia – John Coulls

Tasmania – Ken Harris

Victoria – Bernie Garvey

Western Australia – Daryl Brough

1 Dayer Coordinators

Dozens of volunteers in each state and territory dedicate incalculable hours to developing and organising our annual Black Dog Ride 1 Dayers. They, and their volunteer teams, are an integral part of Black Dog Ride's success in raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention.


  • Canberra - Deanne Vaughan


  • Bathurst - Rosemary Hancock
  • Central Coast - Alasdair Fairlie
  • Condobolin - Anny Seaton
  • Dubbo - Wayne Amor
  • Newcastle - Jeremy (Chewy) Brett
  • Penrith - Gary Arnold
  • Tamworth - John Holyoake
  • Wagga Wagga - Graham "Bear" Falconer
  • Wollongong - Scott Quayle


  • Alice Springs - Jarred Torres
  • Darwin - Shelby Bradley


  • Cairns - Vanessa and Phil Louden
  • Darling Downs - Clayton Cahill
  • Gold Coast - Kylie Sage
  • Mackay - Charles Linsley
  • Sunshine Coast - Michael Young
  • Townsville - Peter (Parky) Parkinson


  • Adelaide (South) - Craig Field
  • Ceduna - Sue Pittaway
  • Jamestown - Nick Fetherstonhaugh
  • Kadina - Pietro Garfalo
  • Kangaroo Island - Steve Dixon
  • Whyalla - Wendy Roffey


  • Campbell Town - Ken Harris


  • Albury Wodonga - Mark Hayley
  • Ballarat - Mark Dwyer
  • Latrobe Valley - Ron Ipsen
  • Melbourne - Gary Stooke
  • Mornington - Ryan Jackson
  • Seymour - Kylie Wheeler
  • South West Victoria - Phil Showler
  • Wangaratta - Kurt Dissengna


  • Avon Valley - Wesley Sutton
  • Baldivis - Chris Glover
  • Busselton - Steve Ingram
  • Denmark - Roger Seeney
  • Esperance - Paul McKenzie
  • Kalgoorlie - Kathy Nikolaiyjenko
  • Pilbara - Joanne Waterstrom Muller
  • Port Hedland - Chris Burns

Winston – Mascot

Winston was Steve's companion on the inaugural Black Dog Ride around Australia in 2009 and has been on every single Black Dog Ride! He also travels to agricultural shows, public forums and speaking engagements.

Winston has proven to be a brilliant tool for engaging the community of all ages about mental health awareness. You will see Winston on the bikes of Black Dog Riders right across the country. You can purchase your own Winston in our online shop.

Black Dog Ride's Mascot is named after Sir Winston Churchill, who famously diarised about being hounded by the "black dog of depression".

"Black Dog" is a powerfully expressive metaphor that appears to require no explanation.The combination of 'blackness' with the negative connotations of 'dog, noun and verb, seems an eminently apt description of depression: an ever present companion, lurking in shadows just out of sight, growling, vaguely menacing, always on the alert; sinister and unpredictable, capable of overwhelming you at any moment. - Paul Foley

Black Dog Ride Awards and Honours

The awards and honours Black Dog Ride has received in recognition of the tireless work of Black Dog Riders in raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention across the nation.

Anna Michael's sudden suicide was the catalyst for creating Black Dog Ride

Black Dog Ride - How it Began

Anna Michael. A vibrant woman with a bright smile, a wife and a mother of two. Her sudden and tragic suicide following a silent struggle with depression was the catalyst for the inaugural Black Dog Ride in 2009.

In 2008 I received a phone call from an old friend David who had not long ago lost his wife in a tragic domestic accident. She, as I later found out, had suffered from depression and although it did not cause her death directly, it may have ultimately been a contributing factor. David's phone call left me in stunned disbelief.

My best friend Jack, best man at my wedding, had just discovered his beautiful wife Anna had drowned herself in the river near the family home. How could this be? The last time I had seen them was at my 2nd daughter's wedding. They were so happy and had such fun. In my mind it was inconceivable that they had gone from that to Anna ending her life.

Over the next few days I learned that Anna had battled with depression for many years and that Jack had only discovered this 12 months earlier when she had attempted suicide. Why hadn't Anna talked to Jack about her despair and feelings of hopelessness, and why didn't Jack talk to his best friend when he became aware of the problem? Could it have been the stigma which seems to be attached to mental illness that makes it a taboo subject to talk about?

Best mates, Jack Michael and Steve Andrews. The sudden suicide of Jack's wife Anna was the catalyst for Steve creating Black Dog Ride. Click on the image to read the article.

I knew that I had to do something.

It was at Anna's wake that all of these thoughts and questions crystallized in my mind and I knew that I had to do something, anything, to fight this epidemic of depression which seemed to be surrounding me. An old family friend of my wife Jennifer was at the bar of the yacht club where the wake was held. He and Jen were talking about why we were there when much to her surprise and shock he admitted that he suffered from depression. At first he was actually quite reluctant to talk about it but Jen is a good listener and he opened up as the conversation evolved. Basically he didn't confide in his friends or workmates that he had the illness for fear that he would be perceived as weak. This was a mature successful businessman, competitive sailor and great family man who was scared to talk about something which changed his life substantially in such a negative way.

Hearing of this I knew there and then what I was going to do to make a difference. I had long held a dream to ride around Australia and here was a purpose, a compelling, driving reason for me to fulfill that dream and at the same time raise much needed awareness about the insidious nature of depression.

Following twelve months of planning I set off from Busselton in WA on 26 July 2009 for the inaugural solo Black Dog Ride around Australia. 26 days, $34, 232.80 fundraised, and 15,000kms later and I knew that I had been successful in my mission to raise awareness but I also knew that it was just the beginning.

Please remember, depression is an illness not a weakness and effective treatments are available. It is ok to reach out for help; it's ok to talk about the way you feel. You don't have to battle it on your own.

-Steve Andrews