Black Dog Ride Volunteers
Empowering Communities Nationwide

Every year, Volunteering Australia encourages us all to celebrate the untiring work of volunteers "powering" our society. When we reflect upon the contribution of Black Dog Ride Volunteers, it is undeniable that they are empowering communities nationwide.

In the 5 brief years since Steve Andrews' solo Black Dog Ride around Australia - the first of many Black Dog Rides - thousands of riders in every corner of the nation have come together to amplify a vital message of depression and suicide prevention awareness.

The impact these rides have upon our communities is immeasurable. Brian touched our hearts when he reminded us of The Reason We Ride, and told us "Thanks BDR, who knows how many people you have saved from committing suicide, I am one and thank you again." Bill, a farmer, saw Black Dog Riders head through his town, and it inspired him to help others.

After every Black Dog Ride, we receive countless emails and phone calls from members of the public who have sought support for their mental ill health after seeing Black Dog Ride in their town, or who have been empowered by Black Dog Ride's efforts to start local support groups and speak up about depression and suicide prevention within their communities.

Black Dog Ride - National Volunteers Week 2014Our tireless Ride Coordinators, who volunteer every year to organise community events involving hundreds of people locally, mountains of paperwork and too numerous to count phone calls and emails criss crossing the nation, deserve a special mention.

Without these amazing Australians, Black Dog Ride couldn't be what it is, and couldn't raise the awareness that it does. The workload is immense, the hours are long, but without fail after every ride their feedback is unanimous, seeing the impact their volunteer work has on their community, they'd do it all again and again.

Thank you, our rad Ride Coords! You are an inspiration to us all!

Alongside every Ride Coordinator are Rider Liaisons, Admin Support, Support Crew, the list goes on. All are volunteers, all give their time and energy to their community via Black Dog Ride. These volunteers are the string that holds the whole package together. They don't share the limelight but give generously of their time to support our mission to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. We give our heartfelt gratitude to these unsung local heroes.

Black Dog Riders also organise mental health forums and community engagement opportunities at a variety of Agricultural Shows throughout the year supporting primary producers to raise awareness of depression in regional communities and bringing the black dog to heel, in addition to using their involvement in Black Dog Ride to promote wellbeing amongst young people in schools. From starting the conversation around mental health at local community BBQs to shopping centre stalls to sausage sizzles, Black Dog Riders country wide are out and about empowering communities and saving lives by raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention with every conversation. A sincere thank you to every Black Dog Rider for their time and support of Black Dog Ride's mission.

A special shout out to Black Dog Ride's Lions Club Liaison Gavin, Bike Club & Dealership Liaison Graeme, and Merchandise Officer Jock, who give their time to Black Dog Ride every week to help keep the wheels of Black Dog Ride turning. Their work is unseen by most, but it is certainly not unappreciated.

Please tip your hat (or helmet) today to our Black Dog Ride Volunteers!

2014 Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer Ride Coordinators

ACT: Darren Skuse & Matt Marais
NSW: Rose Hancock, Daz Jewell, John Shearer, Steven Gower, Nathe Gyaneshwar, Todd Taylor, Jeffrey Rosser, Rod Thompson, Brett Parsell, Mark Thorpe
NT: Ray Jones, Erin Cassidy, Andrew Prescott
QLD: Brett & Michelle Lewis, Liz Molloy & Kylie Sage, Charles Linsley, Michael Young, Ben Price
SA: Merv & Julie Storton, Stephen Dickson, Malcolm Smith
TAS: Betty Parssey
VIC: Ric Raftis, Ray Pratt, David McAuliffe, Heather Muskee, Jim Redmond
WA: Graeme Raine, Sam Prince, Peter Shaw, Kathy Nikolaenko & Beth Waters

2014 State Ride Coordination Teams

Ride Coordinator Wayne Amor; Rider Liaisons Steven Gower, Brett Parsell
QLD South
Ride Coordinator Don Hewett, Rider Liaison Dave Schafer
QLD North
Ride Coordinator Ben Price
Ride Coordinator Emily Holyoake
Ride Coordinator Les James; Support Crew Sam Prince and Kevin Kelly
Ride Coordinator Paul Whittenbury
Ride Coordinator Ric Raftis; Rider Liaison Shane Taylor; Support Vehicle Driver David Livingstone.

2014 Around Australia Ride Road Crew

Road Crew: Christine Prescott, Penny Lind, Ross Scott and Jock Ford

Black Dog Ride - National Volunteer Week