On 14 January 2021 at Maribyrnong Edible Gardens, AMCS proudly launched Ride with Matilda, a surrey bike program, to improve the mental and physical health of multicultural seniors in the Western suburbs.
“It has been many months in the making, a very important day for us,” said Elizabeth Drozd, AMCS CEO.
The event brought together The Honourable Bill Shorten MP, Cr Michael Clarke, Mayor of Maribyrnong, and Gamini Perera OAM, founder and president of SCATS (Sri Lankan Study Centre for the Advancement of Technology & Social Welfare Inc, Australia) as keynote speakers.
In Mr Shorten’s speech, he said the surrey bike is a, “remarkable feat of engineering. It is a chance for people to be together. It is a chance to have harmony. Happiness. Health. This bike is another example of community and togetherness.”
The bike fits four adults and two children and features a small motor to smoothly drive along grass. Not only does Ride with Matilda encourage people to stay active, but also, the program allows multicultural communities to stay connected.
Over refreshments, guests had the opportunity to ride the bike. After they cut the ribbon to officially launch the program, Mr Shorten with his daughter Clementine, Mr Clarke and Mr Perera were more than ready to test out the vehicle.
“I’m dressed for the occasion, ready to give it a go, be active,” said Mr Clarke. “It’s about the quality of life we live. Make a commitment to yourself. Look out for each other.”
Beautiful weather blessed the event, and many invitees, including our special guest speakers, commented on how much they appreciated this new initiative to keep seniors active.
“I really appreciate this contribution,” said Mr Perera.
Thank you to Footscray Rotary Club, Maribyrnong City Council, Sport Australia and RACV for their partnership in bringing this resource to life. Going forward, community groups can hire the bike for outings and festivals by contacting AMCS reception on (03) 9689 9170.