Volunteer Spotlight – Di Elliffe

We’re shining some light on our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support our efforts to get more people riding bikes every day.

Meet Di

What motivated you to volunteer with Bicycle Network Tasmania?

I was a bike rider and environmental activist in my younger years, and when I retired I was again looking for something useful to do in the community.  I attended a meeting of (then) Bicycle Tasmania and liked the people involved and the organizational style (just enough formality). I was nominated to the committee by an old friend and I’ve been very active with bike advocacy of all types ever since.  I’m passionate about making riding in Hobart and across Tasmania safer and more fun for people of all ages and abilities.  People have the right to be offered safe options for transport, and riding is so brilliant for health, social connection and the planet. 

Tell us a bit about your role on the Bicycle Network Tasmania Committee.

Our State Committee provides support for our Tasmanian professional staff, extending the range of their influence and providing additional services to riders.  My first role was coordinating of our Valet Bike Parking program - we provide valet parking for events, and the income generated supports our advocacy work.  I was President of Bicycle Tasmania for several years, during which time we negotiated a formal merger with Bicycle Network, becoming Bicycle Network Tasmania.  My current roles include coordinating our Social Rides and our Pedal Power programs, promoting e-bikes as a transport game-changer, and producing curated route maps in our Ambassador Routes program. My latest project is implementing our new Riders Club, which brings RideWithGPS tools to the management of our Social Rides.

What is your favourite thing about volunteering?

I guess it would be the camaraderie amongst the committee and our regular supporters.  We share such enthusiasms!  People get excited and fire off all sorts of ideas, and in the end we bring things together and usually get some sort of useful outcome.  We achieve improvements for riders, even though at times it feels painfully slow.  If we weren’t here, riders would not be enjoying the paths, parking, group rides, safety improvements, and the sense of being part of a larger biking community, that they enjoy now.  We stand on the shoulders of the volunteers who came before us, and we create steps to the next level for future riders.

What is your most memorable moment of volunteering with Bicycle Network?

I think that would be our merger with Bicycle Network.  It was satisfying to consult carefully with our members, to achieve unanimous support for our proposal, and to be part of the AGM where it all happened.  Then to watch a new office come into being in Hobart, with new staffing firepower and the capacity to get better outcomes for Tassie riders.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering?

Put your energy towards something that you are passionate about, that will keep driving you forward even when things don’t seem to be going perfectly.  And find people who you respect and enjoy being with. Mutual respect and kindness go a long way towards making working in groups enjoyable and rewarding.    

Thank you Di!

If you or someone you know would like to get involved, you can learn more here.

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