News


Once upon a time the MRA ACT had an ongoing quarterly newsletter called The Inside Line, however the member responsible was unable to continue the publication. We would love it if one of our current, or prospective, members could take this mantle up again.

If you think you could help, we’d love to hear from you! Please approach any of the committee members to discuss.


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**PRESS RELEASE** 2020 ACT and Region Motorcyclist’s Annual Toy Run

Are you having a Toy Run this year?!?

That’s the question we keep hearing, and the answer is: not like previous years, but YES!

Put Saturday 5th December in your calendar, as it’s still on.

The annual Canberra and Region Motorcyclists Toy Run is organised by the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT. For the 40th year of holding this event, there won’t be a mass ride setting off from Old Parliament House due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, the MRA will encourage motorcycling groups to organise their own rides to make donations.

All goods and money donated will support the Salvation Army and St John’s Care; donation details are listed, and constantly being updated, on the events page. We are working with the Salvation Army to have a safe drop off and will keep you informed.

The annual Toy Run marks 40 fantastic years of fundraising by the motorcycling community to aid those less fortunate during the festive season, and through the generosity of its many supporters has raised tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts over the years.

This year, we are inviting riders to meet for their own rides, gather together with toys and donations of cash, wear your best Christmas gear to reflect the spirit of the Toy Run and make donations direct to the Salvation Army and St John’s Care. In past years, decorations have been highly creative and at a standard that would make Santa proud.

We’ll ask the ACT community to look out for and show support for the riders on Saturday 5th December. The Toy Run has long been a highlight for the motorcycle and scooter riders of the ACT district.

We will also encourage members of the public to donate a gift or make a donation in support of the Toy Run, as every dollar raised or present given will benefit Canberrans in need and give a valuable leg up to the Salvation Army and St John’s Care during one of their busiest periods.

Authorised by: The MRA ACT Executive Committee
Contact: Mark Boast 0405 747 500 president@mraact.org.au
Resumption of In-Person Meetings

With the entire country maintaining zero (0) active COVID-19 cases that have occurred due to unknown or community transmission, the MRA ACT Executive Committee have decided, in collaboration with the Harmonie German Club, to resume in-person meetings.

Our next meeting, the November General Members Meeting, will be taking place in-person at the Harmonie German Club, Narrabundah, on Tuesday 10 @ 7.00pm.

The MRA ACT is still in urgent need of a Treasurer, and other general committee positions are still in need of volunteer help.

Please come along, and help us continue the fight to keep ACT, and the surrounding regions, one of the best for motorcyclists!

“Joe Rider” Collaboration with Queanbeyan-Palerang

NSW Joe Rider Vest

Our friendly Road Safety Officer in Queanbeyan-Palerang has sent in this news item about the 2020 October “Joe Rider” campaign. It’s a key part of Motorcycle Awareness Month, and we’ll most likely see these riders on our roads.

Spot Joe Rider and share the road in 2020.

Joe Rider Motorcycle Safety – Report Sightings and go into the draw to win fuel vouchers.

Council’s popular motorcycle safety campaign Joe Rider has returned for 2020. The evidence shows being aware of motorcycle riders on the road is a key factor in ensuring their safety.

This campaign kicks off just as the weather is warming up and we see more local riders hitting the roads to commute to work or take a leisure ride on weekend.

Council has partnered with rider training centre Stay Upright and other motorcyclists in the area who will be wearing high-vis Joe Rider vests while riding the roads from 10-25 October to increase awareness of motorcycle riders.

If you notice a motorcyclists while you’re driving, whether they were wearing the ‘Joe Rider’ vest or not, report your sighting once you have reached your destination at
www.qprc.nsw.gov.au/joe-rider and go into the draw to win fuel vouchers.

There are five $50 fuel vouchers to be won and one $150 fuel voucher to win for the person that reports the most sightings. We can all help keep motorcyclists safe by checking twice for bikes

Regards

Joanne Wilson Ridley
Road Safety Officer
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council

2020 AGM Results are in, and the New Execs are …

The 2020 MRA ACT Annual General Meeting was held as a MS Teams meeting on 29 September, where a new executive committee was elected:

  • President: Mark Boast
  • Vice President: Jen Woods

The following general committee members have stayed on in support of the new executive as well:

  • Social Media Officer: Andrea Lanagan
  • IT Administrator/Support: Adam Smith-Platts

The MRA ACT urgently requires two willing volunteers to become the Treasurer and the Secretary. Neither of these roles are very time consuming or onerous.

There are many opportunities for the MRA ACT to become involved with, particularly following the election of the new ACT Government, as we intend to meet the new ministers who take the Road Safety and Roads portfolios. Whilst the MRA ACT missed Motorcycle Awareness Week this year, it continues to grow outside the ACT. It is intended that Motorcycle Awareness Week will restart in the ACT next year.

While Mark spends time bringing himself up to speed with the MRA ACT, we will not hold a meeting in October, but we look forward to holding a meeting in November and hopefully seeing new members and returning members.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact Mark by email to the president mailbox or to the committee.

About Our New President: Mark Boast

The MRA has played a valuable part in ACT motorcycling over many years. Its success has been down to the selfless volunteers who recognise that better and safer motorcycling does not come about by sitting back and leaving to others.

It is in this spirit that I put my hand up to take over the President role at the AGM and carry on the good work. I look forward to giving back to the MRA (ACT) for all it has done for me.

Perhaps a few words about myself as I haven’t been very visible in recent years. As a defence brat I was half brought up in Canberra and my first motorcycle licence was for a job as a Post Office telegram and mailman on the then new Honda 90’s.

I joined the Royal Australian Navy as a pilot and after 5 years found myself in the UK for another 18 where I was fortunate to fly Harriers and complete a test pilot course with the US Navy. As cockpit merged into desk I took up motorcycles again to fulfil the “need for speed” but also as a very practical way of getting around worksites in Southern England. That was my excuse anyway!

The kids made up my mind to return to Australia in 2002 and I stepped into a defence contractor role here in Canberra. Projects covered all three Services and ranged from IED electronic protection through to JSF. I’ve retired recently keeping an active role in cycling advocacy with Pedal Power, practising/teaching yoga, choral singing, and generally enjoying all that Canberra region has to offer.

The Service environment taught me the value of good training, strong technical standards, and above all a constant application of safety in all its guises. It is those lessons I wish to bring forward to MRA (ACT). Look forward to meeting you all and working and enjoying life together.

Call to Arms: The Future of the MRA ACT

Your input is needed on the future of the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT

The Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT exists to support motorcyclists and motorcycle riding in the ACT and nearby regions. Over the past few years we have successfully campaigned for mature returning riders having access to subsidised training and upskilling, lane filtering legalisation, have run an annually occurring motorcycle awareness and safety week, featuring Joe Rider, and numerous other initiatives. In addition to this representation and championing motorcycling we also continue to run important charity events such as the Winter Blanket Run which collects goods and raises money to support the homeless as well as the Christmas Toy Run which raises money and collects goods for vulnerable children and families.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the MRA ACT and usually this would be cause for celebration, however with the impacts of COVID-19 and other resourcing matters the organisation needs your help in order to continue its valuable work to ACT motorcyclist and charity recipients.

For several years now the association has run on a skeleton crew. With some of the current committee soon to be stepping down, and no longer standing for certain required positions, we are under resourced and will struggle to champion ongoing initiatives to improve and/or protect motorcycle riding in the ACT.

This is where you come in, we need your skills. We need people who can help run the association’s administration (i.e. secretary, treasurer, et cetera,) and also people with a passion in social media and outreach, with project management skills, IT skills (Office 365 and WordPress,) and numerous other executive and/or general committee positional skills.

The more people we have, putting in even just a little bit, the more we can take our association forward and be the voice we once were.

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday the 29th of September and will be held via video conference. If you are interested in supporting the MRA ACT we’d love to hear from you prior to this meeting so that your interest can be registered and we have the chance to find out what sort of role you may be interested in.

If assisting the MRA ACT sounds like something you can do, please email Chris via the Secretary mailbox.


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