We Ride Australia is the operating name for the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation Limited, a registered charity (ACNC 75 618 071 855).
The formation of the Foundation was announced to all delegates at the Australian Bicycle Summit held in Brisbane on 12 May 2017 and operations commenced on 1 July 2017.
As a not-for-profit charity, We Ride Australia assumed all operations of the highly recognised national cycling advocacy program, the Cycling Promotion Fund, which was an initiative the Australian bicycle industry established in 2000.
The new We Ride Australia operating name will be the focus for all national programs and activities from early 2018, with a national video competition launched to give everyone, whatever their age or ability with a smartphone or camera, a simple way to say “We Ride!” in the push for better conditions for riding a bike in Australia.
The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) was established in 2000 by a group of leading Australian bicycle companies who believed that their industry had a broader responsibility to make Australia a better place to ride a bike.
The founding members can be proud of the national outcomes and profile of the work done by the CPF over nearly two decades.
Employing public policy expert Rosemarie Speidel in 2000 to drive the CPF’s activities at a time when the state cycling groups were still building capacity and expertise, the CPF became a nationally recognised advocacy organisation.
The CPF delivered innovative programs and national Awards, along with marketing material and data-driven resources that have assisted local and state governments to more effectively invest in cycling programs and infrastructure.
A Focus upon Federal Advocacy
By 2008 a lack of progress and presence at the federal government level was identified. The CPF’s management committee decided to address this by focusing its resources on bringing about national change.
Canberra-based Government Relations Manager, Stephen Hodge, was contracted to build a federal advocacy program that soon saw major results.
Stephen’s relationship with federal parliamentarians through his Riders on the Hill cycling group resulted in a $40m national bicycle path fund being established as part of the stimulus package developed by the Australian Government as a national response to the Global Financial Crisis.
This was the most significant funding of cycling infrastructure by any federal government in Australia’s history.
National Urban Policy Forum
During this period Stephen Hodge was appointed by Minister for Infrastructure and Cities, Hon Anthony Albanese, to his Urban Policy Forum, a national reference group to the Minister.
Canberra Transport Photo
Our 2010 Canberra Transport Photo and other outputs were also used in the landmark Major Cities Unit Ministerial statement, ‘Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport’.
Moving Australia 2030
A new Executive Officer with significant expertise in local government and community programs, Peter Bourke, was also driving the organisation as it founded the Moving People 2030 Taskforce with the rail, bus, local government and planning peak industry bodies and Heart Foundation to build a national transport position for active and public transport.
National Cycling Luminaries Awards
The Cycling Luminaries Awards continued throughout this period telling the personal stories of success in building cycling participation across the nation directly to Parliamentarians in Canberra.
National recognition at our Awards often supports the continuation of funding for local and community-based programs when the next round of funding applications become due — a national award or nomination can be a major boost of the chance for success.
In 2014 at Velo-City Global in Adelaide, the Cycling Luminaries Awards name was used for the first time. Previously, they were called the Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards.
A New National Cities Agenda
In 2014, the Australian Government’s focus nationally shifted to re-establishing the cities agenda and the CPF was once again a founding partner and a sponsor of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities.
This brought many more national peak organisations to the table in support of an effective forum for Parliamentarians to discuss cities’ issues. The group continues to engage MPs and Senators in issues relevant to transport, health, housing, productivity and environment in our cities.
International Study Tours for Decision Makers
The first of our transformational International Study Tours was organised in 2014.With the assistance of the Netherlands Consul General in Australia, we took a delegation of key decision makers to the country with the highest mode share for cycling in the world.
This annual program which has featured State Roads Ministers, Local Government Mayors and senior staff and board members of state and local government bureaucracies and automobile organisations continues to be extremely influential in building the change we want to see in Australia.
Australian Bicycle Summit
An overwhelming message from government departments, political leaders and key national entities has been that no one knows who to talk to nationally about cycling issues, so overcoming a fragmented cycling advocacy sector has always been a strategic objective of ours.
In 2015 we organised the first Australian Bicycle Summit with the overwhelming support of Australian bicycle organisations, bringing every national, state and territory cycling organisation to the table.
After three years, the Summit provides a platform for cycling organisations to reach unified positions and for high level advocacy to take place with state authorities and political leaders. The Australian Bicycle Summit is the one formal occasion each year where an entire cycling sector meets the decision makers.
We Ride Australia
July 2017 marked the adoption of the new Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation governance structure and 2018 marks the official launch of the We Ride Australia brand.
This change to an independent not-for-profit governance structure, Board and Constitution brings our national efforts to a new level of maturity and enhances our ability to drive nationwide change.
We achieved another important milestone in December 2017 when the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) officially granted us Registered Charity status.
Nearly 20 years in the making, our new name, logo and structure has been enthusiastically embraced by our long-term industry partners, our new Board and the many, many people in the community who have supported us over the years.
Foundation Members of the Cycling Promotion Fund in 2000:
- Bicycling Australia
- Birdy Imports
- Bike Shopsurance
- Bike Corp
- Body Torque
- Gemini Bicycles
- Giant Bicycles
- Greenspeed Recumbents
- Moruya Bicycles
- Shimano Australia
- Trek Bicycles