Bicycle education program supports TasTAFE students from migrant and refugee backgrounds


21 July 2021

Students from migrant and refugee backgrounds in TasTAFE’s Young Migrant Education Program (YMEP) are getting extra help to ride to classes thanks to a bicycle education program being delivered by an alliance of cycling interests.

Funding from local resident, Dr John Hunter, has been used by Hobart Bike Kitchen, Cycling South, Bicycle Network Tasmania and My Ride, Sandy Bay to get students their own bikes and helmets, learn about their bikes and road safety, and basic bike handling skills.

About 40 students aged between 18 and 25 are part of the project. Students have been in Hobart between one and six years and come from countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burma, Iraq, Syria and Thailand.

Many live close to the Intercity Cycleway, making riding a cheap and easy transport option for them as well as removing the fear of having to ride on roads.

Students indicated that they wanted to learn to ride for fun, exercise, to save money and have more transport independence and to help fight climate change.

TasTAFE YMEP student, Rufta Gebrhit, from Ethiopia (grew up in a refugee camp and said she had had had little opportunity to ride a bike before coming to Tasmania.

This article was originally published in the Australian TAFE Teacher Magazine, Autumn 2021