Revving engines start a conversation

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Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
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The Roebuck Riders lead the Black Dog Riders off from Carnarvon Street.
Camera IconThe Roebuck Riders lead the Black Dog Riders off from Carnarvon Street. Credit: Carly Laden

A calm Sunday morning saw Broome wake up to an army of motorbike riders riding through town, all for a good cause.

As part of their annual journey around Australia, the Black Dog Riders visited Broome last fortnight in a bid to continue the conversation around mental health.

The riders had been on a 15,700km journey of personal discovery and community awareness on the annual Black Dog Ride’s 10th anniversary.

Rider Jon Benham said the journey started in Busselton and the group had been making an anti-clockwise ride around the country.

“We’re on the home stretch as we left Broome after a rest day to complete a 35-day long journey around Australia,” he said.

“We’ve had some really great community engagement in every town we visited.

“We really aim for regional areas to start the conversation and reduce the stigma around depression and suicide, and nothing starts a conversation more than when 30 bikes roll into town and people ask us where we’ve come from and what we’re doing.”

Mr Benham said the Black Dog Ride was started by Steve Andrews 10 years ago after a loved one took their own life.

“He was living in a country town and he realised that nobody wanted to talk about what had happened so he jumped on his bike and rode around Australia,” he said. “During the process he realised that everyone he met wanted to talk to him about his bike so when he got home, that’s when Black Dog Ride started.

“All of our riders come with a huge range of personal experience whether it’s their own experience or someone they know, so we make really great advocates.”

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