The Black Dog Ride Team
Steve Andrews - Founder
Whilst I have not suffered personally from depression it has had a major impact on my life. Four weeks after the birth of my 4th child my mother tragically took her own life. I did not understand at the time why, but have subsequently discovered that she had for many years battled depression. That was over twenty years ago but I still carry the regret that I didn't know of her struggle with this silent killer and often wonder if things could have turned out differently had she and her family and friends been more aware of this illness. Awareness of this illness, and even the fact that it is an illness, will save lives.
Fiona Duffield - Community Development Manager
Fiona responded to Steve's call for assistance in 2011 and supported Black Dog Ride with organisational and ride administration, rider liaison, website and community management on a voluntary basis for 3 years until Black Dog Ride incorporated as a national charity. With 15 years experience in the not for profit sector, Fiona is committed to building healthy, resilient communities.
Christine Jones - Administration Officer
Chris has a wealth of experience with the education and administrative sectors, and came to Black Dog Ride from the not for profit sector which she loves. Chris is an active volunteer within her own community, and became a valued member of the Black Dog Ride community in February 2016, joining the National Office to fulfil the demanding yet rewarding role of Admin Officer.
Gavin Miles - Lions Liaison
Gavin spent 13 years as a farmer in the WA Central Wheatbelt and retired to focus on a new career in finance. Gavin has seen first hand the impact of suicide in the regions and strongly believes Black Dog Ride's message of awareness is making a difference. Now president of the Claremont Lions Club, Gavin helps Black Dog Ride connect to local Lions Clubs, helping us build stronger community networks.
Graeme Raine - Bike Club and Dealership Liaison
Graeme is a training facilitator based in WA with over 20 years experience. Graeme is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. A long time rider, Graeme has followed Black Dog Ride's journey since the inaugural ride in 2009 and says he's seen the topic of mental health come right out into the open since then. Graeme assists Black Dog Ride in liaising with local motorcycle clubs and dealerships.
These invaluable volunteers coordinate community projects within their state or territory, in addition to mentoring and supporting local Ride Coordinators. Black Dog Ride could not amplify our message of depression and suicide prevention awareness across the nation without the tireless efforts of our wonderful volunteer coordinators and their amazing teams.
New South Wales, Wayne Amor
Northern Territory Mick Hutton
Queensland Michael Young
South Australia Merv Storton
Tasmania Betty Parssey
Western Australia Gary Pontifex
1 Dayer Coordinators
Dozens of volunteers in each state and territory dedicate incalculable hours to developing and organising annual Black Dog Rides. They, and their teams, are an integral part of Black Dog Ride's success in raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
1 Dayer 2017
ACT: Errol Raiser and Team;
NSW: Rose Hancock (Bathurst); Bill Rodgers (Byron Bay) Daz and Julie Jewell (Central Coast); Margaret Fairlie (Coffs Harbour), Anny Seaton (Condobolin); Wayne Amor (Dubbo); David Peach (Penrith); Paul Gaffney (South Coast); Mike Hudson (Taree); Graham Falconer (Wagga Wagga)
NT: Jon Benham (Darwin), Alice Springs (John Coulls)
QLD: Jol and Shanelle Taylor (Bundaberg/Fraser Coast); Vanessa and Phil Loudon, Derek Tottle (Cairns); Kylie Sage (Gold Coast); Charles Linsley (Mackay); Michael Young (Sunshine Coast); Chris Dow and Koro Painter (Townsville)
SA: Steve Dixon (Kangaroo Island); Merv and Julie Storton (Adelaide);
TAS: Betty Parssey (Campbell Town)
VIC: Heather Muskee and Neil Wiltshire (Penshurst); Jim Redmond (Wangaratta)
WA: Joan and Dean Braddock (Avon Valley); Chris Glover (Baldivis); Steve Ingram (Busselton); Rog and Bev Seeney (Denmark); Kathy Nikolaenko (Goldfields); Keith Williams (Jurien Bay); Sandra McGillivray (Geraldton), Jim Searle (Pilbara)
WINSTON - MASCOT
Winston was Steve's companion on the inaugural Black Dog Ride around Australia in 2009 and has been on every single Black Dog Ride! He also travels to agricultural shows, public forums and speaking engagements.
Winston has proven to be a brilliant tool for engaging the community of all ages about mental health awareness. You will see Winston on the bikes of Black Dog Riders right across the country. You can purchase your own Winston here.
Steve Andrews named the Black Dog Ride mascot after Sir Winston Churchill, who famously diarised about being hounded by the "black dog of depression".
"Black Dog" is a powerfully expressive metaphor that appears to require no explanation.The combination of 'blackness' with the negative connotations of 'dog, noun and verb, seems an eminently apt description of depression: an ever present companion, lurking in shadows just out of sight, growling, vaguely menacing, always on the alert; sinister and unpredictable, capable of overwhelming you at any moment. - Paul Foley