Mt Lawley Senior High School students have salvaged bicycles for people of Timor

Mentor Mike Harrison at work with Year 9 students Rachel Fioretino, Stephanie and Analiese Kop, Robert Vusak, Dominic Ferguson and Emily Solich. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Mentor Mike Harrison at work with Year 9 students Rachel Fioretino, Stephanie and Analiese Kop, Robert Vusak, Dominic Ferguson and Emily Solich. Picture: Bruce Hunt

MT Lawley Senior High School students have turned a heap of clapped out bicycles salvaged from roadside rubbish collections into rideable machines.

The bikes were repaired and improved by the students as a part of the school’s Bike Club initiative which aimed to be an alternative literacy option for about a dozen students.

Volunteer Bruce Hunt said a retired electrical engineer Mike Harrison (75) of Bedford, a technician at the Carnarvon tracking station during the Russian/USA space race days, was a key mentor for the students.

‘Although the bikes are hardly space technology with the help of Mr Harrison and the other mentors, these kids all aim to be stars,’ he said.

‘The students, with the help of their mentors, learn a lot of basic mechanical skills and how to use tools by stripping down bikes that are beyond repair.

‘This has helped the students identify components by using the spare parts to build good roadworthy machines, they even learn how to build and respoke wheels.

‘After each two-hour session, the students write their individual reports on what they did and how they rebuilt the bicycles, which improves their literacy skills.’

The bikes are then sent overseas to people living in under privileged villages in Timor.