Aboriginal riders pedal a good health message

THEY rode into Albury to cheers yesterday after pedalling 900 kilometres in 10 days from Wollongong.

Tour Da Country riders cycled in the name of improving indigenous health and closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy and rates of chronic disease.

They rode into Glen Park in Glenroy to cheers from their families, the children of Koori Kindermanna Preschool and Albury-Wodonga Aboriginal Health Services workers who had set up information stalls on health in the park.

Wollongong Aboriginal health worker Shane Venables, who has family in Albury, was one of the key organisers.

He scooped up his children Daisy, 1, and Molly, 3, in his arms when his wife Katrina Venables greeted him as he rode in.

“It was great, an inspirational journey to see my brothers and sisters along the way and the message we were promoting for the good health for our people and stopping our mob from getting preventable chronic diseases,” Mr Venables said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience chronic diseases 2½ times more than that of other Australians.

The service’s health promotion worker, Bobby Whybrow, said he hoped it would encourage more indigenous people to get health checks.

“It comes down to closing the gap and living longer, happier and healthier lives,” Mr Whybrow said.

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