Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council - EMRC's stories

Tarnika Brewer

Final Hoorah of Bike Week!

This story is related to Host a social ride for staff

The EMRC’s last day of bike week turned in to an absolutely beautiful morning. We had a walkers group going and we also had our last riding group for the week. The EMRC riding group had a destination in mind and this destination was the City of Belmont’s Bike Week Breakfast. Supporting our local member Councils is important to the EMRC and it was a very well organised event by the City of Belmont.

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The EMRC staff rode from work down to the Swan River, along Hardey Park in Belmont and followed the river bend around to Balburk Reserve. Riding in to Balburk reserve there was a bike valet, coffee van, breakfast being served, people stretching, socialising and moving about. The Bike DR’s were busy with many bikes been serviced and passed through their hands, including ours which was a fantastic added service. It was a great occasion to see a really good example of a successful bike event which was supplied for the public. We all had a great morning at the Bike Breakfast event before riding back along the Swan River as a group.

In the afternoon our Bike Quiz winners were announced, which was conducted by Survey Money. There were 3 days allocated for the bike quiz, which staff could complete at their leisure. We had some very skilled bike knowledge which ended with prizes for first, second and third; all prizes were arranged from the Your Move rewards shop! People were surprised at their knowledge and feedback was positive surrounding the quiz, people appreciated being involved even if they may not be able to ride a bike to work.

Overall the EMRC had a very successful, fun filled, positive bike week events and experiences. There was something for everyone and it encouraged people to think, do and plan active travel movements! We look forward to our next bike event!

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Tarnika Brewer

Spin Trial - Bike Week Activity #4

This story is related to Lunch and learn opportunities

Right in the middle of Bike Week the EMRC staff were given the opportunity to try a beginners spin class at our local leisure centre. The idea of getting off road and into a studio was to encourage people that they can ride a bike and feel comfortable doing so. We had 7 staff that were game to start their morning right!

Holding a group fitness session where there was no pressure to keep up with a riding pace made it open to staff of different fitness levels. During the spin class the instructor was aware of diverse fitness levels and could cater for everyone by telling us to increase our resistance level or turn it down, take a standing position or sit back down, but she reassured staff that if you need to take a break turn the resistance down, but don’t stop peddling!

Contacting our local leisure centre, Bayswater Waves, and letting them know about the EMRC's bike week activities and why these activities were being held was an awesome opportunity to spread the word of active travel and how it can influence the workplace. Bayswater Waves kindly agreed to hold a bike spin session with one of their instructors for the EMRC staff.

All staff members had positive feedback from the morning; the instructor was full of energy and encouragement which aligned with positive attitudes. Most people had never done a spin class before so having a positive experience firsthand was fantastic.

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Tarnika Brewer

Thinking all Things Bikes – Bike Week Activity #3

The EMRC Bike Week Quiz was all about getting individual staff members to take a 5 minute break out of their day and test their knowledge surrounding bikes. By testing their knowledge about bikes it promoted active thinking about bike travel, bike parts, bike rules and bike history!

Creating the quiz on Survey Monkey allowed for quick creation, access and distribution. The Bike Week Quiz was 20 questions long, with a surprise riddle question about bicycles at the end. Survey Monkey has a Quiz platform where scores can be automatically calculated and has analyses components which are easily used.

Personalising the quiz was key in maintaining the bike week theme! Promotion material which was supplied by the DoT was used as a background and the colour theme was adapted throughout. Engaging people with easy access, colourful promotion and bike related questions was helpful in gaining participation rates. Plus people like to be competitive and there is nothing like a little competition between co-workers to win a prize.

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By introducing active thinking surrounding bikes it created opportunity for people to become more accustomed to the idea of riding, it might not be straight away but may happen in the future. Check out the bike week quiz which EMRC used during bike week by clicking here.

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Tarnika Brewer

Bike Week Activity #2 Pin the Seat on the Bike

This story is related to Lunch and learn opportunities

Pin the Seat on the Bike is a game adapted from pin the seat on the donkey, nothing like bringing back good childhood memories. Along with morning tea this activity was to get people involved and thinking about active travel in a fun way, without having to use a bike or take time beyond work time. We found staff relaxed after seeing the first person give it a go, staff were able laugh and have fun.

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The room was dressed in Bike Week flyers, an A1 bike image and handouts of the EMRC bike week calendar. This created an environment which was welcoming and diverse to an office space, it encouraged staff networking. Morning tea was supplied and has always been a great draw card for staff to come and participate in activities.

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As staff entered they were given a paper cut out of a bike seat, in which they wrote their name on the back. There were bike seats placed off the paper, close to the seat and we even had two very lucky staff who managed the big score of pinning the seat on the bike! There was involvement from all different service areas of the EMRC and it was very enjoyable morning.

The prep for this game was very simple; it involved printing out an A1 print of a bike (making it colourful to suit the bike theme), cutting paper bike seats and putting together a quick morning tea. To get staff involved you may even ask staff to bring something to share for morning tea, this promotes great interaction and commitment to the activity. Even though it is based on an old school party game there was very positive feedback and all staff that joined in had great time.

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Tarnika Brewer

Bike Week Day 1

This story is related to Get involved in Bike Week

Starting off Bike Week 2019 with a BANG! There are many events planned this week at the EMRC, and there is something for everyone! We have noticed when planning rides that people may not have bikes or they may live too far to ride. So we have provided staff with activities which are done in house, this gives every staff member a chance to get involved! We will be hosting a bike quiz, a bike themed morning tea, a spin class at our local leisure centre and two morning rides.

Our first activity was a reminder that there are different types of people, different types of levels and everyone is there to give it a go. Having a champion stay behind to make sure everyone is comfortable at a certain pace is great,it supports staff when they’re trying something new. By providing a meeting point along the trip is ideal as everyone can be social and stick together. It means the group doesn’t get separated even though there may be different levels on the trip and everyone can still enjoy the activity as a whole.

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It was a beautiful morning on Friday the 15th to kick off bike week. We are lucky at the EMRC to have access to the Swan River which is just a stone throw away; it makes for a great outdoor experience. This morning we had a group of 9 up early and ready for a morning out!

See the attached which was handed out to staff individually to let them know what's happening during bike week. Handing out something individually was engaging for each staff member so they could ask questions and now they know exactly what is happening. We will be sharing each activity with the Your Move champions so feel free to follow along and enjoy bike week with us, what a week to look forward to!

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Tarnika Brewer


This story is related to Create a bicycle user group (BUG)

For more information on how to do this, click here

As the sun is rising earlier, so should we! When you think about starting your day the best way possible you might say something like eat some fruit, have a smoothie, do some exercise, these are all great things to do to be energized and ready to start the day.

The Environmental and Health Promotion Teams at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) go for a ride on Friday mornings, with their Bicycle User Group (BUG). The BUG originally started because a few keen riders in our Environmental team wanted to get together to go cycling, it is great to have riders who know the cycle paths to keep the routes diverse and interesting.

The BUG cycle alternative routes around the Swan River, from Ascot to Guilford, East Perth, Bayswater, Maylands and Belmont. Before they leave, they always make sure their bikes are working, everything is safe and they put on their helmets on and take off.

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Doing this is a great way to keep fit and stay healthy. It also gives the staff an opportunity to interact and socialise out of their usual professional working environment. The cycle routes take anywhere between 40mins - 1.5hrs, the BUG stop to have breakfast and a coffee, to chat and reflect on their enjoyable, relaxing morning ride.

One member of the BUG team said “You don’t have to be fit or be a great bike rider at all. We do alternative rides to Garvey Park, which is a short ride with easy terrain so anyone can come along”. The BUG at the EMRC love riding and encourage more people to get out and do it too.

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Tarnika Brewer

Introducing New Staff to Travel Options

This story is related to Promote travel options to new and existing staff

For more information on how to do this, click here

The EMRC’s vision is to be a responsive and innovative leader in assisting Perth’s Eastern Region to be a great place to live, work, play and do business. The EMRC recognises valuing staff in a supportive environment that focuses on their wellbeing.

An Information Sheet on How to get to the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council is included in the EMRC’s Induction Pack and is sent to new staff via email prior to starting. This Information Sheet includes active, sustainable travel options highlighting walking, cycling and public transport, along with a detailed map which shows bus routes and bus stops in correlation to the EMRC’s location. The reverse page includes a broader map and legend which illustrates shared paths and bus routes in respect to the surrounding area.

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Having an Information Sheet and informative map allows for employees to gain an understanding of their new surroundings and provides opportunity for them to explore their travel options. If staff have any questions or need help on finding other routes, they can contact the Health Promotion Team, HR or even ask their new co-workers as staff can be the most valuable resource.

It is a great opportunity for new staff members starting at the EMRC to know how they can reduce their transport impacts and what their transport options are to get to work! By promoting active transport and other modes of transport to new employees, helps benefit employee health and wellbeing from the beginning of their employment.

Active transport is a great way to learn about local surroundings, environment and places, as well as improve health and wellbeing.

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Tarnika Brewer

Walking Group @ The EMRC

This story is related to Map your walking routes

For more information on how to do this, click here

As the weather warms up it is the perfect time to get staff moving. The EMRC HR team have been encouraging healthy lifestyle and fitness activities by starting an after work walking group!

This November the walking club will be meeting every Monday afternoon, and they will be keeping it fun and diverse by changing up their walking tracks every week! Tracks will range in distance from 4km to 8km as everyone builds up their ability.

The walking club will be led by a member of our HR team who knows the local area of the Swan River and Ascot. The new walking club is a great opportunity to bring staff together and get in touch with the surrounding natural environment, the beautiful Swan River and local community areas.

The health promotion calendar is shared among all staff members and positioned in common areas to encourage staff to continue to participate in healthy and active activities! Here’s an example of one of the popular walking tracks as it covers natural bush land, the Swan River, safe paths and direct routes.

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Tarnika Brewer

Ride 2 Work Day @ the EMRC

This story is related to Hold a breakfast event

For more information on how to do this, click here

What a morning here at the EMRC!
The Ride 2 Work Day was a success at the EMRC. The sun was out and everyone was ready to get moving! Everyone who participated was rewarded a prize. A competition was also held - take a fun photo to go into a draw to win a major prize. All prizes were from the Your Move Rewards Shop. After the morning activities a delicious breakfast grazing table was ready to enjoy!

The EMRC put forward a few options to employees to encourage them to get on board with active transport. You could either:
1.Ride to work,
2.Swap your car for public transport and actively walk or ride afterwards,
3.Bring your bike to work and join the riders group on a morning spin around the beautiful Swan River,
4. or join in on a morning walk!

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All staff we're invited to join in the Ride 2 Work Day which was organised by the Regional Development and HR teams together. The after ride breakfast was free and was an absolute favorite by all! Such a great incentive!

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The excitement from employees who had been on a morning ride or walk encouraged other employees to go for a midday walk together and get moving! People really enjoyed this activity and interacting with fellow colleagues - there was even talk about having regular morning active transport events again in the future.

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Tarnika Brewer

Your Move Forum: Engaging Others

This story is related to Attend Your Move Forum

I attended the Your Move Forum, with guest speaker Jane Genovese on Engaging Others. Jane spoke about how to motivate and inspire people to change how they commute to their workplace. It was an informative presentation and we learnt about the 5 stages of change and how it can affect people in the workplace. Two strategies which are important to remember when dealing with change is gratitude and mindfulness.

What a great first forum to attend, very interactive and informative! Even encouraged me to take public transport home after the forum. Time to create momentum in the workplace for active transport.

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Aimee Kontor

Swan River Ramble rambles again

This story is related to Walking, cycling, active transport challenges

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The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) recently ran another free Swan River Ramble competition to encourage active transport and get residents and staff outdoors to enjoy everything the Swan River has to offer. Participants followed the wayfinding signage of the Swan River Ramble to discover where fictional character “Eric” was hiding with QR codes at 14 different locations. Scanning the QR code with a smartphone unlocked a question associated with the location and a correct answer gave Swan River Ramblers the chance to go into the draw to win a $100 iFly indoor skydiving voucher.

As well as the public competition, a staff competition was held as an EMRC Health Promotion Group initiative to encourage staff to be active. The more QR codes scanned (and therefore the more questions answered and the longer the distance traveled), the higher the chance participants had at winning. Both winners were recently announced and were among those who completed the most QR code questions. No doubt they will enjoy their prize.

All participants resided in the Perth metropolitan area. There 76 entries from people ranging from 23 to 57 years of age, with the median age being 43. This year’s demographic varied from the previous competition two years ago where the participants were mostly children and included visitors to region from as far as Geraldton.

The Swan River Ramble is one of the EMRC’s initiatives to get staff and residents of Perth’s Eastern Region outdoors and active. While this competition has ended, the Swan River Ramble is ongoing. Spread the word and get your family and friends down to the Swan River to enjoy being active in the fresh air.


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Aimee Kontor

Electric bike trial at the EMRC

This story is related to Lunch and learn opportunities

The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) trialled three electric bicycles see what the fuss is really about and as a way of encouraging staff to give cycling a go.

The three ebikes, along with helmets and locks, were hired from Spinway WA for staff to trial for two days. Spinway presented to staff on how electric bikes work, the safety aspects and the benefits. Staff primarily tested the ebikes during breaks, enjoying some fresh air riding along the picturesque Swan River, but it also opened up the idea for using them as fleet “vehicles” or to ride to work. They proved to be easier to cycle than regular bikes, requiring less effort to pedal and potentially offering a solution for commutes that would otherwise be a bit too far to cycle with the power from legs alone.

The ebikes also promoted active travel and got some people to try riding who previously didn’t think they could cycle or weren’t confident doing so.

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Aimee Kontor

Pedal-powered smoothies at the EMRC

This story is related to Promote active travel

As part of a health and well-being initiative to encourage staff to try cycling and to promote bike events in the lead up to Bike Week 2018, the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) borrowed a pedal-powered blender for a day.

The EMRC hired the blender from the Town of Victoria Park and supplied ingredients so staff could blend a delicious and nutritious smoothie for themselves throughout the day. The bike blender was a huge success with 28 people giving it a go, including the Directors and the CEO. Many different healthy smoothie combinations were created from the fruit and vegetables and it was particularly enjoyable to see genuine smiles on people’s faces as they realised how fun and easy it was to pedal and blend it themselves.

The day finished off with the monthly staff information session which featured cycling. It included information on the benefits of cycling for health, sustainability, convenience and wellbeing, details of the regular EMRC staff bike rides before work on Fridays and the dates of Bike Week events within Perth’s Eastern Region. It concluded with a slideshow of photos and videos taken through the day of smoothie making.

The activities were a fun and interactive way for staff, some of which haven’t been on a bike in years, to remember that riding a bike is something you don’t forget how to do. Responses were overwhelmingly positive with many people saying it was easier than thought and they would consider cycling for transport, to socialise and to stay fit.

This is one of several activities and initiatives the EMRC have planned to encourage staff to cycle for social, health and sustainability reasons. Stay tuned to see what we do next!


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Philip Taylor

Swan River Ramble

This story is related to Special contribution to a project

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In March 2017, the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) launched the Swan River Ramble, an exciting new activity for walkers, recreational cyclists and families to enjoy. Colourful path signage and QR codes have been installed to highlight attractions along the Swan River recreational shared path. A fictional character named Eric directs people around the Swan River and has been designed as a fun way for children and families to enjoy all that the Swan River has to offer.

The Swan River Ramble was launched to coincide with Bike Week and the Term 1 school holidays. The EMRC ran a competition for those who visited the Swan River Ramble in the opening weeks and correctly answered a question about the stop they were visiting using a QR reader at 14 different locations around the Swan River.

Using the existing recreational shared path around the Swan River, the Swan River Ramble used “Alumigraphics Grip” street graphics and QR codes to encourage and promote the use of the path as an alternative to traditional wayfinding and trail markers. The Swan River Ramble demonstrates the EMRC's collaborative approach to undertaking initiatives by working across several local and state government agencies (Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, City of Vincent and Main Roads WA) to produce an exciting new activity for the community. Ongoing assessment of the project will determine the viability of this method of wayfinding, trail marking and the promotion of active transport.

To download the brochure and for more information on the Swan River Ramble visit www.perthtourism.com.au

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The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) is a progressive and innovative regional local government authority working on behalf of six member councils located in Perth's eastern suburbs. The EMRC provides services in waste management, resource recovery, environmental management and regional development. Working with our member councils, industry, government agencies and other stakeholders, the EMRC is a model of successful collaboration that delivers tangible benefits to the region.


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