Galactic Cooperative's stories

Kate Biondo
Galactic Cooperative

Encouraging better choices

This story is related to Make a travel plan

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Last Tuesday ‘Your move’ ran a forum on parking. Although our workplace has plenty of parking, as we grow I would like our people to consider not needing or expecting parking as a workplace standard. The forum inspired me to create a policy at our workplace that will inspire our people to consider active transport in all its versions. I would like to create a more actively engaged work environment. One that thinks about how they are going to move through their day and decide on better choices.

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This policy needs to embrace the people we already have and help inspire people coming into our business. I am going to create a policy with the help of Stef, our quality manager, that outlines a smart travel plan as part of the induction for our new people. It needs to be a one-on-one plan that helps people think about pursuing active transport options to and from work.

This policy marries well with our Silver recognition for Healthy Workplace that we received earlier in the year.

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When applying for our Healthy workplace recognition, it reinforced our attitude of encouraging our people to take up active and sustainable transport alternatives; We established a bike pool for employee use, we upgraded our bicycle storage and end of trip facilities, we often have workplace lunchtime bike rides, and Friday frivolity bike rides and we have held a seminar to promote bike and public transport travel options for our people.

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Kat Sherwin
Galactic Cooperative

Holiday Stories

Over the Christmas period my partner and I took some time to drive our motorhome to Denmark and spend a few days relaxing, not doing much, and getting ready to tackle the new year. We stayed at the Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park and I was gobsmacked - and heartened! - by the sheer number of bicycles I saw there! All day, the hordes of children of all ages would ride in circles around the park, forming gangs, practising tricks, learning to ride, borrowing each other's bicycles. It was so lovely to see whole families of a dozen or more with clusters of bicycles piled up around their camps.

I think it's really important to allow for some distinction between "riding bikes" and "cycling". Cycling is, in the main, a sporting endeavour; it has its champions, its elite events and teams, big dollar sponsorship deals and, like motor racing, the drive to excel in the sport pushes the technology of bicycles further every year, from which all bike riders eventually benefit. However, "cycling" can seem like a really unapproachable, even hostile, environment to newcomers. It has a fairly high barrier to entry.

Now, "riding bikes" does not have that same barrier to entry. A bicycle that's vaguely the right size and whose bits and pieces all meet up and turn in vaguely the right way, and a helmet, and you're golden. Riding bikes can be a relaxing solitary pursuit or an excellent way to get outside with your family. It's an ideal way to commute if you work less than 10km away from your home. Taking back your own power of transport from the car, and giving yourself the gift of riding places under your own steam is the best thing you'll do for yourself this year. Give it a red-hot go and see if it doesn't have all kinds of positive influences on your life.

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Kat Sherwin
Galactic Cooperative

Exciting times

This story is related to Install or upgrade bike parking

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Hi, my name is Kat, and I'm the chief cook and bottle-washer at Svelto Bikes. I started with the company in January and very soon after, attended my first Your Move forum with my colleagues Kate and Aileen. I had such a wonderful time that I resolved to do everything I could to get involved in the initiative, and most importantly, become a regular at the excellent forums held every couple of months. I thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to catch up, mingle, learn from and connect with a whole suite of various people from our diverse city, and honestly, that's reward enough for me to keep going. But last week, the icing on the cake happened, when Svelto Bikes accrued enough points for me to order the bike storage rack I've been mooning over for months! Thanks so much to the YM team for your support - you made my week!

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Kat Sherwin
Galactic Cooperative

Friday Frivolity

This story is related to Personalised travel advice to getting to work

Friday Frivolity, every fortnight, is a fixture here at Galactic Cooperative (home of Svelto Bikes). We've recently brought on Frog, a new part-time volunteer and, sadly, she has a medical condition that means she can't ride a bicycle! Undaunted, we put her in touch with one of our connections, a local bike store that should be called The A-Team because they "specialise in the ridiculous", and they built her a bangin' tricycle just in time for her to join us for our latest frivolity, a jaunt down to the Camfield tavern for drinks and pizza. We've successfully helped another person get on a human-powered vehicle and Frog couldn't be happier!

So on Friday night, three e-bikes, a Frankentrike, and a vintage racer all braved the wind to make their way to the new Stadium precinct, then lounged out the front of the Camfield while we enjoyed some beverages. Near dark, and with the temperature dropping, we piled out of the pub and untangled a rather complicated locking situation! We all followed the train line homewards, splitting off in our separate directions. When the journey is no longer an obstacle or afterthought, but rather the central focus of the event, there's a much greater focus on fun, people and the moment.

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Kat Sherwin
Galactic Cooperative

Here, There and Everywhere

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

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Svelto Bikes and our parent company, Galactic Cooperative, moved premises back in September and it was time to figure out where we are! Our weekly meeting featured Kat taking us through some public transport options for various staff, tailored to individual staff members' locations and needs. We discussed the logistics of combining different forms of transport such as car-train, bus-walk, and bike-train. We talked about how to fit errands and meetings into our commute plans and how to factor in the peak hour restrictions on taking your bike on the train (we all want this to change!)

Kat is really beginning to enjoy this format of small-scale public speaking and relishes the opportunity to help people with topics they might not have had the time to investigate, such as public and active commuting options. She's realised that you never know when your knowledge might be really ground-breaking to someone else, so don't assume that your knowledge is "common" or not worth sharing. It's always good to open the conversation.


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Kat Sherwin
Galactic Cooperative

Local Flavour - Svelto Lunchtime Ride


The Svelto team made time from the busy atmosphere in the Cooperative headquarters to head over the road to Tomato Lake and find out some more about its recent history. Like all local wetlands, the area was an important hunting ground and meeting place for Noongar Whadjuk people, until colonial times. In the early 1900s a local poultry farmer and prominent figure grew tomatoes in the fertile swampy ground in the drier months and the resulting fruit was so impressive that people started referring to the place as Tomato Lake.

The lake is now an important breeding ground for waterbirds, with swans, ibis, pacific black ducks, blue-billed ducks and more appearing year-round. The 1.6km loop of the lake is a pleasant, accessible path incorporating a boardwalk and gazebo that overlooks the lake, and is now a Sri Chinmoy Harmony Run. These runs are part of the Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms Programme and include sites are all over the world, ranging from world-class heritage sites, spectacular architecture, and places like Tomato Lake - havens of peace and natural interest right in people's backyards.

We had a really lovely time, taking a leisurely pace to pedal around the water and stop to enjoy the baby birds, the impressive trees, and stop at the cafe for lunch. We'll definitely be making this a regular addition to our schedule.


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Kat Sherwin

Bikes As Usual

We've had another team member join in with us at the Galactic Cooperative, and we're so pleased that Brad has embraced his cycle commute with enthusiasm! In his own words, "I feel so much more energised!" That's two regular cycle commuters in the office now, and with an office move in the near future we are hoping that more people will be keen to cycle as well. With electric bikes literally being manufactured onsite, there's really no excuse not to...

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Kat Sherwin

Dedicated Bike Commuter

Kat loves riding her bike to work, sometimes via the gym, and usually gets between 14 and 20km round trip on a work day. She loves feeling connected to the world as she travels, seeing birds and greeting dog walkers, runners and other bike riders. She observes more about the changes in people's gardens and the work that is being done on construction sites on her route and has plenty of time to think and decompress. It's a really relaxing, invigorating way to travel to and from work.

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Kat Sherwin

Pool Bike for Svelto!

This story is related to Provide pool bikes

We were so enthused after yesterday's On Your Bike! forum that we pulled some strings and worked some magic and poof! suddenly we have an office pool eBike! Affectionately nicknamed "Batman", he'll be available for Svelto Bikes team members and its sister companies within Galactic Cooperative to use for meetings and errands!


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We are a worker-owned cooperative, focussing on technologically-based testing, service and repair of industrial and laboratory equipment. We are passionate about sustainability and it is built right into the DNA of our cooperative. Active and sustainable transport supports our mission and our people.

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Current accreditation

No accreditation
Points earned last month 0
Organisation start date 28/02/18
Points earned this year: 0 Lifetime points total: 775
Highest accreditation achieved: 2018 Silver
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