Social activist and local resident Michael Trafford is riding a BMX from Emerald to Gladstone as part of the national campaign to raise awareness of world poverty.
Social activist and local resident Michael Trafford is riding a BMX from Emerald to Gladstone as part of the national campaign to raise awareness of world poverty. Christopher Chan

Activist gets on his bike to help highlight world poverty

GLADSTONE social activist Michael Traffard is looking to halve world poverty, one bike ride at a time.

In July, the 32 year old will travel via BMX and skateboard from Emerald to Gladstone to help raise awareness of global poverty in the Flynn electorate.

"Riding a BMX 475km is an inadequate form of transport, just like Australia's current foreign aid policy is inadequate," Michael said.

As part of the Sk8 to the Finish campaign Michael, along with campaign manager Kylie Colville, are hoping to leave residents and the government with three thoughts going into this year's federal election.

The sk8 to the Finish campaign is part of the global Micah Challenge Finish the Race campaign, which hopes to reduce world poverty.

"Firstly we are calling on the Government to commit to increasing their aid budget, secondly we want aid to be better spent - specifically on programs that save lives and thirdly we are asking for business transparency for companies registered in Australia that trade overseas," Kylie said.

Along the 475km trek Michael and his team will travel to different schools, church and community groups as part of the campaign.

When in Gladstone the team has signed up to visit Chanel College, Toolooa State High, Gladstone State High, Kin Kora Primary and Clinton Primary across three days and are hoping to book into more.

"Australia committed to this back in 2000 and great progress has been made. The number of young children dying from preventable causes has dropped significantly," Michael said.

"This is why we're calling on our nation's leaders to finish what we started, and accelerate this progress by giving more aid and ensuring that our aid is effective to save lives.

"We can make poverty history."

Michael and Kylie also hope to attract 3000 signatures on the Movement to End Poverty Petition by the end of the three week trip.

So far 200 Gladstone residents have signed up.

As part of the campaign Michael and Kylie have been in contact with Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

On his arrival back in Gladstone on August 3, Michael and his supporters will host a Family Fun Day at the PCYC.

Fans can follow Michael's journey at facebook.com/skatefor8 for all the latest on the campaign.

Help halve poverty by 2015 and sign the petition at makepovertyhistory.com.au.

Fast facts

  • Ride begins in Emerald on July 7, arrives in Gladstone on July 27.
  • Urging the Government to increase foreign aid.
  • Lobbing to halve extreme poverty by 2015.
  • BMX ride on the highways, skateboard ride through towns.
  • 200 signatures on the Movement to End Poverty Petition.


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