The Black Dog Ride Team

Steve Andrews - Founder

Steve Andrews, Founder of Black Dog Ride. Image by Roger Clark, ENVY Photography Depression has had a major impact on my life. Four weeks after the birth of my 4th child my mother tragically took her own life. I did not understand at the time why, but have subsequently discovered that she had for many years battled depression. That was over twenty years ago but I still carry the regret that I didn't know of her struggle with this silent killer and often wonder if things could have turned out differently had she and her family and friends been more aware of this illness. Awareness of this illness, and even the fact that it is an illness, will save lives.

STAFF TEAM

Chief Executive Officer - David Peach

Black Dog Ride's CEO David PeachDavid has spent three decades as a business owner, and also has a long history of service in the not for profit sector. First saddling up for Back Dog Ride in 2012, by 2016 David had signed up as Black Dog Ride's Penrith NSW Coordinator. David's business expertise combined with his passion suicide prevention led him to be appointed Black Dog Ride's inaugural CEO in June 2017.

Fiona Duffield - Community Development Manager

Fiona, Black Dog Ride National Administration ManagerFiona responded to Steve's call for volunteer assistance in 2011, and helped build Black Dog Ride's national presence with her skills in organisational administration, digital management and community development, becoming an inaugural staff member when Black Dog Ride incorporated as a charity in 2014. With 15 years service in the sector, Fiona is committed to building healthy, resilient communities.

Christine Jones - Administration Officer

Black Dog Ride Team Member Christine Jones

Chris has a wealth of experience with the education and administrative sectors, and came to Black Dog Ride from the not for profit sector which she loves. Chris is an active volunteer within her own community, and became an appreciated member of the Black Dog Ride's Staff Team in February 2016, joining the Head Office to fulfil the demanding yet rewarding role of Admin Officer.

Rhonda James - Administration Assistant

Black Dog Ride's Rhonda JamesRhonda became involved with Black Dog Ride through her late husband, Les James, volunteering his time as a Coordinator. Since 2015, Rhonda generously volunteered her own time each week in Black Dog Ride's Head Office assisting with office duties and participating in two national rides. Rhonda was welcomed as a valued addition to Black Dog Ride's Staff Team in February 2017.

Christine Pidgeon - Bookkeeper

Black Dog Ride's Christine PidgeonChristine is Black Dog Ride's contracted Bookkeeper, joining the Black Dog Ride Staff Team in April 2017 during the frenetic wrap up of the March 1 Dayer and has embraced the challenges and vibrancy of working in a charity. Christine has a Bachelor of Commerce and is working towards her CPA qualification.

Black Dog Ride Staff Team June 2017

Black Dog Ride's Staff Team outside the Busselton Office, June 2017

VOLUNTEER TEAM

STATE COORDINATORS

These invaluable volunteers coordinate community projects within their state or territory, in addition to mentoring and supporting local Ride Coordinators. Black Dog Ride could not amplify our message of depression and suicide prevention awareness across the nation without the tireless efforts of our wonderful volunteer coordinators and their amazing teams.

New South Wales, Wayne Amor

Northern Territory Jon Benham

Queensland Michael Young

South Australia Merv Storton

Tasmania Betty Parssey

Victoria Richard Brown

Western Australia Ray Sherry

1 Dayer 2017 Coordinators

Dozens of volunteers in each state and territory dedicate incalculable hours to developing and organising annual Black Dog Rides. They, and their teams, are an integral part of Black Dog Ride's success in raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

1 Dayer 2017

ACT: Errol Raiser and Dennis Gellatly;
NSW:
Rose Hancock (Bathurst); Bill Rodgers (Byron Bay) Daz and Julie Jewell (Central Coast); Margaret Fairlie (Coffs Harbour), Anny Seaton (Condobolin); Wayne Amor (Dubbo); David Peach (Penrith); Paul Gaffney (South Coast); Mike Hudson (Taree); Graham Falconer (Wagga Wagga)
NT:
Jon Benham (Darwin), Alice Springs (John Coulls)
QLD: Jol and Shanelle Taylor (Bundaberg/Fraser Coast); Vanessa and Phil Loudon, Derek Tottle (Cairns); Kylie Sage (Gold Coast); Charles Linsley (Mackay); Michael Young (Sunshine Coast); Chris Dow and Koro Painter (Townsville)
SA: Steve Dixon and Team (Kangaroo Island); Merv and Julie Storton (Adelaide);
TAS: Betty Parssey (Campbell Town)
VIC: Heather Muskee and Neil Wiltshire (Penshurst); Jim Redmond and Richard Brown (Wangaratta)
WA: Joan and Dean Braddock (Avon Valley); Chris Glover (Baldivis); Steve Ingram (Busselton); Rob Wood (Denmark); Kathy Nikolaenko (Goldfields); Keith Williams (Jurien Bay); Sandra McGillivray (Geraldton), Jim Searle (Pilbara)


WINSTON - MASCOT

Winston - The Black Dog Ride Mascot Winston was Steve's companion on the inaugural Black Dog Ride around Australia in 2009 and has been on every single Black Dog Ride! He also travels to agricultural shows, public forums and speaking engagements.

Winston has proven to be a brilliant tool for engaging the community of all ages about mental health awareness. You will see Winston on the bikes of Black Dog Riders right across the country. You can purchase your own Winston here.

Steve Andrews named Black Dog Ride's mascot after Sir Winston Churchill, who famously diarised about being hounded by the "black dog of depression".

"Black Dog" is a powerfully expressive metaphor that appears to require no explanation.The combination of 'blackness' with the negative connotations of 'dog, noun and verb, seems an eminently apt description of depression: an ever present companion, lurking in shadows just out of sight, growling, vaguely menacing, always on the alert; sinister and unpredictable, capable of overwhelming you at any moment. - Paul Foley