News Release

Annual Charity Bike Ride Draws National Bikers to Tasmania  

Pollie Pedal 2015 marks its 18th year with over 18,000kms peddled and $4 million raised for charity. The year’s event took place in Tasmania from 27th to 30th March. Fifty riders and 30 support crew paved their way through North-East Tasmania, covering 475 km.

The cycling event started in 1998 with the support of a number of federal and state politicians, including then Member of Parliament, Tony Abbott, now Australian Prime Minister. 

Its purpose is to raise money for various charities while giving smaller Australian communities the opportunity to meet members of parliament and other community leaders. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has contributed consecutively to Pollie Pedal for the last 10 years.

Due to Mr Abbott’s busy schedule, the event was shortened to four days this year. In his absence, Angus Taylor, Liberal MP for the electorate of Lyons, stood in for him. The Prime Minister rode on the first and the last day of the event.

This year marked the 4th year that Carers Australia has been named the chief beneficiary of the ride.  In 2015, proceeds from the event will also commission the ‘State of Caring’ study now being undertaken by the charity. 

According to their website, “Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.

“Australia has about 2.7  million carers, 12% of the population.  The chances are you personally are a carer, need a carer or know a carer.”

Ara Cresswell, Chief Executive Officer of Carers Australia stated, “We simply couldn’t do it without you. We are so grateful for these wonderful riders and sponsors’ whose contribution to 2.7million unpaid carers Australia-wide make it possible to help fund our Carer Ambassador Program, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carer Reference Group, and the rollout of our Work and Care initiative.” 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has contributed to Pollie Pedal consecutively for the past 10 years.

“Because of the shortened time-frame this year,” the Church’s national director of public affairs Stephen Webster, said, “the Church was unable to provide a meal for participants, as they have in past years. 

“Despite this, we are always included and treated as full participants in the event. We were warmly recognised and acknowledged by Angus Taylor, MP and Graham Northey, Pollie Pedal organiser.

“The Church contributed $20,000 to Pollie Pedal through the generosity of an anonymous donor.”

Leo Gomez, president of the Liverpool stake (diocese) of the Church and Alex Gomez of the Cleveland Ward (congregation) in Brisbane represented the Church at the event.

President Gomez said, “We are grateful to participate at this event and again represent the Church.  Last night we were happy to meet Joe Hockey, the Federal Treasurer.”

Mr Abbott said of the Latter-day Saint contribution to Pollie Pedal 2015, “Thank you. You are wonderful people and have been very generous in your last 10 years of support. Thank you so much to all your members nationwide.”

At the conclusion of Pollie Pedal 2014, Stephen and Rosely Webster asked the Prime Minister if he would like the Church to research and produce his family history. The Prime Minister was most enthusiastic and in the coming months will be presented with the completed pedigree.

The Church has completed and presented family histories to former Australian Prime Ministers, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and John Howard.  It is a non-partisan organisation which supports worthy individuals and humanitarian activities irrespective of the political, social, ethnic or religious background of the recipient.

Stephen Webster said, “We consider our involvement in Pollie Pedal a blessing and are very fortunate to once again have the Church recognised so generously for its involvement.”

Service and charity are two of the main tenets of the Church. Watch a short video about its’ service projects around the world.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.