A group of Goulburn Valley bikers are acting as guardian angels for children in the region who have suffered abuse.ESTELLE GRIEPINK March 24, 2014 4:53am
A group of Goulburn Valley bikers are working with abused children to help them feel safe. Pictured are (road names) Fatt Matt, Gem, Big Mick, Gnome, Tic Tac, Digger and Turtle.
They may seem scary, hairy and clad in leather, but to some local child-abuse victims, these bikers are guardian angels.
Motorcyclists Advocating Child Empowerment’s central Victorian chapter is made up of nine Goulburn Valley bikers who quietly work with abused children to help them regain a sense of safety.
They have been known to pull up front of victims’ homes and lay out their swags to sleep out the front as protection from their abusers.
They accompany victims to police stations or court rooms to help them feel less intimidated when giving evidence against their abusers.
And if there is any word of bullying, the bikers offer to take the child to school on a back of one of their motorbikes.
The rumbling of the engine and the reassuring presence of an adult is usually enough to let other kids know the child is part of the MACE family.
The MACE members went by their road names when speaking to The News to protect the children they serve.
Group president ‘‘Digger’’, of Tatura, said the group formed one year ago with one priority — to empower abused children.
‘‘Our single, narrow focus is to remove the fear from those children who are the victims of abuse by taking the power from the abuser and giving it to the victim,’’ he said.
‘‘We want to make these kids feel like somebody gives a damn about them.’’
Digger said the kids the group mentored were not scared of the bikers’ tough exteriors.
‘‘They’re fascinated by the bikes and like the rumble,’’ he said.
‘‘They can hear us coming from a while away and usually when we get there they’re waiting out the front.’’
Digger said the bikers were there as friends and mentors to the victims, but they also made sure to link them with the appropriate services.
‘‘We can hook them into other community fields like Department of Human Services, headspace and Berry Street,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of families don’t know how to navigate the system — we have a helpline and an email people can contact.’’
Digger said there was no better feeling than seeing a child slowly transform from victim to survivor.
‘‘We get them strong again and get them back out into society where they can cope,’’ he said.
‘‘They can stand up for themselves again.’’
Two Stanhope men were arrested after police executed warrants at a residential property on Friday last week.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
Popular Tatura hairdresser Gabrielle Dodd and her English beau Daniel Coombs were married at Sacred Heart Church on Friday.
Mindless vandals have smashed a charity collection container and stolen what is believed to be hundreds of dollars worth of donations at a Moama play park.
When you are 16 and aiming for the sky you know there is a hard road to hoe. Eamonn Tiernan caught up with budding AFL prospect Joe Atley to find out what goes on inside the mind of a teenage rising star.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
More than 600 people enjoyed the Rumble in the Gums youth event on April 11 at the Cobram skate park.
Nationals locked in for 5 years
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.