Bikes go from trash to treasure

Minto Marketplace and one of the suburb’s youngest residents are together turning one person’s trash into another’s treasure.

Centre management were unsure what to do with six bikes after they were abandoned on the grounds of Minto Marketplace.

Rather than toss them in the bin, the Minto on the Go committee – comprised of local residents and business people – put their heads together and decided the best place for the bikes to be was in the hands youngster Tia Brennen.

For the last few years the 2017 NSW Young Volunteer of the Year has collected old bikes, restored them and given them away to those less fortunate.

She was stoked to receive six more from the local shopping centre.

“I felt really excited (to receive the bikes),” she said.

“I love working with (Minto Marketplace centre manager) Michael Prestia,” she said.

When the Advertiser spoke to Tia in May 2016, she had restored and given away 50 bikes.

However, in the last two years the youngster said she had been particularly busy.

“We have donated around 400 bikes and delivered them to refuges and parents that can’t afford a bike,” she said.

“We have also sent some to Bikes For Life in Cambodia because the kids can’t get to school and need transport.”

Mr Prestia said the decision to donate the bikes to Tia was an “obvious choice” for the committee.

“We all agreed that this was a good decision and the right decision,” he said.

“Tia is the perfect young role model and an example to us all.”

Mr Prestia was perplexed that bikes in working condition had actually been abandoned at the shopping centre.

However, he was glad they would eventually go to a worthy owner once they had been restored by Tia.