Meet Our Ambassadors


7-year-old Evan is back for the second year of Ready, Set, Move. Last year, he cycled 10km on his custom Freedom Wheels bike so that other kids living with a disability can enjoy freedom of movement through cycling too. He said ‘This time I’m going to ride even further and make more videos and try to buy another bike for a kid like me. I like doing Ready Set Move because I get to ride my bike lots and make videos and last time, I got to be famous in the newspaper and show all of my friends at school. The kids at school didn’t believe I’m in the newspaper because it’s an olden day’s newspaper.’

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Duke Trench-Thiedeman is an avid para-badminton player who has represented Australia in the World Para-Badminton Championships in South Korea in 2017 and the Total World Para-Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland in August 2019.

Duke worked as a computer engineer for more than 40 years. This included a period with a German instrument company where he was involved in developing onboard computer systems for trucks, addressing safety issues for road trains.

A motorcycle accident in October 2009 left Duke a paraplegic and he retired to allow time for more active involvement with the community through mentoring of spinal inpatients at the Austin and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Hospitals, promoting sports for disabled people through the YMCA, becoming a Champion for Seniors and involvement with a housing for the ageing project in Banyule City Council, and as the inaugural and current president of the first para-badminton club in Victoria.

These experiences have given Duke an acute awareness of the needs of people with disabilities, recognizing that there is no “one size fits all” solution.

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