[CAMWEST-announce] CAMWEST - Past and future.

jonhol2 at netscape.net jonhol2 at netscape.net
Fri Oct 14 23:26:15 UTC 2016

Fellow CAMWESTies,
                                  It has been a little disappointing to see discussion that mentions the possible demise of CAMWEST, although it is not surprising.

First some history: CAMWEST will celebrate 30 years of advocacy for cycling in 2017. There is an interesting insight into its formation here in an interview with ian MacIndoe, a founding member of the group. CAMWEST is possibly the oldest and longest running cycling group in Sydney that was based solely on bicycle advocacy. There are older cycling groups, but they were founded mainly as cycling groups who later came to advocacy.

As discussed by a few, the name "CAMWEST" usually opens a few doors with Government departments, due mainly to the relationships forged by Ian and the founding members over the preceding 29 years. The activities of the group have risen and fallen over the years, usually due to the level of commitment of members. 

I became associated with the group when I came across a spritely older man riding through Northmead on a bicycle whilst wearing the distinctive CAMWEST jersey. That was my first encounter with Ian MacIndoe, a man who was to become an adviser and mentor to me over  the next 14 or so years. Sadly age and other issues have taken priority for Ian and although he was still available for advice, his focus had to shift to family matters. Ian was an inspiration to me, having kept 

Much of the time I was involved with CAMWEST we sat quietly in the background, but that didn't mean we weren't active. Parramatta City Council had cycling advisory committee and CAMWEST dominated the membership of that committee, working hard behind the scenes to achieve wins (and losses) in cycling infrastructure. Parramatta Council was generally supportive of our wishes and we did have a good sponsor within their ranks.

One of our greatest achievements is that we still exist. Time constraints, busy lifestyles and a host of other issues have taken their toll on our membership which has always been fairly fluid. Some of you have been doing good things in the background under the CAMWEST banner, but unfortunately haven't taken an active role on the running of the group. Conversely, others have stepped up to the mark to assist with projects such as Valet Bike Parking and given freely of their limited time.

When I vacated the position of Chairperson of the group, it was disheartening to see us only just achieve a quorum at the AGM as it really indicated a lack of interest in advocacy in the area. Parramatta and the North West is growing, cycling facilities are good, but not as good as they could be. The only way to continuously improve the facilities is to keep pressing for what you want.

The next step is up to the members of CAMWEST. There are still many exciting things that can happen for cycling as Parramatta grows. Are you willing to step up to the mark and keep CAMWEST alive?

John Holstein
"If we don't change direction we will end up where we are headed" 
(Professor Irwin Corey, Comedian 1909 - )
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