There’s nothing quite like riding a motorcycle surrounded by people you consider family and exploring different regions and roads to travel. 

Sydney Dykes On Bikes members know this all too well, and for them, the club is more than just a social group. 

Emily Saunders, the newly instated President, is keen to give back to the group she considers a second family. 

“My partner at the time had been riding since they were 17, and they and their sister both rode and started getting into Dykes On Bikes during the time that we were together,” she said. 

“Riding a motorcycle was something I’d always wanted to do. It’s one of those dreams that young women have, and I never gave up on it.

“There’s nothing like being part of that group when all those engines stirred up, ready to ride off from your starting area. It’s quite something. It gives me a buzz every time.”

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 During the past 15 years, Emily has taken on a multitude of roles including as ride leader for the Mardi Gras parade for nine years and spent four years on the committee as a secretary. 

“When my partner and I separated, I continued to have more involvement with the club than they did because the club is like a family to me, and it’s seen me through the tough times of that breakup,” she said “It’s been a constant in my life through all of that time and I feel like it’s something that we need to give back to.” 

Emily is now the president of Dykes On Bikes and the goals and vision for her term all centre around diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. 

With coronavirus forcing organisations to rethink their strategies, Emily is keeping positive and focussing on how technology can be used to bring people together. 

“For example, at the AGM, the previous committee took the bold step of using a Zoom platform, and that also meant that our rural and regional members were able to participate for the first time,” she said. 

“I think that that’s a positive step for us and it’s something I’ll be talking to the committee and the tech-heads about whether we can do that on an ongoing basis.

“We are a Sydney based club, but we have many members who live in rural and regional areas, as well as, the States and it would be great to engage with them around the procedural aspects of the club.”

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 At the end of the day, Emily wants people to feel included because she knows how important it is to have a community of people around.

“It’s always been an agenda of mine to try and make sure that people feel welcome,” she said.

“From the first time that I was a ride leader in the parade, I made sure that I went and met with everyone that was part of our colour group. 

“We want people to feel like they’re part of something.”

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