AFTER two years in the top job, Manda Hatter will be stepping down as president of Sydney’s Dykes on Bikes (DOB) at the group’s annual general meeting next week. Hatter will be replaced by long-serving DOB member Lyn Doherty.
DOB is Australia’s longest running female-identified motorcycle club and one of the oldest LGBTI community groups of which Hatter has been a member of for almost twenty years.
“That was such a proud and humbling experience. When our name was called, I literally could not believe it,” she said.
“I’m so proud of our history, who we are and what we’ve become. I’ve worked with our community all the way along.
“Not many people know our history. I wanted to educate people about what we do.”
Hatter has taken on a board role with ACON and is excited to be working in governance on women’s health with the organisation.
“It was a really tough decision (to step down from DOB), because I really love the club. It was so hard, I was racked with what to do,” she said.
“DOB has taken a lot of my time, what you get out of it is what you put into it. I pushed it pretty hard and pushed the committee hard. I didn’t want to commit to it if i couldn’t give 110 per cent.”
DOB’s aim is to not only provide a safe environment for female-identifying riders but also to raise money for community organisations. In Hatter’s time at the helm of DOB Sydney, the membership has grown and the group has built up its partnership with a number of community organisations.
“I”m so proud of our diversity too, our oldest member is 69 and our youngest is 19,” she said.
“Our members come from so many different walks of life, they have different views and opinions. Our motto is ride with pride and that resonates with everyone. Everyone’s different and we encourage everyone to be who they are.”
For incoming president Lyn Doherty who was DOB’s media officer for about eight years, the thought of succeeding the popular Hatter almost put her off going for the gig as president.
“Hatter’s done such an amazing job, there was a part of me that didn’t want me want to step into those shoes, it’s such a big position to fill,” she said.
“Now i think I’m ready. I think I’ve got the skills and I’ve got the time which is handy.”
Doherty, who runs a catering company servicing LGBTI events, is keen to continue the success of building DOB’s membership base.
“One of the big things for me is the ongoing presence of the club. Since I first started hanging out with them (DOB), I used to be a spectator on the sidelines and I now want to be part of that continuation that DOB keeps its relevance and keeps growing in the community,” she said.
“Another thing that’s happening during my tenure is we’ve got our 30th anniversary coming up in 2018 and it’s going to be huge. That’ll also be the 40th anniversary for Mardi Gras.”
Doherty’s public debut will be at the upcoming Black and White Ball on October 8, and she promises her outfit will be something a DOB president has never been seen wearing before.
In the meantime Doherty enjoys riding her BMW G650GS, Maxi, who apparently goes faster because she’s red.
Other committee changes include Nic Brennan taking over as vice-president of DOB and Chris Michaels becoming the new Secretary.