Community Gateway: Wollongong Hub Launch and Community Fair

Cannondale Tandem on display

Interactive displays featuring one of the Cannondale Tandems.

On Thursday 1st October 2015, eXsight Tandems Illawarra along with forty-three other community organisations, was invited to participate in the launch of the Community Gateway Hub in Wollongong NSW. Community Gateway is a local not-for-profit organisation working with the elderly, and people with a disability. Further information on the organisation is available at: http://www.communitygateway.net.au/

Some of the other participants included: NSW Family & Community Services; Illawarra Women’s Health; Diabetes NSW; Vision Australia; Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australian Hearing; Headspace Wollongong; Cochlear Implant Program; NSW Fire & Rescue; NSW Health; Cancer Council of NSW; Physical Disability Council of NSW; Alzheimer’s Australia and the Stroke Foundations.

Photo of accoustic scopes mounted on wooden rifles

Interactive displays featuring the Acoustic Target Shooting system

eXsight’s static display included posters, featuring sponsors and photographs of rides, while the interactive component included two tandems and two acoustic target shooting systems. Pam Dunne, Aldo Vella, and Geoff Hunter made themselves available to Pilot a tandem for anyone interested in trying out the Stoker’s cockpit, while Terry Ollier and Geoff Stratton occupied themselves explaining, to anyone who would listen, how the acoustic targeting system works.

While there was some interest in tandem riding, the only person game enough to jump into the stoker’s cockpit was Aldo, who complained continually that “The back handlebars would not steer and the gear and brake levers were missing”. After an almost disastrous tour of the carpark and Atchison Street, Geoff Hunter vowed he would never again pilot a tandem if Aldo was the stoker. Based on this experience, Geoff recommends that a Stoker should “blindly” follow the pilot’s lead and not attempt to control the bike, something that has been hotly debated by the regular stokers.

Photo of person bent over wooden rifle, showing a seated person how the accoustic target system works

Geoff Hunter explaining the Acoustic Targeting system.


On the other hand, considerable interest was shown in the Acoustic Target Shooting system, which utilises specialised equipment to convert the reflected image of the target into an audible signal that is relayed to the shooter through a headset connected to the acoustic sight. The intensity and pitch of the audible signal indicates how close the rifle’s aiming point is to the centre of the target. On the day, the specialised Acoustic Scopes were mounted on wooden imitation rifles, very skilfully created by Pam Dunne, especially for the occasion. Many participants tried out the system and all were amazed at its ability to find the centre of the target as well as its potential to allow Blind/Vision Impaired target shooters to compete against sighted shooters on equal terms.
Photo of two people standing next to a tandem with two others in the pilot and stoker positions.

Geoff Hunter, Aldo Vella, Geoff Stratton (a wannabe-pilot) and Pam Dunne (not a wannabe-stoker)


Other eXsight members who actively assisted in making the day possible included: Terry Wall, Simon Clifton, Steve Bridge, and Liz Drummond.

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