Resident Stories & Competitions
21 December 2021

Boronia Range Champions

A hip replacement couldn’t keep Boronia Range resident, Val Bartley, away from participating in her seventh year in the Great Cycle Challenge!

Despite saying “this year is my last year” Val seems to find herself back on the bike and raising life-saving funds for the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI), which forms part of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in NSW. The funds raised by Val and her husband Mike go specifically towards the ProCan Project at CMRI, where scientists are analysing tens of thousands of examples of all types of cancer from all over the world to develop a library of information to advance scientific discovery and enhance clinical treatment worldwide.


“Over the seven years we have participated, I’ve ridden a total of 4,000kms and raised over $14,000. If Mike wasn’t riding with me, he was there taking care of my bike maintenance, and a million and one other things in support of my rides. We make a great team!” said Val.

Pictured: Val and Mike Bartley

This year the Bartley’s rode 419kms and raised $2,671 for the ProCan Project at the Children’s Medical Research Institute, with the Boronia Range community playing an important role in supporting the Bartley’s annual Great Cycle Challenge fundraising.


During the Bartley’s visit to CMRI they read the many stories and photos of children displayed in the entrance foyer. One particular family’s message hit home to Val and Mike with the family sharing “You just don’t’ know if it’s going to be you sitting on the other side one day, hoping that other people are out there supporting you. We certainly didn’t think we’d be in this position.”


“We are fortunate within our family and friends to continue to have happy and healthy children. We ride to raise awareness and funds for much needed research to help those who are less fortunate,” said Val.


The Bartley’s choose a distance each year and to make things a little bit more interesting for the people who follow their journey, they create a ‘virtual destination’ of where those kilometers would have taken them. “To date we have virtually ridden from Boronia Range to Flinders St Station, Brim Painted Silos, Dubbo Zoo, Bowral Tulip Festival, Phillip Island Grand Prix, and this year Cowra,” said Val. The community rallied behind Val and her ride however, due to Covid-19 restrictions things looked a little bit different this year. Residents showed their support from a distance by taking part in a raffle to raise donations and kept up to date with the virtual ride through an interactive map up to Cowra tracking the Bartley’s progress – which they completed four days ahead of schedule!

Pictured: The community supporting Val in her achievement of riding 650kms in 2018

“Myself, along with the residents at Boronia Range are incredibly proud of the efforts the Bartley’s have been committed to over the past seven years and all that they continue to do for the wider community. They are our very own Boronia Range Champions,” said Susan Quinlivan, Community Manager at Boronia Range.


The Bartley’s moved into Boronia Range in 2011 and have enjoyed watching the community grow. “Having been gypsies for most of our adult lives we have found living in the community has given us the freedom to head out whenever we like, in either our motorhome or caravan, knowing our home is secure within the community, awaiting our return. It is actually the longest we have resided at the one address in over 50 years together,” said Val.

Pictured: Val and Mike on their way to Noreuil to present a tiny GCC jersey to a true little local hero.

In October, Val and Mike enjoyed a ride into Noreuil to present a little local hero with a tiny GCC Hero Jersey. “If you didn’t catch Mason’s story on local news recently, he had an operation early this year to remove a kidney and tumor and is undergoing chemotherapy regularly. He is a true little hero, and this is why we ride each October,” concluded Val.


Will we see Val and Mike on the bike again next year? You will have to wait and see!

Life at Boronia Range

Situated in Albury, a major regional city located on the border of New South Wales, Boronia Range is surrounded by natural beauty. A warm country feel with all of the convenience and services of a vibrant regional center. Enjoy a slower pace of life and set your day your way. With an array of facilities to choose from residents can enjoy swimming laps in the pool, stay active in the gym, potter around the community garden, join friends for a friendly game on the bowling green or join in a variety of activities offered within the community centre


Relax, unwind, and explore! Surrounded by natural beauty there are many adventures to be had. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the Albury Botanic Gardens or explore what the region is best known for with fresh produce from fruit, vegetables, wine, and cheese.


To learn more visit Boronia Range on our website.

To learn more about the Great Cycle Challenge, the life-saving research of the Children’s Medical Research Institute or how to get involved in the 2022 challenge. Please visit their website www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au

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