Break the silence. Brake the cycle

In September 2023, we launched our inaugural Charity Bike Ride: ’Break the Silence. Brake the Cycle’ – an initiative with the aim of raising much-needed awareness and funds for men’s mental health, particularly in the construction industry.  

Statistically speaking, 190 construction industry workers take their own lives every year. That’s one person every second day to suicide in Australia. Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than a work-related accident, with young workers more than twice likely to take their own lives compared to other young Australian men*.  

Spurred by those statistics, Director Ben Van Ryt was inspired to do something about it.  

Within a matter of a few weeks, Ben and the team had organised a two-day, 215km charity bike ride from our warehouse in O’Connor to Busselton in support of MATES in Construction; an organisation that provides suicide prevention through community development programs on sites, and by supporting workers in need through case management and a 24/7 help line.  

In total, 23 riders participated in our inaugural event – including the entire Van Ryt Industries team – and together they’ve raised nearly $20,000 so far.  

While the funds raised is a huge bonus, Ben says the real purpose of the event was to get people talking.  

“As a team of mostly young men, we’re passionate about recognising the importance of men’s mental health in and out of the workplace,” Ben said.  

“We want to raise awareness within the construction industry that it’s okay to not be okay. And that it’s not weak to speak – please, seek out a mate and ask for help. Just know that you’re not alone.  

“Our plan [for the ride] was to get the word out there as much as possible. We want to encourage people to check in on their mates – not just in the construction industry, but every industry. No one knows how big an impact one conversation might have on someone’s wellbeing.”  

Despite the minor mishap of the pilot car being rear-ended on Forrest Highway, Ben says preparations are already underway for a second instalment in 2024.  

“While I’m so proud of our team and industry friends who joined us this year, the job isn’t done. I’m inspired to go bigger and better in 2024,” Ben said.  

“There are so many causes out there that resonate with our team, and there’s people who could use our support, so why not lend a hand? That’s what mates do.”  

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all 23 riders who participated in this year’s event. What a great supportive bunch you all are! We really value your support, attitude, banter and enthusiasm throughout the ride.  

Van Ryt Industries would like to thank our industry partners who helped in supporting our inaugural charity ride, including:  

If you’re interested in finding out more about our 2024 initiative, please don’t hesitate in giving Ben a call.  

About MATES in Construction 

Established in 2008, MATES aims to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. Your donation helps MATES provide suicide prevention through community development programs on sites, and by supporting workers in need through case management and a 24/7 help line 

*statistics sourced from MATES in Construction:    


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