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Heather Ellis is an Australian writer, journalist and motorcyclist who rode her Yamaha TT600 enduro motorcycle through Africa, Europe, Central Asia and into China and Vietnam from 1993 to 1997.




Saturday, 16 March 2013

More than 150 motorcyclists and scooterists from all over Victoria were at the 1st Fair Go Run held in Seymour today outside the office of Victorian Member for Seymour Cindy  McLeish. Fair Go Runs will target marginalised seats in the lead up to the Victorian State election in 2014. 

Victorian motorcyclists want  the  government  to adopt the recommendations of the parliamentary
inquiry into  motorcycle  &  scooter safety when it is tabled in state parliament on 16 June 2013.

The Recommendations will make our roads safer and have flow on benefits for reducing traffic congestion, the environment, motorcycle retail and service and regional tourism. The recommendations include abolishing the motorcycle safety levy ($60 per year indexed) and legalising filtering which is Recommendation 59

The Border Mail 'Bikers Demand Safety Upgrade'


Friday, 15 June 2012

...this media release from Rob Smith, MA riders division manager, outlines the Victorian Government's attitude through TAC, to motorcyclists and scooter riders.


Motorcycling Australia Riders Division MEDIA RELEASE

12 June 2012

Rider’s Division of Motorcycling Australia calls for Parliamentary Inquiry into Transport Accident Act

The Australian Rider’s Division of Motorcycling Australia (MA) and rider representative groups are calling on Premier Baillieu and the Victorian Government to initiate a Parliamentary Inquiry to review the scope and administration of the Transport Accident Act 1986.

Such an inquiry is long overdue, and will serve as an invaluable tool for identifying the critical shortfalls and weaknesses in how road safety measures and campaigns are developed and delivered to Victorian road users.

In addition to reviewing the Transport Accident Act, the inquiry should examine the equity of compensation paid to motorcyclists compared to drivers involved in identical cases.

The call comes in response to the recent Transport Accident Commission (TAC) advertising campaign ‘Reconstruction’ aimed at motorcyclists, which
fails to promote shared road user safety whilst presenting negative and dangerous stereotypes.

Following the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety, which shone the spotlight on the TAC and their practices relating to motorcycle safety, the recent campaign fuels existing concerns.

Rob Smith, Manager of the Australian Rider’s Division, says the failure of the TAC’s latest campaign highlights the need for an urgent inquiry into the Transport Accident Act.

“While we cannot condone speeding, we are shocked and entirely disappointed that motorcyclists are once again being portrayed as reckless road users, even though quite clearly the driver who fails to give way is not identified as being at fault,” Mr Smith said.

“The onus of blame attributed to the rider would not apply if another car was involved. Such discrimination by a no-fault state owned insurance company demands review.”

The Australian Rider’s Division and rider representative groups are also calling on Premier Baillieu and the Victorian Government to establish regulations that govern the content and ethics of Road Safety campaigns in order the prevent misrepresentation or vilification of any road user group.

For further information or a copy of the communique, please contact Rob Smith, Manager of the Australian Rider’s division, on (03) 9684 0501 or

March 17, 2012

Thought this may help inspire us all....

By Heather Ellis

Jabiluka protest badge

After 14 years I still see a few Jabiluka bumper stickers while riding around Melbourne. (I still proudly wear one as a badge on my motorcycle jacket). During the height of the protest back in 1998, busloads of protestors arrived in Kakadu at the Jabiluka protest campsite from Victoria. These Victorians, back then, were mostly university students and retirees. Today, many of these protestors are our doctors, lawyers, politicians and even journalists. As a first year journalism student at James Cook University, I organised the Jabiluka Kombi Convoy from Cairns to Kakadu to join the protest. We raised $450 by holding a dance party. It paid for fuel for four cars and a load of toilet paper and bandaids for the protest site. The peaceful battle for Jabiluka is one of the environmental activist movement's greatest victories: ‘We won that battle'.  When faced with similar battles, it is very inspiring to reflect back on the Jabiluka protest as it proves what people, as a united force, can do when the impact on our environment and culture is so harmful. The Jabiluka Protest was about stopping ERA from mining uranium on the Mirrar Aboriginal people's traditional land which was adjacent to the Magella Wetlands - the womb of Kakadu where all life begins. Looking back it was all very much the storyline from 'Avatar'. Even the landforms, vegetation and some of the creatures have that ‘Avatar’ prehistoric feel.

 I’m a Queenslander from the very far north and before that a Territorian where I worked as a radiation safety technician for ERA’s Ranger Uranium Mines in Kakadu. They were good to me, and as a result my earnings allowed me to travel a large part of our planet for four years on a Yamaha TT600. But when I returned to Australia back in late 1997, I came home to a Liberal government about to give the go ahead to ERA to mine uranium at Jabiluka. I quickly morphed into a rabid protestor/activist.

I feel once again the activist rising in me. This time to protect our right to ride and to make motorcycling safer especially for novice motorcyclists. To Read More....


February 2, 2012

3rd VMAG meeting

The 3rd Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Group (VMAG) meeting was held today (2/02/12). As a member of VMAG, I will report on items discussed once I have approval to publise this by VicRoads. I expect to do this before the end of this month.


December 17, 2011

2nd meeting VMAG

As a member of the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Group (MAG), a few of my fellow motorcyclists have asked me about the issues being discussed. The second MAG meeting was held on 24 November.... to read more


October 21, 2011


Following my submission to extend the club permit scheme to all road riding recreational motorcyclist, I do believe the Victorian Government Committee (leading the public hearings for the Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety) understands that drastic change is needed.

Times have changed - traffic is moving faster, there's more of it and more distracations for car drivers - it is obvious that present government policies relating to motorcycle safety are out-dated..

I also beleive that the Committee (after three days of public hearings 17-19/10/2011) are also aware that the unofficial policy to discourage motorcycling is both unnecessary and undemocratic.

My submission presented at the end of the final day (19/10/11), calls for VicRoads to extend the club permit scheme to all road riding recreational motorcyclists.


October 14, 2011

BLOG: Bonding With Your Motorcycle

Yamaha TT600 in Mali

If you own and ride motorcycle/s, I’m probably ‘preaching to the converted’, but if you are new to motorcycles then read on…

To explain 'the bond thing'-  think of it as the feeling you feel towards something you care a lot about. This feeling is like a form of energy and as such is a wave action that affects particles and also creates different tensions amongst these particles and this makes the atoms of that something (such as a motorcycle) vibrate in a harmonious way. Think Quantum Physics and String Theory... Read Blog: Bonding With Your Motorcycle


October 14, 2011

I have not just bonded with my Yamaha TT600, but with all motorcycles... and even all motorcyclists – even hairy ones! And so this is why I now find myself speaking at the public hearings for the Victorian Government's Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety at 3:45pm next Wednesday (19/10/ 2011) in Melbourne. To Read more


October 13,2011

Check out all 12 motorcycle travellers who received Jupiter's Traveller awards from The Ted Simon Foundation. ...and I thought my trip was long! jupiters-travellers/


October 11, 2011

I am very honoured to receive one of the first Jupiter's Traveller awards from The Ted Simon Foundation. Thank you.

The Ted Simon Foundation, which was officially launched in the UK on 6 October 2011, "encourages those who adventure into the world to go the extra mile and transform their experiences into something of value for the world to share".

(...back in 1992, when I first got the idea to travel by motorcycle, I had not heard of Ted Simon or his famous book Jupiter's Travels, which has now sold more than 400,000 copies. But soon after, a copy fell into my hands and I devoured every word.)

Heather Ellis - a Jupiter's Traveller


September 30, 2011

The redesign of goes live today. (It has been on the web since 1998). I hope you will find the new look both interesting and inspiring. I'd really like your feedback.Thank you. Please read my first blog.

caspian sea azerbiajan

Photo: Australian motorcycle traveller Heather Ellis with her Yamaha TT600 joins a family picnic at a Caspian Sea beach near Baku, Azerbiajan, Central Asia.