George Institute Program helps get young Aboriginal people on the road
The Daily Advertiser has featured the new Wagga branch of the George Institute’s Driving Change program. The program uses volunteer mentors to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people gain the 120 hours of supervised driving practice they need to get a driver licence.
The program is being evaluated in a large scale trial running across NSW by the George Institute.
“Aboriginal people are less likely to hold a driver licence than others in the community and without a licence, many jobs are automatically out of reach.
George Institute research professor Rebecca Ivers said programs such as Wagga’s Driving Change were integral to giving Aboriginal people greater mobility and opportunities in the workplace.
Jojo Niki is a single mother of two young girls. Unlicenced, she relies on Wagga’s infrequent public transport system and friends to ensure she can take her children to school, pre-school and appointments.
She is currently learning to drive through the new program and has already racked up more than 20 hours in the last 10 months. She couldn’t be happier.
“Before I started this program, getting my licence felt like it was a lifetime away,” Ms. Niki said.
Like many other young people Ms. Niki said she had had difficulty finding a suitable supervising driver to help her clock the necessary hours.’”
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