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Cire Yarra Junction fail at failing

“Do you think I should text my mother and tell her I failed at failing?” he asked.

“I think that’s a great idea,” Nikki replied.

The Cire students attending the Changing Gears program at Yarra Junction were a lively group. With Mal’s love of trains, planes and automobiles, Zoe and Zahra’s sharp wits, Jackson’s terrific storytelling and Wade and Alyssa’s confidence, they were well placed to gain a lot from the program. Fifteen year old Loki also attended.

Initially, Loki and his teachers were worried he couldn’t participate but as Head Trainer Linda Jane explained, “Students as young as fifteen years and nine months can attend. They get the same benefit from the program as the other students. They can then sit their learner permit test as soon as they turn sixteen secure in the fact that they have the knowledge to pass the test and drive safely on Victorian roads.”

The group took to the training well, new trainer Nikki Thompson delivering the program. She was supported by Linda for the first few days, but delivered day three alone.

Pictured from left: Trainer Nikki with proud Cire Community School Yarra Junction learner drivers, Wade, Zahra, Mal and Alyssa with Cire team member Tom and VicRoads team member Diana (third from left),

A hubcap roundabout

Nikki used a hubcap Mal had brought to class to teach the group about the rules for roundabouts. The same practical approach was applied to uncontrolled intersections. A tape intersection was created and students pretended they were driving cars. Linda and Nikki then helped them work out who should give way and how the rules are applied.

On testing day, a nervous but excited group arrived at the Ringwood VicRoads testing centre with their Australian birth certificates and other forms of ID. Manager Disna and testing officer Diana were immensely helpful in the efficient processing of the student’s information.

One student, Zoe, had been unable to catch the bus due to family commitments. However the testing office, and Cire school were able to organise that she sit the test with Cire Mount Evelyn students two weeks later so she didn’t miss out.

The students were ushered into the open plan testing area and quietly went about their business. To the delight of the entire office, all students passed and Diana noted the passes were not just scraping by. All students achieved scores in the high eighties and nineties.

VicRoads staff were part of the process and part of the photo

A group photo was taken with Linda, Nikki, Disna, Diana and the students outside the Ringwood office. After the photo, Jackson approached Nikki,

“Do you think I should text my mother and tell her I failed at failing?” he asked.

“I think that’s a great idea,” Nikki replied.

Jackson’s text illustrated a key Changing Gears principle. Not only does the program help students sit the Victorian learner permit test and learn to drive safely, it sets them up with a positive experience and a template for success than can help them for the rest of their lives.

Possibilities open up

Driving opens up so many possibilities for disadvantaged young people. Classes are supportive, students and trainers inspire each other, showing the way for young people to overcome their obstacles to driving and experience success.

Click here to subscribe and find out about delivery of the Changing Gears program.

Call 1-800-766-361 to find out about your nearest Changing Gears learner permit program..

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