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Confidence is the key at BSL Frankston

From left to right VicRoads Seaford Team Member Francine with excited new learner permit holders Victoria, Robyn and Larissa (second from right) with Trainer Nikki (third from right) and BSL Team Member Stacey (right) at the entrance to VicRoads Seaford .

The BSL Taskforce offices in Playne Street normally provide the ideal location for young people wishing to complete the Changing Gears “Get your L’s” program in Frankston. However, leading up to the start date, Coordinator Adriano was made aware that a large and very loud renovation was going to scupper plans to hold the program in the Taskforce building.

With some skillful negotiation on Adriano’s part, BSL’s partnering NDIS offices graciously agreed to allow Changing Gears space in their building over the road at 38 Playne Street.

BSL's NDIS partner graciously helps out

“We’d really like to thank you for accommodating us,” Trainer Nikki said to Team Leader John on the first day, “your kindness will allow us to provide our program under optimal conditions and that’s very much appreciated.”

“No problem,” John replied with a smile, assisting Nikki and Program Coordinators Kate and Jade to set up the room and the IT system.

Excited students Robyn, Tremaine and Victoria arrived promptly on the first day and were an extremely motivated group. By the end of the day, they were treating tests and questions like they were contestants on a game show, providing enthusiastic, rapid-fire answers. Tremaine particularly, was keen!

Tremaine's licensing journey can resume later

Unfortunately, due to some personal challenges, Tremaine had to withdraw from the group. But through Jade, Kate and Tuesday Coordinator Stacey, he communicated how much he had enjoyed participating.

“Thanks! And please let Tremaine know that he was an absolute pleasure to have in the class,” Nikki responded, “he’s a motivated, intelligent young indigenous man and I look forward to having him in my class again when he has overcome his challenges.”

Chatty, enthusiastic Larissa

The second day of the program saw the advent of the chatty Larissa, who had been unable to attend the first day due to illness. She too, showed her enthusiasm having completed practice tests and done study at home whilst she was unwell.

All three students expressed nervousness about sitting their tests on the final day of the program and about the responsibility of driving on VicRoads.

“Actually, you three will be the best kind of drivers,” Nikki reassured them, “because you all understand the responsibility you have when driving on Victorian roads. And it doesn’t hurt that you are all great students!”

Victoria and Nikki talk about confidence

Over one lunch break, Victoria quizzed Nikki about her work and life history and after hearing some of her stories asked, “Were you always picked first in sports? And were you really confident as a kid?”

Nikki smiled, “No, actually I often picked last in sports and although I was confident about some things, overall, I was not very confident at all.”

“Wow!” Victoria replied, “you were like me, yet you’ve done so many things.”

“Yep, I was probably a lot more like you than you might think,” Nikki replied, “I tried to work really hard at getting myself out of my comfort zone and doing the things I wanted to do. I found that doing things a little bit at a time can really help with that.”

Confidence is key

When all the students returned after lunch, Nikki brought the subject of confidence up.

“I am really confident you’ll all pass your learner permit tests on Friday but I know you’re all quite worried about driving itself. As I explained to Victoria over the lunch break, just as we’ve worked a module at a time on the Victorian Road code and learning to drive safely, you can also do that with driving itself,” Nikki explained.

“How?” the students asked.

“Well, the first time you get in a car, just sit in the driver’s seat. Learn how to adjust your seat and the mirrors and do up your seat belt. The next day, you can practice starting the car. Each day after that, you can do just a little bit more and a little bit more, allowing your confidence to grow all the while,” Nikki told the group.

The day of the test, all the students were nervous but working on being confident in all the hard work they had done. Coordinators Jade and Stacey who had supported them through the course and brought the students to VicRoads were excited for them.

Francine's reassuring presence at VicRoads helped

They were greeted by lovely VicRoads Seaford team member Francine, who took them through all their document processing and eye tests with a lot of encouragement. She calmed everyone’s nerves as she showed each person into the testing room.

When they were done, there were huge smiles and high fives all around as Francine got to tell each of them, “Congratulations! You’ve passed.”

The students all wanted to know what scores they’d achieved. So even though the system no longer provides that information in a printout, Francine kindly went in and retrieved them, two of which were 94%! Everyone thanked her for going above and beyond, especially as it had provided the students with such good news.


Applying lessons learned

“I hope you all take away a lot of confidence from today’s terrific results,” Nikki told the group, “I’m so proud of you all! This is what happens when you push yourselves out of your comfort zone, work hard and believe in yourselves. And you can take this knowledge to any test you sit or anything you want to do in the future.”

So once again, with the support of Adrian, Jade, Kate and Stacey at BSL and the help of Francine and Team Leader Sandra at Seaford VicRoads, another group of students have learnt what hard work, self-belief and confidence can achieve.


From left to right: Larissa and BSL team member Stacey awaiting results at VicRoads Seaford .

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 1800 766 361 to find out more about Changing Gears.

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