Updated: Mar 8
From left to right: excited learner drivers Jarryd, Kanesha, Kane, Eve, Norma, Royanne and Tasma with trainer Linda, (fourth from right), VACCA staff Josh (second from left) and Maria (second from right) and VicRoads staff (fifth from left and far right) outside VicRoads Carlton.
Mob from country far and wide gathered at the VACCA hub in Preston on February 13th, 2023 for the Changing Gears program. Although Ava, Eve, Jade, sisters Kanisha and Norma, Royanne, Tasma, Gary, Jarryd, Kane and Tony were all from different nations and didn’t know each other at the start of the course, they quickly established a sense of fun and family, and supported each other throughout the program. In fact, Tasma came all the way from Western Australia but she fit in with the group just perfectly.
Scheduling, a rocky start
The program got off to a rocky start, unsure as to whether the students would have to attempt the online course due to a lack of appointments at the Coolaroo office. However, the Carlton VicRoads office came through at short notice and was able to provide testing appointments for the group.
“This is great news and we thank the Carlton office for their help,” said trainer Linda Jane, “the in person test is clear and those sitting it get to select one correct answer per question. Our Changing Gears cohort do really well using this version of the test.”
The advantage of maturity
The group was a more mature one with two people over twenty one and five over thirty.
“This gives a bit of an advantage to the group” Linda explained, “as they don’t have to fill in logbooks to do their P plates. However, we do encourage all students to get plenty of practice by doing their 120 hours in all conditions.”
On the second day of the course, Linda went into some detail about the identification required to sit your learner permit test.
Aunty Maria comes through
“Many mob may think they’re ok, they’re born on country. But in order to get their Victorian learner permit they have to have an original copy of their birth certificate or passport as well as a bank card or original medicare card,” Linda told the group.
Some of the class did not have these documents but with the help of awesome Aunty Maria from VACCA, most had this document by the time of their testing appointment on Thursday.
Cheering on brothers and sisters
The group arrived on the testing day excited. (Unfortunately, Jade and Tony were unable to attend the appointment.)
A nervous Eve, Norma, Royanne, Tasma, Jarryd and Kane entered the testing room and got to come out to beaming VicRoads staff saying, “Congratulations, you’ve passed!”
There were photos and celebrations all round as the group hugged and cheered each other.
Ava, Kanisha and Gary had not been present when ID was discussed on Tuesday and did not have the correct paperwork. However, they were able to book an appointment for the following week. Kanisha and Gary sat their test and passed then.
Ava had experienced many challenges attending the course every day so unfortunately did not pass her test.
"We have faith that Ava will pass with practice," said trainer Linda, "we encourage participants to attend every day as our evidence has proven that those who complete the full course tend to pass their test This brings up another important point. If they have obstacles to attending, we ask participants to reach out to their support organisation for help. Our goal is to have everyone experience success"
From left to right: excited learner drivers Kanesha, Gary
Mob rocks the family vibe
"This class has been such a pleasure to teach,” said trainer Linda Jane, “they’ve come from far and wide. They didn’t know each other to begin with but they’ve supported each other and grown so much. I’m blown away.”
So here’s congratulations to our VACCA group who got through this milestone in style and showed that mob truly know the meaning of the word family.
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.
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