Updated: Feb 23
oreland City Council hosted trainer Linda Jane and the Changing Gears program at the Fawkner Neighbourhood House this week. This was facilitated and supported by Program Manager Lillian (Lily) Dunn.
On the first day, seven young women sat down nervously, eager to learn the road rules. Their key motivation for attending the class and passing the learner permit test was to gain independence, (a common theme amidst the group).
Linda explained that before learning the road rules and how to share the road, the group would start by learning a “safety-first” attitude and proactive driving behaviours.
On the second day, we had Department of Transport's Amanda Venda opped in to support Changing Gears and Moreland City Council.
Uncontrolled to controlled
An uncontrolled intersection was created with yellow tape. Then, all the participants used their bodies as cars to get a visceral experience of understanding the rules of uncontrolled and controlled intersections; give way to your right, and when turning right, give way to oncoming traffic.
Linda helped students to understand the
uncontrolled intersection with a demonstration.
High achievers celebrate
By lunch time of the third day, all of the young women were achieving high pass rates on the practice tests and were all smiles.
A time to smile
On the last day of training, Lily, courtesy of Moreland City Council, bought everyone lunch.
Lily took a photo of the diverse group of young women whilst respecting their privacy.
Trainer Linda felt priviledged to see all their beautiful faces smiling.
Trainer Linda Jane and learners enjoying lunch.
Let's get excited
On the final day, the group arrived at VicRoads, Coolaroo. There, customer service team member, Adrian met the nervous learners and greeted them with a smile and loads of enthusiasm.
The girls were filled with a mixture of excitement and anxiety.
"The feeling of anxiety is physiologically almost the same as that of excitement. Both feelings produce an elevated heart rate and a feeling of butterflies in your stomach. Both can make you sweat as your body is readies itself for action. What makes the two different is how you think about each feeling. So, change your thinking and GET EXCITED!" said trainer Linda Jane.
To Adrian's surprise, the first learner passed with 94%.
"The average pass rate is 78-81%. We rarely get pass rates in the 90% range," he remarked. Another pass came through. It was 81%. then another, this time 97%.
"I have only seen one 97% before!" Adrian commented, congratulating the learner. Two more test results came through at 91% and then another at 97%, "Wow!" Adrian enthused.
A full circle of learning
All the learners passed with flying colours. Several had mothers there to support and share in the joy emanating from all involved.
The Moreland students hold their new L-plates in a circle of happiness and completion.
A big thank you to the staff at VicRoads Coolaroo for making this experience an easy and momentous occasion for the cohort from Moreland.
"The program was amazing. I learnt a lot and also made a lot of friends during it. I don’t think I would’ve scored nearly as high as I did without the help of my instructors." ...Mya
"The following program was highly helpful in teaching me the appropriate skills that were required to sit and pass my learners test. I enjoyed coming in and learning alongside other peers which made the experience more worthwhile." ...Fizz
"I really enjoyed the classes and Linda was a fantastic teacher. Thank you!" ...Fatima
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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Call 1800 766 361 to find out more about Changing Gears.