Updated: Jul 8
Winter had set in on the first day of the Changing Gears program delivered to the BSL Transition to Work students of Frankston, but grey skies and chilly temperatures couldn’t dampen their enthusiasm.
New trainer Nikki Thompson delivered the program to this group and Taylor, Sienna, Tanesha, Gemma, Crystal, Sophie, Georgia and Jai proved to be motivated, attentive students.
Many of the students had not had the opportunity to do practice tests and early in the program, their scores reflected this. However as they rehearsed doing tests and each module of the program was delivered, their scores soared.
Pictured from left: Proud learner drivers from BSL Frankston; Taylor, Tanesha, Sienna, Sophie, Crystal, Gemma, Georgia and Jai with VicRoads team members Lisa (second from left) and Sharon (far right). Changing Gears Trainer Nikki (squatting centre) is with BSL team member Stacey (squatting front),
A common sense approach helps answer test questions
The students learned to employ a combination of common sense and safety to correctly answer test questions. More importantly, they learned to think about and apply these principles to their driving attitude, preparing them for driving safely on Victorian Roads.
By the third day of the program, the students had learned to have a healthy empathy and respect for their fellow road users and use their common sense. This was reflected in all but one student’s practice test scores.
Gemma was still having difficulty in passing practice tests. However with encouragement from Nikki, she practiced all evening the night before the test bringing her scores up to over ninety percent.
Correct ID is your passport to the testing room
On testing day, a nervous but excited group arrived at the VicRoads Seaford testing centre. Most had Australian birth certificates and other correct forms of ID. However a couple did not. As the VicRoads Seaford Manager Kath and Supervisor Cassie explained, the correct ID is a learner’s passport for entry to the testing room. However with a mad dash by some supportive parents and carers, everyone was able to produce their IDs and sit the test.
One by one, the students entered the testing room, and applied all their knowledge and common sense. One by one, they exited and were told,
“Congratulations, you’ve passed!” by testers Sharon and Lisa. Lisa also kindly entered the testing room to reread questions and explain unknown words to students that needed help.
Persistence is the key
Their faces fell for one student, but as she had proved by practicing all evening before the day of the test, Gemma proved that persistence and hard work get results. Sharon and Lisa were cheering every bit as loudly as trainers Linda and Nikki and her fellow students as Gemma was told, “Congratulations, you passed!”
The group photo was an especially large and happy one with VicRoads Seaford team members Sharon and Lisa in the photo with the students as well as trainer Nikki and BSL Frankston team member Stacey.
“That was amazing!” Sharon, who is a new VicRoads team member, exclaimed, “and when you all go for your driving test, I hope you come to Seaford. I’ll be right here waiting to help you.”
Our beautiful bunch can be proud of themselves. They showed the power of hard work and persistence, bringing joy to not only to themselves and their families, but to the entire VicRoads Seaford office.
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 1-800-766-361 to find out about your nearest Changing Gears learner permit program..