When you're ready, you're ready at Njernda

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A sunny day in Echuca saw new trainer Nikki Thompson take her first cohort of students through the Changing Gears learner permit program at Njernda Aboriginal Corporation.


Cheyenne and Kyle with Nikki outside Echuca VicRoads.






















Njernda youth worker Sissi was the best Aunty ever, coordinating enrolments, supporting attendees and picking up those who needed a lift.


As Nikki started, mob who had come to speak with Njernda staff became interested.

“I’ve always wanted my learner permit. How do I get to do it?” asked visitor Jodie.

“Just talk to Sissi, she can let you know when the next program is,” supervising trainer Linda Jane replied. And that’s true, Sissi can organise courses at Njernda when people need them. Linda also mentioned that if mob from other places would like to do a course in their local area, they can ask their youth workers to call Changing Gears on

1-800-766-361 to organise a program.


Realising a twelve-year dream


The participants doing the course were very eager to earn their learner permits. Njernda payroll specialist Kyle juggled work commitments to attend the program. He had hoped to earn his licence for twelve years. Mother of four Kylie had also juggled family commitments and worked with her NDIS support worker to ensure she could attend from 10:00am-2:00pm on the three days of the program, and the fourth day of the test.


Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne worked hard with her family’s busy schedule to ensure she was dropped off at Njernda every day of the course and on the test day.


Another two young men attended briefly on the first day but did not attend after that. When asked why supervising trainer Linda Jane replied,

“Sometimes you’re just not ready. Kyle, Kylie and Cheyenne have moved heaven and earth to be here, they’re ready to get their learner permits.”


Smiling faces say it all


The participants studied hard but were very nervous about sitting the test. However, on the day, the looks on Kyle and Cheyenne’s faces were ec


static as they emerged triumphant from the testing room. Kylie proved that, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again. Earning her learner permit is a testament to her hard work and commitment.


So, if you feel ready to get your learner permit, contact Sissi at Njernda, or your local mob youth worker, and be part of the success story that is Changing Gears.



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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