RACQ celebrates success of Indigenous driver licensing program

Initiative's benefits highlighted

RACQ celebrates success of Indigenous driver licensing program

Motor & Fleet

By Roxanne Libatique

The RACQ-sponsored ARTIE Academy Driver Licensing Program has successfully helped over 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students obtain their provisional licenses over the past five years.

The initiative is designed to enhance school attendance, behaviour, and academic performance by assisting students in completing their 100 hours of supervised driving with ARTIE mentors.

RACQ reaffirms commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

RACQ general manager advocacy Joshua Cooney emphasised the club’s dedication to lowering the state’s road toll and enhancing education and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through driving licenses.

“With more than 119 years of history in mobility and advocacy, it’s fair to say we live and breathe driver education and road safety,” he said. “The program makes these students safer drivers and provides more options for future education and employment.”

How did RACQ celebrate National Reconciliation Week?

To mark National Reconciliation Week (May 27 to June 3), 15 ARTIE mentors participated in a driver training day at RACQ’s Mobility Centre to further develop their driving skills.

“The event at the Mobility Centre focused on upskilling the ARTIE mentors to become more confident when teaching students during their driving lessons,” Cooney said. “Our ongoing partnership with ARTIE, as well as hosting annual driver training days, is a key part of the club’s commitment to providing more opportunities for First Nations people.”

During the training session, mentors received instruction on defensive driving techniques, car safety checks, and tyre changing.

Benefits of ARTIE Academy

Andrew Peach, CEO of Former Origin Greats (FOGS), highlighted the program’s positive outcomes across Queensland.

“The ARTIE Academy Driver Licensing Program, with the support of RACQ, has been an important initiative for FOGS and has seen a 20% increase in attendance at participating schools since it started,” he said. “The program has been able to reduce some of the hurdles associated with not having a driver’s licence, such as not being able to attend a job interview or access places of employment.

“The annual driver training days are important in developing awareness and knowledge around safe driving behaviours for our ARTIE mentors who are often young drivers themselves.”

As part of the ongoing partnership, RACQ has donated seven vehicles to various regional and South East Queensland schools and covered costs for insurance, registration, and servicing. In March, it donated a Holden Cruze to the ARTIE Driver Licensing Program.

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