RACQ donates vehicle to support First Nations students in driving program

Donation expected to drive forward possibilities in education and road safety

RACQ donates vehicle to support First Nations students in driving program

Motor & Fleet

By Roxanne Libatique

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has contributed a Holden Cruze to the ARTIE Driver Licensing Program, spearheaded by the Former Origin Greats (FOGS).

This initiative is part of RACQ's commitment to assisting First Nations students in acquiring their learner permits and completing the required 100 driving hours.

Joshua Cooney, general manager of advocacy at RACQ, emphasised the critical role that access to dependable vehicles plays in improving the driving capabilities of regional students.

“Giving regional students access to a safe, reliable vehicle to finish their mandatory 100 hours not only makes them better drivers, but it also opens up more options for future education and employment,” he said. “Our young regional and remote Queenslanders are some of our most vulnerable road users who need support, guidance, and skills to make decisions that will keep them safe on the road.”

What is the ARTIE Driver Licensing Program?

The ARTIE program, as explained by FOGS program manager Joseph Kadel, is adaptable to the diverse needs of students at various stages of their driving education.

“If their confidence levels aren't high, then potentially we take them to an empty car park where they get to focus on the little things and getting their confidence up. If we teach someone who has 80 hours under their belt and their confidence is much higher, then we focus on the correct rules and ensure they can be safe on the road,” Kadel said.

RACQ's donated vehicle to benefit RSHS students

The availability of the donated vehicle is expected to significantly impact the students at Rockhampton State High School (RSHS).

RSHS principal Kirsten Dwyer outlined the challenges faced by many students in accumulating driving hours due to the lack of access to a car or a qualified supervising driver.

“Those opportunities include access to work experience, to traineeships, to work placements, and it's just a real boost for our students,” she said. “We have a very large senior cohort, and there's a large number of those students who don't have access to a car or a driver who can assist them to get their 100 hours, so this is a fantastic benefit to our students.”

Dominick Tobane, a student and Indigenous captain at RSHS, shared his personal aspirations and how the availability of a license and access to a vehicle can support his ambitions.

“I wish to be an actor, so having a licence will help me a lot to travel to a new place or to auditions or to classes,” he said. “For us to get this car in our final year, it's amazing. It means a lot because sometimes we struggle to get our hours up.”

RACQ's contribution goes beyond the vehicle donation, encompassing the coverage of insurance, registration, and servicing costs. This support extends to aiding students with the financial aspects of obtaining a license, including test fees and driving lessons.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!