“There are young people in our community who, due to personal circumstances, face difficulties in completing their 120 hours driving experience towards their P license. A driver’s license, especially in rural areas, is a passport to employment and social connection, and also gives a young person a sense of independence.
“It provides an opportunity for young people to interact with positive adult role models, gain confidence and move towards social independence.” said Mr Jones.
This program gives volunteer mentors an opportunity to connect with their community, and directly help a young person.
“The mentor plays a crucial role in preparing the young person for their license test, but also the bond that is forged in this process gives the young person an opportunity to develop a working relationship with an adult that is outside of their usual circle. The mentor guides the learner through a four-stage program, and endeavours to build the skills, competencies and confidence that enable the learner to safely manage the complexities of driving.
“We have a full training program for mentors to ensure mentors are well prepared to support a learner driver and understand their role as a supervising driver.
“Learners participating in the program also have access to free driving lessons with a professional instructor to build their skills before getting on the road with a volunteer mentor.” said Mr Jones.
The L2P program will be managed by Brophy Family and Youth Services, but will essentially remain the same as before under Warrnambool City Council. It is a Department of Transport managed program and has strict criteria and protocols around how it is administered and conducted.
Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said that the partnership with Brophy strengthens what is already an important program for young people who are facing obstacles to get the necessary practice needed to obtain their driver’s license.
“Brophy brings great knowledge and expertise to the program as well as strong connections to other agencies, resource opportunities and most importantly young people.
“Whilst Brophy will deliver the program and manage the day to day operations, Council will still be the program auspice and continue to have a role in volunteer recruitment, Departmental reporting, and the strategic direction of the program.”
Any mentors and young people wishing to join the program can contact Brophy on 5561 8888. The program has an induction process for prospective mentors, and eligibility criteria for prospective learners.