Having a drivers’ licence is more than just a convenience, it is a precursor to achieving greater independence for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Since 2018, Transurban’s Women at the Wheel program, delivered by Access Community Services, has been providing funding and driver training support to help refugee and migrant women living in Logan, Queensland obtain their driver’s licence.
Over the past year, Transurban’s support has tripled in line with demand, helping even more refugee and migrant women to gain the independence and confidence that comes with gaining their licence.
Sue Johnson, Group Executive Transurban Queensland, said the Women at the Wheel program has supported more than 100 refugee and migrant women over the past four years to complete over 1,500 hours of driver training.
“For migrant women without a drivers’ licence it can be a real challenge to get around their communities, managing family life, while needing to get to TAFE to learn English and ultimately to access direct and convenient transport to gain employment,” Ms Johnson said.
“We are proud to be supporting some of our communities’ most vulnerable people, giving them the knowledge and experience to become safe drivers on our roads.”
Minister Shannon Fentiman MP, Member for Waterford, has also been a strong supporter of the Transurban Women at the Wheel program since its inception.
“Gaining a driver’s licence removes a huge barrier to getting a job, attending training or education and gaining independence,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Every one of the women graduating should be so proud of their determination and hardwork,” she said.
CEO of Access Community Services Violet Roumeliotis said, since starting the program, Access has seen word spread and demand grow, with 42 participants from 7 countries taking part in the current round of the program.
“For most Australians, having a driver’s licence and owning a car is a routine part of life’s journey, something many take for granted. But for some refugee and migrant women the prospect of obtaining a licence and owning their own car represents so much to them, yet they do not have the finances or support to be achieve these goals,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
“Thanks to Transurban’s additional support, every person on Access’ waitlist was able to complete this incredible program over the past nine months, with participants receiving driver training, lessons and when ready, their licence paid for”.