The DriveTime program helps people on humanitarian visas gain confidence behind the wheel. The program provides English driving support and driving practice with volunteer mentors, for learner drivers to help them obtain their NSW driving licences.

Person mentoring another person in front of computer
Man demonstrating something in front of car engine

Who?

The Drive Time Program is available to anyone on a humanitarian visa who meets the following criteria:

  • Visa: Refugee and humanitarian visas – Newly arrived within 2 years.
  • Age: 18 and above.
  • No restrictions on language, cultural group or gender.
  • Has an employment pathway plan.

Why?

The DriveTime Program supports people who are new to Australia to obtain their driver’s license with a focus on developing self-confidence, road safety skills and how to overcome the barriers they face while learning to drive in Australia and transitioning to employment.

The DriveTime Program is an initiative supported the NSW Office of Premier and Cabinet. The Program is funded by NRMA. The program is delivered by Gymea Community Aid and Information Service.

How?

The DriveTime Program is made up of a number of different activities designed to assist people in developing their driving skills:

English for Driving Course

A required component of the program, learners are registered into the program and assessed for program eligibility. The workshops are delivered by TAFE NSW. This assists learners in improving their language related to driving, road safety and support to pass the learners permit knowledge test.

Road Safe Workshop

To help learners understand NSW road rules and their rights and responsibility while driving on Australian roads.

My First Car Session

To teach learners about car maintenance with a live demonstration.

Professional Driving lessons

Dual controlled driving session with a driving instructor to develop the learner’s driving experience and skills. DriveTime Program offers these lessons for a subsided fee of $10.

Mentor driving lessons

Driving lessons with a volunteer to help learners practice and gain confidence behind the wheel.

Successes

The combination of theoretical & practical workshops and involvement of local councils and support of local businesses have contributed to the successful outcome of the program. The successes of the program to date include:

  • 20 learners obtained P1 license
  • 36 learners obtained their Learners Permit
  • 6 graduates secured employment

Challenges

The biggest current challenges for the DriveTime Program are around recruiting volunteers for the program to assist with our mentor driving program. This combined with the limited access to workshop venues has meant the program is struggling to meet demand.

Advice for others

The key learning from the DriveTime program is around the need to build extensive networks in the local community you are intending to operate from.

For more information, please contact:
Ph: 0478 748 387
Email: drivetime@gcais.ngo.org.au