The first week of June marked the end of our driving program in Collingwood, curated by MiCare and the Inner Melbourne Settlement Engagement Transition Support team. The driving program serves women of refugee and migrant backgrounds living in or near the City of Yarra, who have difficulty obtaining their driver’s license. The course spans 6 weeks and is packed full of information on driving laws, the licensing system, the finances of owning and driving a car, staying safe on the road, and drivers’ rights and responsibilities. In collaboration with our partners- Carringbush Adult Education, Victoria Police, Neighborhood Justice Centre Financial Counsellors, Fitzroy Legal Service, and Victoria Legal Aid, we have built a robust course. After the completion of the classes, the participating women are given 5 driving lessons with an instructor who teaches in-language to strengthen driving skills.
The importance of these classes does not limit to obtaining a license but also has practical benefits like easing caring duties, enhancing freedom and independence, increasing participation in the wider community, and improving employability.