Indigenous driving school puts students in the driver’s seat


We have partnered with Former Origin Greats Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education (ARTIE) Academy to launch the Transurban ARTIE #1 Driving School, to help break down barriers faced by some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students when learning to drive.

Launched during National Reconciliation Week, the driving school is a first in Queensland, providing Indigenous students in ARTIE Academy’s driving license program in South East Queensland with access to a safe and a trained instructor to help them complete the required 100 hours of supervised driving.

Transurban (Queensland) transport technology manager Luke Abercrombie said the driving school would further help these students gain the many hours of driving practice needed to get their licence, which is a big step towards the independence of the participants.

“We know that for many young people, access to a car and someone to teach them to drive is a major obstacle to getting their driver’s licence,” said Mr Abercrombie.

“By helping students gain the experience they need to learn to drive, Transurban ARTIE #1 Driving School will help students gain the freedom and opportunities that a driver’s license can bring, including a better access to employment, studies, sport and leisure.”

FOGS ARTIE Academy Managing Director Steven Page said the Transurban ARTIE #1 Driving School will provide over 900 hours of driving a year at nine schools in South East Queensland.

“In the first year, more than 80 students will access the driving school, of which 500 students are expected to benefit over five years,” Mr Page said.

“This is going to make a huge difference in the lives of these students and support ARTIE Academy’s goal of ‘closing the gap’ in academic achievement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their non-Aboriginal peers. “

The school will also help support and maximize the success of the ARTIE Driving License Scheme, which is funded by the Queensland Government.

A place in the ARTIE Driving License Program is an incentive offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in grades 10-12 who meet attendance, behavior and performance goals.

Students participating in the program experience, on average, a 20% improvement in attendance at designated schools, demonstrating the success of the program.

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