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14 May 2020
Corps Officer Major Paul Moulds (second from right) outside the Auburn Corps with representatives from Transurban and The Salvation Army Drive for Life program.
Drive for Life – a driver training and mentoring program that equips people who are experiencing adversity to obtain their licence – operates out of Auburn Salvation Army in Sydney’s west.
The partnership with Transurban, a toll-road network company, is a timely boost for the Auburn program, which recently expanded to also cover Fairfield and Liverpool. These three Local Government Areas stretch across western Sydney and include some of the most disadvantaged suburbs in Australia.
Auburn Drive for Life Coordinator James Redwood said the program focused on helping young people obtain a licence but also assisted older adults who have never had the opportunity to gain a licence. James said many adults in Auburn experienced disadvantage due to the fact that they can’t drive and had no support to learn.
“There are a high number of refugees and new arrivals in the Local Government Area our program is targeted to, and this group faces unique and multiple barriers to secure an Australian driver’s licence. Our program sensitively addresses many of these barriers,” he said.
“Drive for Life is a milestone in these people’s stories, has given them opportunities, has taught them lifelong skills, has nurtured their confidence and ultimately has helped them drive toward a better future.”
One participant, Bob [name changed to protect privacy], came to Drive for Life after failing to secure a job because he didn’t have a licence. “All my documents were accepted and I passed in the interview, I was supposed to start the job but driver’s licence was a requirement,” he said. “I failed the driving test therefore I was unable to be employed.
“I would like to thank you (The Salvation Army) so much once again for your assistance in achieving my licence, which will enable me to apply and search for employment confidently. It will be a great support to my career.”
Drive for Life programs are based out of a number of Salvation Army centres throughout NSW, Victoria and Queensland, giving people accessing the service more independence and improved employment prospects.