Pictured at the funding announcement today: Cara Barnes, left, Councillor Margaret O’Connor, Minister for Ageing and Disablity John Ajaka, Greg Meyers, Emma Flint, Glen Wilcox, Cheryl Hall, Jane Guilfoyle, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Mayor Herman Beyersdorf and Judith Roberts.
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and the Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka today announced $25,000 funding for a local youth program aimed at helping young people in Armidale secure their P1 driver’s license.
Mr Marshall said the project received funding through two avenues, the Youth Opportunities Program provided $15,000 and the Community Building Partnership program allocated $10,000 to the program.
“This is a very worthwhile project as it will assist disadvantaged youth and people within the refugee and migrant community who don’t have access to a vehicle or a person with a full NSW drivers licence, clock up the 120 hours required to obtain their P1 driver’s license,” Mr Marshall said.
“The project will match a learner driver who can secure their Learners Drivers Licence through Armidale TAFE, with a fully trained supervising driver and a vehicle.
“This application came about when Senior Constable Cheryl Hall identified a need within the Armidale Refugee and International Student community, noting that many young people were unable to secure a driver’s licence as older members of their families had restricted licences or no licence at all, and there was very little access to vehicles on which to clock up their mandatory 120 hours.
“Jane Guilfoyle, the Community Services Manager from Armidale Dumaresq Council and Judith Roberts from the Northern Settlement Services collaborated with Senior Constable Hall to develop the Armidale Dumaresq Learner Driver Program.”
Mr Marshall said it was a great joint project as TAFE New England had come on board and agreed the automotive mechanics faculty would provide free maintenance for the vehicle and the PCYC Armidale would meet registration and insurance costs.
“This program will utilise suitably skilled and authorised volunteer mentors from the community to provide the instruction and supervision as learner drivers take up this program.
“I’d like to commend all involved and I’m delighted the State Government has seen the merit in the program and provided this much needed funding.”
Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister responsible for youth affairs John Ajaka said the Youth Opportunities program is designed to reach out to young people from all backgrounds, particularly those on the margins, to help them overcome obstacles and achieve positive outcomes for themselves and their communities.
“I am proud that the Youth Opportunities Program is able to provide more than $1 million to organisations to deliver much needed youth-led and youth-driven community projects,” said Mr Ajaka.
“Locally developed projects like the Armidale Learner Driver Mentor Program provide excellent opportunities for our youth because local providers know what the community need.”
Since the program launched in 2012, more than $6.8 million has been allocated to 120 youth development projects. The latest projects will commence in 2016. More information about this year’s grants recipients can be found at www.youth.nsw.gov.au.