Mineral Resources Limited (MRL) is delighted to announce today the commencement of a partnership with the McGovern Foundation to support the Wanderer Program to help disadvantaged Western Australian youths obtain their driver’s licence.
As Founding Partner of the Wanderer Program, Mineral Resources is funding a 12-month pilot driver-mentor program that provides 50 hours of supervised driving to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders and other disadvantaged youth to help them obtain, and maintain, their driver’s licence.
The greatest barrier to Indigenous employment is often the lack of a driver’s licence, which for many can be a challenge to attain, particularly in regional areas. Often there is no car available for them to learn in but also, in many instances, no one available to undertake the required hours of supervised driving.
The Wanderer Program provides students with a driving instructor who is also a trained mentor. This not only allows participants to learn to drive safely but they have someone to guide them, offer advice, help to gain confidence and build strong relationships all while completing the necessary supervised driving hours to obtain their provisional driver’s licence.
On completion of the program, the aim is that participants will have gained more than just their ‘P’ plates – but also increased self-esteem and independence, which are vital to successfully gaining employment.
Through the program, MRL and the McGovern Foundation aspire to create a stream of mentored, mobile and employable youth to strengthen the Western Australian workforce and community.
The McGovern Foundation Wanderer Driver Mentor Program informally commenced in June 2021 with two Indigenous staff members working closely with participants, driving schools and the Department of Transport. There are now more than 40 participants engaged in the program with numbers increasing every week.
Mineral Resources Managing Director Chris Ellison said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with the McGovern Foundation in this new initiative.
“It is really important for us to work with organisations to make a positive difference to the lives of people in our community. The Wanderer Program is a great practical initiative that supports disadvantaged young people.
“Mineral Resources is dedicated to making a positive difference and this driver trainer and mentor program has what it takes to make a huge impact by assisting young people set themselves up to gain employment.”
McGovern Foundation Managing Director Andrew McGovern said:
“By working alongside Mineral Resources, we will be able to bring positive changes to disadvantaged, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. These young people will access 50 hours of supervised driving, enabling them to obtain their WA driver’s licence, leading to improved employment opportunities.
“It’s great to be working with Mineral Resources to bring the Wanderer Program to life. It will go a long way to assisting young people who face difficulty attaining what some of us take for granted.”