By Kim Carlyon General Manager
2019 is quickly coming to a close and it’s a great time to reflect on the year that was. From a professional & social engagement perspective, it’s been a great year of growth and giving back!
One of the things I’m most proud to be a part of is the Queensland Youth Services (QYS) ‘LearnIt’ program. This fantastic initiative was introduced in 2018 to help disadvantaged youth in Townsville achieve the 100hours required to qualify for their P plates. As we all know, without a drivers licence it’s very challenging to find employment in Townsville.
I met Murray Holm, LearnIt Project Manager, when he attended one of our project management workshops in early 2018. Murray’s history and passion for championing young people in Townsville is well known. Realising what a great initiative it was, coupled with the credibility of Murray & QYS, I was his second volunteer as a mentor driver.
In fact, I was so convinced it was a great idea, I then also offered to provide project management coaching. Murray’s response, ‘I’ll see you 10am tomorrow!’. Which resulted in Learning Partnerships in-kind sponsorship of LearnIt as well. It was an exciting and daunting time to be involved, as Murray worked endlessly to turn a great idea into a reality.
While it’s technically about driving, the best part are the conversations. It’s inspiring to hear the hopes and dreams of our local young people, especially when there are so many challenges in Townsville at present. It’s also incredibly easy to get involved and – to answer the question I’m asked the most – no, you don’t have to use your own car! Murray, QYS & LearnIt were fortunate to gain sponsorship from the Pickerings Auto Group early on, who loan two cars to the program. I mentor once a week, having clocked up 88 hours driving to date. Each week I look forward to meeting someone new or seeing familiar faces, building their confidence & improving their driving skills.
Based on it’s success, LearnIt was recently funded for another 2years under the Queensland Transport and Main Roads community road safety grants. To date, the amazing Murray, Deanna and the team of volunteers have:
- Supported 40 young people through to their P licence
- Assisted 15 exemptions
- 11 young people currently booked for their P test, plus
- 10 more young people with the potential for a P test before Christmas and
- Positively influenced the behaviours, attitudes and communication skills of over 60 young people!
If you’re interested in learning more about LearnIt or getting involved, please contact Murray on 0439 386 498.Kim