Driving change

Aboriginal people are two to three times more likely to die on Australian roads and 30% more likely to suffer a serious injury from a road crash than other Australians yet Aboriginal people are less likely to hold a current drivers licence.

Having a licence increases a person’s opportunities for employment, increases their ability to travel around community and increases their access to and regular contact with road safety messages. Conversely, not having a driving licence continues to be a major barrier to addressing many recognized gaps in the health and social wellbeing of an individual. This is particularly true for those living on the outskirts of the city or in rural and remote areas and for those with limited education. 

Driving Change is a community driven program assisting young Aboriginal people to navigate through the licensing system and attain their driver licence. The program has been designed and implemented in partnership with a range of community organisations including Tribal Warrior Redfern, Shellharbour Aboriginal Community Youth Association (SACYA), Griffith Aboriginal Lands Council, Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, Dubbo Aboriginal Lands Council, Taree Indigenous Development and Employment (TIDE), Red Cross Wagga, AB Central Campbelltown, Mallee Family Care Dareton, Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre, Raymond Terrace PCYC and Bourke Justice Reinvestment Program. Youth Workers have been appointed in twelve sites across NSW, while Bobby Porykali and Patricia Cullen from the Injury Division provide central support for the program.

Supported by the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme and the NSW Government with strong community involvement, this innovative program provides assistance for young people through the licensing process with the vision of fostering greater social inclusion and economic independence. 

The Driving Change project is led by Professor Rebecca Ivers from the Injury Division, and also involves Dr Kate Hunter and Associate Professor Lisa Keay. The program has a steering committee with representation from multiple NSW and Australian Government agencies as well as a range of community stakeholders. Additionally, the project will be subject to a robust evaluation that is currently being overseen by a scientific committee.

For more information contact Patricia Cullen pcullen@georgeinstitute.org or Rebecca Ivers rivers@georgeinstitute.org.au


  • Cullen, P., Clapham, K., Byrne, J., Hunter, K., Senserrick, T., Keay, L., & Ivers, R. (2016). The importance of context in logic model construction for a multi-site community-based Aboriginal driver licensing program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 57, 8-15. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2016.03.011
  • Cullen, P., Clapham, K., Byrne, J., Hunter, K., Rogers, K., Senserrick, T., Keay, L., & Ivers, R. (2016). Implementation of a driver licensing support program in three Aboriginal communities: A brief report from a pilot program. Health Promotion Journal Of Australia, (In press).