Drive for Life
The Drive for Life program primarily supports young people aged between 16-25 and is designed to meet the needs of young people who may find it difficult to achieve their drivers licence.
Drive for Life believes all young people should have the opportunity to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Having a driver’s licence is a key milestone in a young person’s life and helps them move towards independence. Being able to drive gives young people the choice and control necessary to realise their education, employment, and housing goals.
The Salvation Army’s Drive for Life programs provide a welcoming and accessible environment which is safe and supportive. We are sensitive to the needs of communities who have difficulty meeting the licencing requirements.
The Salvation Army’s Drive for Life programs exist to:
Provide equity in access to driving lessons and supervision;
Improve employment and education opportunities for young people; and
Help young people become experienced, safe and confident drivers.
This program has supported many young people to achieve their Learner and Provisional licence, establish positive relationships, broaden employment pathways and develop future goals and aspirations. Since 2008, our Driver Training programs have expanded from a single location to 14 programs and a team over 100 staff and volunteers across the eastern seaboard of Australia.
We estimate over 10,000 young people have passed through our program and moved into further education or employment. Approximately 75% of young people enrolled in our program achieve their learner licence and 68% will go on to achieve their full drivers licence. Participants in our program receive road safety education and go on to become safe and responsible road users.
Finally, our mentoring program has connected countless young people with their community, established positive relationships, and helped create goals and aspiration for the future.
Why do we need
Drive for Life?
Youth unemployment is more than double the national average (11%).
Unlicenced young people are restricted in the jobs they can apply for and unable to travel for some jobs.
For example, trade apprenticeships require young people start before public transport hours and often travel outside the city.
Mental health issues amongst young people requires urgent action and support. In 2020, one in three young people (34%) reported psychological distress* (Headspace). Social isolation and disconnectedness are real and present issues for young people across Australia.
This restricts young people from participating in the community and building healthy relationships and aspirations for the future such as employment and home ownership. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation.
The young people presenting at our services do not have the financial capacity to pay for driving lessons and licencing. Moreover, they do not have access to a supervising driver to support them in achieving the supervised driving hours required to achieve their licence.
In addition, regular driving schools do not support young people to engage with the licencing system such as obtaining ID and filling out forms. Our program builds trust and a relationship to support their holistic needs whilst linking them with appropriate community networks and supports.
The Salvation Army’s Commitment to Inclusion Statement:
"The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.
We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children."