Migrants in Kalgoorlie-Boulder have gleaned important information about how to drive in the outback, such as navigating gravel roads, corrugations and 400kg bulls, at a special information session last week.
Jim Addison, who has 43 years driving experience on WA roads from the Kimberley to the Nullarbor, led the session, ‘Driving on Country Roads and Tracks WA’.
It was part of a series of information sessions organised by the Frontier Services Kalgoorlie Community Migrant Service to help migrants learn the language used in driving in Australia.
Mr Addison spoke to the migrants about some of the different situations encountered while driving on country roads such as the shift from bitumen to gravel, encountering bull-dust, passing livestock and dealing with wild animals on the road.
He also spoke about what to do when your car breaks down and important tips about fuel and water.
Community Migrant Worker Elizabeth Coghill said the nine attendees found the session fascinating and responded particularly well to Mr Addison’s drawings, which he used as an aid to assist with their understanding of the language.
The migrants reported that the session was practical and greatly improved their knowledge about potential hazards and how to deal with different situations.
Ms Coghill said that being able to drive was important for migrants, particularly women, to be able to access services in the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
“Helping migrants to obtain their driver’s licence is a practical way to assist the migrants to achieve independence, social inclusion and economic well-being,” she said.
After identifying this need last year, Ms Coghill assisted two women to better understand the language that is used in driving tests. The women went on to to gain their Learner’s permits and have recently passed their first practical driving test.
“They are understandably very proud of their achievements,” she said.
This year, the Community Migrant Service has conducted four “Learning the Language of Driving” information sessions.