Ipswich program's London success
A LEARNER driver program that started its humble beginnings at the Ipswich PCYC only six years ago has gained international attention.
Braking the Cycle, which pairs mentor drivers with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds at 37 locations across Queensland - including six in Ipswich - was last night named the winner of the Pince Michael International Road Safety Award.
Prince Michael of Kent presented the award in a ceremony at The Savoy in London, congratulating Braking the Cycle on transforming the lives of 3250 Queenslanders since 2012. In the Ipswich area alone, 741 young people from disadvantaged families have taken part in Braking the Cycle, with 252 going on to get their driver's licence.
Queensland Braking the Cycle manager Angela Watts said there was "nothing better" than seeing young people change their lives for the better after getting that ticket to freedom.
"Our learner drivers tend to come back after they've finished to let us know how they've been travelling with work and with their lives in general," Ms Watts said.
"We've got young people that have gone on to finish uni, then get married. A lot of their success comes down to the mentoring we provide."
Ipswich boasts 179 mentor drivers working across Ipswich, Boonah, Laidley, Lowood, Redbank Plains and Inala.
Ms Watts said Braking the Cycle was set to expand into Cooktown, Hervey Bay, Caboolture, Deception Bay, Carindale and Mt Gravatt next year.