Driven for social gains

Community Four learn-to-drive student Bakhtawar.


A driving course for Hazara women and leadership training for South Sudanese communities in Dandenong have landed $10,000 grants.

The projects were among 75 across Australia receiving collectively nearly $500,000 as part of the Australia Post 2019 community grants program.

Next year, with the funding, Community Four with the Australia Hazara Women’s Friendship Network intend to help 40 women get their learner driving permit.

It is a crucial skill for refugee women’s “self-empowerment”, says Community Four chief executive Gavin Ackerly.

“It breaks down their social isolation, enables them access to work and study, and builds their self-esteem.

“Most importantly it encourages them to play a more active part in the wider Australian society.”

The project will also help the drivers improve their English language skills and access to sport and recreation opportunities.

Community Abundance Inc also receives a grant for its program to support and upskill six leaders in Dandenong’s South Sudanese communities.

It aims to give leaders the skills to resolve disputes through mediation, and to respond to social issues in a consultative way, says Community Abundance director Deng Kor.

“While circumstances change, we share experiences of migration and settlement, as well as the effects on entire community, isolation and family breakdown.

“The Australia Post funding will support our family violence primary prevention project.”


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