Goonellabah teenager Jacinta King finally licenced
Goonellabah teenager Jacinta King finally licenced

Jacinta fulfills a driving ambitionJacinta fulfills a driving ambition

By ZOE SATHERLEY

JACINTA KING has had a driving ambition for the past two years. The Goonellabah teenager wanted to be the first person in her family to get a driver's licence. And recently, thanks to Ral- ly for Reconciliation, an inno- vative ACE Aboriginal driver training program, she finally made it. "I feel fantastic. This is a dream come true for me," the 17-year-old Year 12 Lismore High School student said. "I borrowed a friend's car the other day and drove every- one down to the beach. "It was the best feeling ever. I'm over the moon and mum is so proud of me. "Now I'll be able to drive her to get the shopping and to doctor's appointments ? when I can afford to get a car. "That's my next ambition, as well as completing my school- based traineeship with Lismore Court House and getting through the HSC." Jacinta was supported in getting her 50 mandatory hours of driver training by the Rally for Reconciliation program. The program matches volun- teer white drivers with Aborig- inal people who need to get driving experience. Regular rallies are held over a set route and at the end of the day, everyone gets together for

a barbecue and a good time. Jacinta went on five rallies over 18 months. Program co-ordinator Steve Fitzgerald said the rallies en- couraged reconciliation between white people and Aborigines. "The Lismore Court House locks up about three Aboriginal

people every week for unli- censed driving. We're trying to help them gain identification, assist them to pay off fines and help them to get their provi- sional licence," he said. "There has been a great re- sponse by non-Aboriginal people willing to give up their

time and their car for driving lessons. They're stepping out of their comfort zone, but feel good about it. It's fantastic for reconciliation." n If you'd like to volunteer, or just to find out more about the program go to: www.dri- vingproject.org



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