Nicole Caldwell with Jan Levy from ACE Community Colleges and driving instructors Steve and Julie Nixon from All Wheels Driver Education in Casino.
Nicole Caldwell with Jan Levy from ACE Community Colleges and driving instructors Steve and Julie Nixon from All Wheels Driver Education in Casino. Contributed

Say hello to Casino's first female Aboriginal bus driver

NICOLE Caldwell will soon be Casino's first female Aboriginal bus driver.

The 33-year-old is currently in the midst of training with the Casino Bus Company and soon hopes to be employed driving school runs in Casino.

Her pathway to success has been paved by the driver training project Getting About, a 12-month project funded by Transport for NSW, auspiced by Lismore City Council and delivered by ACE Community Colleges.

As Jan Levy from ACE Community Colleges explained, the project will enable 10 Aboriginal people to get their bus licence from communities in Lismore, Ballina, Box Ridge, Muli Muli, Casino, Kyogle and Cabbage Tree Island.

But one might hazard a guess that heavy vehicle driving was already in Ms Caldwell's genes before she began the program.

"I think it's just in the blood, my dad was a truck driver, and his brothers were, and one was a bus driver - and my mum's whole family were truck drivers too."

Although she's still currently in training, learning all the routes around Casino, she said she already feels right at home.

"I love it, I just love driving," she said.

She said she has no complaints at all about the job, and can't wait until next year when she will be - fingers crossed - a fully fledged bus driver.



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