At a recent presentation ceremony, Colin Nelson, Chairman of the Logan Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank confirmed that BRAKE had been awarded a grant of $40,000 dollars from the bank. Mr Nelson is a Tamborine Mountain resident.
The ceremony was held at the Logan City Sporting and Recreational Club where My Nelson presented BRAKE CEO Rob Duncan with the first installment of the funding, a cheque for $22,000.
Mr Nelson said the Bank held a community forum in June and identified youth driver education as the highest ranking project they wanted the Community Bank to support this year.
|The first cheque for Brake is handed over. From right to left: Colin Nelson Chairman Logan Bendigo Community Bank, Belinda Duncan, Rob Duncan (CEO Brake), Steve Allan and
Gena Shvetsoff, Head of Senior Schooling at Park Ridge High
The BRAKE community based methodology which empowers students to take control of their own driving behaviour was immediately appealing.
BRAKE has already been successfully rolled out to over 40 schools in the SE Queensland and Coalfields areas. There is huge demand for the courses and it is only funding that is holding back the deployment of BRAKE Statewide and even Australia wide.
Bendigo Community bank is committed to working with BRAKE make the BRAKE program a success in the 21 Logan High Schools with a potential reach of 5,000 students in years 11 and 12.
Colin Nelson said at the presentation, "Driver education is so critical these days. We believe the BRAKE system is different to any of the existing programs."
|Colin Nelson Chairman Logan Bendigo Community bank with Brake CEO Rob Duncan
BRAKE founder Rob Duncan said, "We don't charge for the BRAKE course. But the BRAKE Driver Awareness courses can only be provided when a far thinking sponsor like Bendigo Community Bank is prepared to fund the administrative costs involved is rolling out the course in the high schools of a community."
"We hope this is the start of a long term program of support and cooperation between BRAKE and Bendigo Community Bank," said Mr Duncan.
Mr Nelson agreed. "This has the potential to become a national program," said the Bendigo Community Bank Chairman.
"We will be looking at the implementation here in Logan and evaluating this BRAKE program for an Australia wide roll-out. There are some exciting times ahead."
Local school, Park Ridge High has been part of the BRAKE Driver Awareness program since 2008. Park Ridge Head of Senior Schooling - Gena Shvetsoff - attended the handover ceremony.
Gena Shvetsoff said there was strong anecdotal evidence that the BRAKE program had made a significant difference to the driving behaviour of the students at her school.
"BRAKE has influenced the students and made them a lot more aware and more responsible when they are behind the wheel or are a passenger in the car. The behaviour of young drivers in our car school parks has improved markedly since we have been doing the BRAKE program."
Bendigo Community Bank Provides $40,000 to Support Brake in Logan
Bendigo Community's Colin Nelson also indicated at the presentation that Bendigo Community Bank would assist BRAKE in engaging other businesses in the Logan area to support the innovative BRAKE program.
The initial funds provided by Bendigo Community Bank are to be used to expand the BRAKE website to allow for more student and school interaction for administration and course work.
Over time the website will be promoting more direct student engagement with competitions, social media and regular contact through newsletters and follow up surveys.
The funding will also provide a part-time coordinator for the Logan area to facilitate the roll-out of BRAKE in High Schools. An important part of the BRAKE program is community engagement – with parents, councils, government agencies, business and community groups.
Gold Coast City Council continues its support of Brake
BRAKE also received funding from the Gold Coast City Council. This $25,000 grant allows BRAKE to continue its three year program in the Gold Coast area. The funds will pay for a coordinator in the Gold Coast area.
This is the third time the GCCC has supported BRAKE with funding.
The BRAKE organization is a registered charity and its senior officers are purely voluntary. They originally developed the innovative BRAKE course in 2006 and have refined it till it is in its current form. For more information on the BRAKE Driver Awareness Program, please visit the website at www.brake.org.au.