WCC Annual Report - Page 18

Settlement Programs Report BIKE EDUCATION PROGRAM Aiming to develop the safe use of cycling as a sustainable transport option for young people in the City of Whittlesea, the Little BUGs Bike and Traffic Safety Program supported newly arrived refugee families and young people to understand and participate in safe road use as cyclists in the community. The Bike Ed program involved the Thomastown English Langage School community, volunteers from Whittlesea Bicycle Users Group (WBUG) and WCC, Bike n Bean, Gold Cross Cycles and Epping Police. The program was run for the students at the school, the local Traffic School, a Bike Shop and in local parks, and additional sessions for parents were run in various languages other than English. L2P Since its commencement in 2010, newly arrived and mainstream young people have benefited from the community based graduated licensing system which is a partnership between Whittlesea Community Connections Vicroads and the City of Whittlesea. L2P helps young people achieve their required 120 hours of supervised driving experience needed to attain their license and be safer on our roads. In the last financial year, L2P supported 46 active learners and delivered 1,012 hours of driving practice with the support of our more than 26 volunteers. Five young people attained their licence in this period which represents a 100% success rate for all those who have sat their provisional licence test at the completion of the program. The number of young people with licences will grow exponentially as more participants complete their driving practice which for most take a couple of years. RACV also funded WCC to provide five professional driving lessons for ten participants in the Newly Arrived Driving Program. The program supported participants with overseas driving experience to make the safe transition onto Australian roads. SOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS Men’s Group The Whittlesea Arabic Speaking Men's Group met on a weekly basis providing a range of activities to connect and support newly arrived Arabic speaking men. Settlement Information sessions were provided to the group around issues such as privacy and confidentiality, parenting, dealing with teenagers, the role of Youth Workers, energy saving, financial management and legal issues. Group members and their families also enjoyed an excursion to Sorrento. Arabic Speaking Women’s Group The multifaith and multicultural Arabic Speaking Women’s Group continued to meet in a weekly basis throughout the financial year with a growing membership of newly arrived women. Many women who attend the group are isolated and have limited social contacts and networks. A number of key themes were explored through the provision of training, information sessions and outings. In partnership with the Whittlesea Arabic Speaking Women’s Association, healthy relationships sessions with Intouch were held as well as financial literacy sessions with Women’s Health in the North (covering topics such as credit cards, loans, financial counselling, banking and contracts). Also in partnership with Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights the women undertook Advanced Leadership Training exploring self-awareness, communication and gender and power dynamics. Refugee Support Group Meeting each Saturday, the Refugee Support Group brings emerging refugee communities together for educational, social and networking opportunities. Volunteer community members support the group to develop English language for everyday purposes, citizenship and sewing skills for adults, and various art and