SCARF completes refugee road safety mentor training for volunteer advisors

Mutebutsi Bugegeri speaks about road rules at SCARF
Mutebutsi Bugegeri speaks about road rules at SCARF

When Mutebutsi Bugegeri arrived in Wollongong from Congo with his family three years he spoke little English.

Now as one of the graduates of the Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (SCARF) Community Road Safety Mentor Training he was confident in speaking on Thursday about road rules and is undergoing driver instructor training so he can teach others.

Mr Bugegeri was one of 14 refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Congo to receive certificates from the Lord Mayor of Wollongong Cr Gordon Bradbery.

All have completed their training to become volunteer Community Road Safety Mentors.

SCARF is partnered by Kiama Community College, NSW Legal Aid, Wollongong Police, and NSW Fair Trading to design and deliver training in an effort to build knowledge and understanding among refugee communities, of road safety issues, rules/laws and services to promote safe driving behaviour.

Graduation: At the certificate presentation were John Ruperto, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, Mutebutsi Bugegeri and Shelley McCarthy. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Graduation: At the certificate presentation were John Ruperto, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, Mutebutsi Bugegeri and Shelley McCarthy. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Background to project

As part of SCARF’s Destination Safe Driving Project, SCARF worked in partnership with Kiama Community College, Wollongong Police, NSW Legal Aid and NSW Fair Trading, to design and deliver a Community Road Safety Mentor training for 14 community leaders (from Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, Iran, Afghanistan, Congo). 

Community Road Safety Mentor Training

The purpose of the training was to build individual and community knowledge of driving laws, road rules and safe driving behaviour. 

The training was conducted over 3 weeks from 17th October to 8th November. 

Training Objectives:

  • To increase knowledge and understanding of rules, laws and responsibilities associated with road use
  • To strengthen awareness of road safety issues and services
  • To enhance capacity for safe driving and safe road use among emerging community leaders
  • To build knowledge, skills and capacity of emerging community leaders to actively contribute to safe use of the road system as road safety mentors within their communities

Training Overview:

The training program included accredited units in communication and mentoring skills, plus non-accredited units delivered by experts from Wollongong Police, NSW Fair Trading and NSW Legal Aid.  Topics covered in the training program included:

  • Steps in the process of gaining a NSW driver's licence
  • The role of police in road safety
  • Legal issues related to road safety
  • Traffic signs and rules, and the hazard perception test
  • Responsibilities associated with buying and owning a car

The training was supported by a Community Road Safety small grant from Transport for NSW

Participants who have completed the training will now become valuable volunteer community advisors/mentors enhancing safe driving knowledge and practices within their emerging communities.