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Journeys : August September 2009
Mission Australia has been running its Moonah based U-Turn automotive course for young Tasmanians for over seven successful years. Since its inception, RACT Insurance has been a strong supporter of the program. U-Turn is a ‘best practice’ diversionary program for young people who have been involved in, or who are at risk of becoming involved in, motor vehicle theft. The core component of the program is a structured 10-week automotive training course in car maintenance and body work, delivered in a workshop environment. AUTOMOTIVE TRAINING COURSE HELPS YOUNG TASMANIANS TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND and is funded by the State Government. Mission Australia State Director Noel Mundy says U-Turn aims to break the cycle of vehicle theft by engaging young people in hands-on automotive, panel beating and spray painting training while addressing life skills and personal development issues. The U-Turn program also provides a supported accommodation service that enables young people from other parts of Tasmania to participate in the program, which is delivered by Mission Australia, under contract to Tasmania Police, “As part of the course, participants work on restoring a donated vehicle and present it to a worthy recipient at the end of the course,” Mr Mundy said. “U-Turn participants have handed the keys from the restored cars to a number of victims of car theft, as well as sick Tasmanian children through a donation of a ‘clown car’ to the Clown Doctors. “The opportunity for participants to repair a vehicle for presentation to a victim of vehicle theft is one of the most important components of the U-Turn program.” RACT Insurance has provided ongoing support and sponsorship to Mission Australia’s U-Turn program including donating vehicles that the students restore, third-party insurance on the donated vehicle, as well as sponsorship of the RACT Safety Awareness Award, which is presented to a student at their course graduation ceremony. Mr Mundy said U-Turn’s results for turning around the lives of young people are compelling. “Car theft rates among participants who completed the program were cut in half and serious offences were reduced by more than two thirds,” he said. “We call these programs ‘diversionary programs’ because they work with young people as early as possible in order to detect the signs of problem behaviour and avoid entrenched offending.” Proudly sponsored by 26 August / September 09
June July 2009
October November 2009