NRMA patrols teach refugees about car maintenance in Illawarra

By Rebecca Page on 16 January 2017
NRMA patrol fixing a car with students watching
NRMA Patrols will run a basic car maintenance lesson in Wollongong today to help guide and support refugees in their journey towards gaining the skills and confidence needed to drive safely on Australian roads.

NRMA patrols John Diab and Bassam Elakhras, who both speak Arabic, will deliver the NRMA's My First Car workshop to 11 refugees from Syria and Iraq who have settled into the Illawarra community within the past six to eight months.

The program will help teach participants the basics of safe car ownership like to how to check oil levels, tyre pressure, and the meaning of warning signs as well what to do in case of a mechanical emergency.

NRMA local director Marisa Mastroianni said this new program for refugees would help participants settle into their new lives by delivering practical, everyday skills.

"Moving to a new country can be tough for anybody, let alone for these refugees who may have come from vulnerable situations," Ms Mastroianni said.

"We are proud at the NRMA to play a part in helping refugees during their first stages of settlement into our local community."

The My First Car workshop will be run as part of the NRMA's new Refugee Learner Driver Program, run in conjunction with Gymea Community Aid and Information Service to help refugees obtain the skills and knowledge required to obtain a driver's licence.

Volunteers are still required in the Illawarra region to help participants prepare for their learner licence test, or supervise their driving in preparation for their provisional test.

Details for media: The workshop will be held at Navitas English, Unit 2, 36-42 Auburn Street, Woolongong from 11am.