About the program
The Project - Step One
The first step involved a pilot programme which was based around Logan City which has Queensland’s highest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
It comprised the following:
Consultation with Community leaders and professional Indigenous advisors, on appropriate selection criteria and selection process.
Selection of 30 Indigenous youths in the 12 to 16 age group with at least 20% female participation.
Bringing the group to a central location for a two-day intensive training, education and selection programme. This training was free to all participants.
The programme was based at the Norwell MotorPlex (located halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast) which also has classroom training facilities and a wide range of vehicles for use in competition, including dual control cars.
Participants were kitted out with T shirts and caps. Vehicles and helmets were provided where required.
Participants were given expert instruction on:
How to drive
Incremental speed attainment
The racing environment on track
In addition, whilst one part of the group was engaged in driving and race training, a concurrent group of classroom subjects was presented to the other.
Subjects included in the classroom training were:
Social responsibility including obligation to continue with normal education studies
Careers in motorsport – STEM opportunities
Personal health, safety and well-being
Elementary vehicle mechanics
Diet and nutrition
CPR and First Aid
Leading motorsport identities, including several Supercar drivers, were on hand to present sessions at the programme.
Participants were divided into small groups over the weekend. They were given the chance to experience hands-on familiarisation with the components of a vehicle, engine assembling, and other race team activities.
All meals from morning tea Day one until afternoon tea Day two were provided.
A COVID 19 Plan was be designed based on Motorsport Australia’s Return to Racing protocols.
All volunteer and professional workers were required to hold Blue Cards (government approval for working with children).
At the end of the programme, the selectors evaluated each participant and identified at least one driver with talent.
Other participants who demonstrated an interest and enthusiasm plus certain other characteristics were identified to form part of a “team” to support the selected driver(s).
The selected Team are involved in building the race car under instruction for appropriate parties including those at Norwell MotorPlex.
Both selected participants will be constantly mentored and monitored to ensure that routine student studies and school attendances are adhered to.
The programme is conducted with the approval and support of Motorsport Australia.
Project - Step Two
Subject to the success of the Pilot programme, the project would be extended to multiple regions of Australia.
Consultation will be conducted with Indigenous Community leaders to ascertain appropriate venues and in particular identify remote area candidates and the means to ensure their participation.
Corporate and philanthropic contributions would be sought to supplement the funding for future phase of the project.
A sanctioning permit and related Public Risk and Personal Liability Insurance has been obtained from Motorsport Australia.
The Project - Step Three
Should a suitable driver candidate be identified following at least one year of competition, funding will be provided for participation in the Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific) which involves circuit racing in an FIA Formula 4 single seat race car, in Sydney.
A “pathway” for a potentially successful candidate, through the sport, would be mapped and implemented, and assistance in sourcing funding provided.