Client spotlight: Client John M provides their insights into being a mentor for the TAC L2P program

One of our clients John M. is a mentor for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) L2P Program which is a community based program developed to assist eligible young Victorian learner drivers between the ages of 16 and 21 years who do not have access to a supervising driver, or an appropriate vehicle, gain the driving experience required for a probationary licence. Below he provides his insights into being a mentor for this program and the satisfaction that it brings. 

For most of us, retirement is undoubtedly a significant stage in our lives. We no longer have school essays to write, or exams to sit … nor do we have work related obligations or deadlines to meet. Instead, the way we fill our days is (pretty much) completely up to us.

However, it’s my experience that it’s rewarding to enjoy regular achievements beyond endless games of golf – or, whatever other hobbies we may pursue in retirement – and volunteering in some capacity is a great way to “give back” to society whilst also enjoying an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

One of the ways in which I fill my week is as a volunteer mentor for the TAC L2P program.

This program came into being as a result of rules that require learner-drivers to complete 120 hours of actual driving experience before being eligible to sit for their driver’s license test. Whilst this is an excellent prerequisite (ensuring young drivers have genuine driving skills before they’re “let loose” on the roads with the rest of us), it does have the potential to disadvantage learner drivers who do not have the necessary access to a supervising driver and/or an appropriate practice vehicle … So, this is where this program fits in.

The program is run by the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC), with the purpose of supporting eligible young learners in transition from their L-plates to P-plates (L2P). Cars are provided via the program, and supervising drivers (or mentors) are all volunteers … and that’s where I fit in.

Learners must have passed the test required to get their L-plates, and they are given time with a professional driving instructor to ensure they start with sufficient basic skills before venturing out on the roads with a volunteer mentor.

I’ve been volunteering as an L2P mentor for nearly 10 years now, and I’ve enjoyed the experience of meeting young people from all sorts of backgrounds; including refugees, students, and kids from homes where there are limited resources. My current learner is the best I have yet had. I’m completely confident she would pass her driver’s license test if she were to sit it tomorrow – despite being only half-way through the 120 hour program. And, she’s a delight to spend time with.

There’s a training program for mentors, and we are taught to communicate instructions to our learners in a clear and consistent way. Such as; “At the next intersection, we will turn left”. Occasionally, my learner has turned the opposite way instead, which can come as quite a shock. After a couple of such experiences with one particular young learner, I started adding hand-signals to my verbal directions.

Once a learner has reached a suitably competent stage, it’s just a matter of getting hours in the car in a range of driving conditions – including at night, in the wet, on freeways and highways, in the hills, and in busy city conditions … and conquering the challenges of parallel parking and hook-turns.

So, I can readily recommend this program to anyone looking for an interesting and satisfying way to volunteer some of their retirement time. More information is available here:



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