Keys for Life

Keys for Life program wins national award

A pre-driver education program which is taught at Ballajura Community College has won a national safety award at the Sixth Annual Australian Road Safety Awards held in Melbourne last month.

Keys for Life was named the best Community Program in Australia out of 79 finalists. It was also awarded the Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievements – a prestigious award which cannot be entered, but is awarded by the national panel.

Brad McCallum, Health and Physical Education Head of Department teaches Keys for Life at BCC. He said it was great that the program had been recognised at a national level.

Keys for Life helps prepare young people for the responsibility of driving,” he said. “It’s brilliant. It’s a very well thought out program.

“We go through everything that has to do with owning a car – road rules, responsibilities, purchase and insurance, plus information on big risk factors such as speed and alcohol. We also cover other factors that can affect driving, such as tyre tread. It’s all about teaching young people to make informed decisions.”

Every Year 10 student at BCC is enrolled in the Keys for Life Program and Mr McCallum said it was taught over a period of 15 weeks.

“Keys for Life is the most effective unit across any year group in health,” he said.

“What students learn is applicable to everyday life. They learn the theory in class and when they finish school for the day they can see how it all works by observing what their parents and others around them do when they are driving.”

All Physical Education Department staff at BCC are qualified to teach Keys for Life. Once students complete the program they can take the learner theory test at the College. If they pass, they can receive a discount on Learners Permit fees and an exemption from sitting the test at a Licensing Centre.

Keys for Life was developed in WA by School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) in 2004. It is funded by the Road Safety Commission, endorsed by the Department of Transport and is linked to the WA Licensing System.

The program is run in almost 70 percent of secondary schools in WA. In 2016, there were more than 14 600 students participating in Keys for Life across the State.