Driver Licences, Diversionary Programs and Transport Justice for First Nations Peoples in Australia
In Australia, one significant cause of the imprisonment and disadvantage of First Nations people relates to transport injustice. First Nations people face obstacles in becoming lawful road users, particularly in relation to acquiring driver licences, with driving unlicensed a common pathway into the criminal justice system. This paper identifies that while some programs focus on increasing driver licensing for First Nations people, there are significant limitations in terms of coverage and access. Further, very few diversionary or support programs proactively address the intersection between First Nations people’s driver licensing and the criminal justice system. Nevertheless, it is argued that scope does exist within some state and territory criminal justice programs to enhance transport justice by assisting First Nations people to secure driver licensing. This paper highlights the need for accessible, available and culturally safe driver licencing support programs in First Nations communities led by First Nations people.
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