​The Victoria Point Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank have teamed up with community youth mentoring program TRACTION to provide ongoing funding for students from Cleveland District State High School. 

Bendigo Bank have provided an ongoing donation of $1000 per term for students of Cleveland District High School to participate in the TRACTION program.

TRACTION is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation which provides an alternative, action-based learning environment for youths, allowing them to realise their full potential outside of the classroom.

Garry White, a director of Victoria Point Community Bank branch said the funding had been offered exclusively for the benefit of Cleveland District State High School (CDSHS) students. 

“We have been impressed with CDSHS’s commitment to inclusion and the support it provides in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students and wanted to further assist,” Mr White said. 

“As a Community Bank which is dedicated to feeding into prosperity rather than feeding from it, we thought TRACTION was the perfect organisation to support.  TRACTION really nurture people, so when they approached us seeking assistance for the students we were thrilled. We admire the work that CDSHS does and decided to fund their participation in the TRACTION program exclusively.”

The TRACTION program enables participants to restore, repurpose or customise bicycles and motorbikes while developing lifelong skills, experience and confidence across a wide range of disciplines.
Verena Pohlner, behaviour support teacher for CDSHS, said the TRACTION program would offer a range of benefits for participating students. 

“We find that by changing the environment, activity and peer group, students become more open to change in themselves,” Ms Pohlner said. 

“Students enjoy the process of making their own creative decisions and experience an increase in self esteem.  We start to see them develop the confidence to consider other personal decisions, including those that will positively impact their future. What makes a real difference at TRACTION is the opportunity to meet adult mentors in a different setting which helps students reflect on their choices and actions.  The program has caused a lot of excitement in our school and I already have students lining up for the chance to get involved,” she said.  

While the TRACTION program is centred on the restoration, repurposing or customisation of bikes, TRACTION also offers young people experience in a workplace-like setting and the chance to explore various disciplines like project management, communication, team leadership and workplace safety.

TRACTION founder Sandy Murdoch said he was thrilled to have the support of Bendigo Bank and is looking forward to working with the Cleveland District High School students. 
“Our aim is to help as many young people in our local community as we can, so to have this funding support from Bendigo Bank is exciting,” Mr Murdoch said. 

“We’re very grateful for the vote of confidence from Bendigo Bank and to have this opportunity to make a positive impact in our community.”

TRACTION is continuously looking to grow and expand its initiatives and program offerings and appreciates any community support.