AUSTRALIA: COMMITTED TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Keolis Downer is committed to education. The Australian subsidiary, which operates the Yarra Trams network in Melbourne, has teamed up with the association Western Chances to help young people in the city’s western suburbs achieve their full potential.
Supporting young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Keolis has been part of the Australian landscape for some time now, and the subsidiary’s presence on the continent is set to continue. Keolis Downer is the country’s leading tram operator, managing the G:Link network on the Gold Coast, Newcastle’s multimodal transport system (buses, ferries, trams) and Yarra Trams in Melbourne, the world’s largest tram network. Melbourne’s Western suburbs have one of the highest population growth rates in the country and rank amongst Australia’s poorest areas. Western Chances was created in 2004 to help young people from these neighbourhoods to realise their potential by providing scholarships, opportunity programmes and on-going support. The association has assisted almost 3,000 young people to-date and awarded around 7,000 scholarship grants. “At Keolis Downer, we’re not just dedicated to providing excellent transport services, we’re committed to improving the overall quality of life for all Melburnians,” said Nicolas Gindt, CEO Yarra Trams, “Our partnership with Western Chances helps make Melbourne a more diversified and inclusive city, via scholarships and on-going support”.
Promising initial results
The SNCF Foundation is investing 100,000 euros in this three-year partnership that will see around 150 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds receive merit-based scholarships. In 2017, fifty young people aged from 13 to 20 were awarded scholarships and in 2018 some of the oldest students became the first recipients to graduate, thanks to the support of the SNCF Foundation. Melissa graduated with honours from Melbourne University’s medical school, Thao earned a double degree in Business and Accounting and landed a job with a major firm and Julia founded her own business and became a Western Chances ambassador after obtaining her diploma in Production.