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Date posted: 6 March 2012
Kelly Brothers, one of Australia's most successful teams, have united with the Mildura Aboriginal Corporation to launch Dreamtime Racing in the V8 Supercar Development Series. The team is offering several apprenticeships to young Indigenous people in areas ranging from engineering to marketing and will support a national road and driver-safety program aimed at Indigenous youths.
With drivers David Russell and Cameron Waters, as well as test driver Samantha Reid, the team will field two cars in the Dunlop series, which started last weekend in Adelaide.
‘Their initiative to support Aboriginal people is ground breaking and I am very pleased to be a driver and ambassador of the program,' Russell said.
‘I am also very excited that the team will have the technical and marketing support of Kelly Racing, which will provide me with my best opportunity yet in the category.' Russell finished third last year, and Cameron Waters, from Mildura, became the youngest driver to compete at Bathurst, so it's no surprise that the team is out to win this year's Development Series title.
The project will undertake a number of community programs using the racing platform, including driver safety in Aboriginal communities and an apprenticeship employment program.
The team will take on 12 Indigenous apprentices who will move to Melbourne and work full-time. Additionally, groups of four Indigenous ‘guest helpers' will attend each round of the competition and the car designs will come from Indigenous artists.
Steve Portelli, a director of the Mildura cooperative, said the project was seen as a perfect way to showcase Aboriginal art and to open up job opportunities for young Indigenous men and women.
‘Also we definitely are aiming for people to see an Aboriginal face when the driver peels the helmet off,' Portelli said. ‘We want corporate Australia to back an Aboriginal product people can be proud of.'
It costs between $750,000 and $1 million a car to compete in the Development Series and Kelly Racing chief executive, John Crennan, said the team would stand on its own, seeking its own sponsorship, and would not rely on government handouts. ‘This is a 50/50 venture and will have two Aboriginal directors and we want to get corporate support from companies who see Aboriginal issues as important,' Crennan said.
‘I would hope it would generate sufficient funding to raise the profile of what we are doing and I think this is one team that everyone will want to support,' said Crennan.
Source: The Australian