“All of a sudden, I was in this strange country with this strange woman, and I am driving her car on the wrong side of the road …”
Through peals of laughter, Texas-born Amanda is telling me about the day she met her dear friend, Yvette.
Yvette adds, “… And I accidentally steered her onto Tharwa Drive, which does 100 km/hour!”
That Yvette and Amanda’s first meeting involved a car adventure is fitting.
The founders of Girl Power – Car Basics are chatting about the imminent launch of their first workshop in early October.
The women are still shocked at the massive response to their Canberra Notice Board post on Facebook, informing locals about their Girl Power – Car Basics Facebook page.
Their first post struck a chord:
Can you change a tyre? A friend and I have started a group called Girl Power – Car Basics. It’s for women to join and learn about how to change a tyre, check their engines over, etc.
We will be running workshops free of charge once a month or so, mid-week mornings, followed by morning tea.’
Almost instantly, their phones began pinging with notifications. They were soon approving up to 30 members to their new Facebook group at a time. Within 48 hours, the group was 600-strong and growing.
While neither Yvette nor Amanda look like your stereotypical car mechanics, they have a combined wealth of practical know-how.
The inspiration for the workshops came from a shared desire to make a difference in their community. The two friends realised women had a lack of basic car knowledge and they wanted to help.
Amanda says, “as young drivers, both Yvette and I had parents who wouldn’t let us leave the driveway unless we knew car basics. It is dangerous to be stuck on the side of the road”.
Yvette and Amanda want to pay that knowledge forward, to empower women with a proficiency of the basic skills to both prevent car trouble and to fix basic car issues.
The course will run once a month, with two session options. One session will run midweek, the other will run on a Saturday.
The course comprises 3 main workshops:
Tyres: All about pressure, tyre treads and how to change tyres.
Fluids: How to check your fluids – oil and water
Batteries: How to check your battery level and remove corrosion.
Amanda’s passion is educating women about knowing how to use car tools, and the workshops will show attendees how to use tools.
Yvette and Amanda are offering this course at no cost. Once the first workshop is advertised, you can make bookings on a ‘per car’ basis via Eventbrite (BYO car and toolbox).
The course is free, but both Yvette and Amanda love the work that ACT Rescue and Foster (ARF) do, re-homing needy dogs. They hope that people who take advantage of the free course will pay it forward by giving a donation to this worthwhile charity.
We have only been chatting for an hour, but I’ve already gleaned so much car-basics information from our conversation. This wasn’t planned, it just happened. Somehow, defensive driving tips wove themselves in among our bonding over driving disasters and strange obsessions.
As I walk back to my own car, I find myself humming Sisters are doing it for themselves.
Yvette and Amanda are currently on the lookout for a venue that will easily fit 40 women and their cars each month for the workshop. If you have a location in mind, let them know, and to keep up to date with workshop updates and loads of practical car-basics tips, check out the Girl Power- Car Basics Facebook page.