Every week Jacob Keed and his community bus travel the length and breadth of Canberra and the surrounding areas helping people who need it.
Keed says the people he meets and the stories they tell warm his heart. Like the young passenger who presented him with a special drawing.
“At the moment I’m helping out a family where the father works long hours and the mother has had a caesarean and can’t really drive or lift things,” he says. “I’m helping out for transport for her child to school. Just the other day the kid gave me a drawing. I’ve never been given a drawing from a child. It just warmed my heart. It was a picture of the bus with me and the child.
“That’s the main thing why I love this job. You see the stories that flow from us helping them.”
Keed, a proud Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man, is one of two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community bus drivers in the ACT.
He and fellow bus driver Bruce Garrett clock up thousands of kilometres providing transport to members of the territory’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who have difficulty accessing transport.
They help people get to doctor’s appointments on time, pick up their shopping, take the elderly on outings and attend important events such as funerals.
Their three buses, operated under the ACT government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community bus service, range in size from eight to 21 seaters.
Keed says he likes to hear the happy endings that come from being able to drive people somewhere they need to go.
“There’s a girl in her 20s, she has been using our service for probably the last two years,” he says. “Before she was attending a women’s group. We’d pick her up and take her to the group, pick her children up.
“From doing that it helped her grow as a person. It gave her an outing once a week. It helped her back into the workforce.”
For more details about the community bus service call (02) 6205 1116 or 13 17 10.