Murcotts Driving Excellence, as it is known today, was started in 1969 by Jim Murcott and many will remember the company as Jim Murcott’s Advanced Driving Centre. Jim tragically passed away from a brain tumour in 2001. He was 57. Jim is considered Australia's foremost pioneer of advanced and defensive driver training.
One of Australia's most respected road safety educators, he was also a well-known press and broadcast motoring journalist. His passion for improved driver training techniques and attitudes began while working at the Ballarat Courier newspaper in 1968, where his "beat" included covering road crashes. His concern led him to form Jim Murcott's Advanced Driving Centre in the late 1960s and to become one of Australia's most proficient road safety consultants. Many of the courses he designed have gone on to become the benchmark for driver training - including the Level One Defensive Driving Course for every-day driving, Fleet Safety Courses, 4WD courses, Executive Protection courses and High Performance courses for motorsport training.
Jim Murcott's Advanced Driving Centre was chosen by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) to conduct the driver training for the celebrity race at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Adelaide, from 1985 until 1990. His career also included terms with the Ford's public affairs department and working as a journalist with Australian United Press (AUP) and on the The Age in Melbourne. In private life Murcott competed in motor racing events in a Lotus Super 7 and had a small collection of cars.
Murcotts current owner and Managing Director, Mark Lane, has over 35 years of experience in Training and Development in a wide range of industries including Road Safety, Transport, Finance, Communications, Human Services, Food, Retail, and Construction. His qualifications include a Diploma in Management, Graduate Diploma in HR Management, Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Cert IV in Driving Instruction, Cert IV in Transport and Logistics and specialist qualifications such as Advanced Instruction in Protective/Security Driving attained in the United States.
Mark’s 20+ years with Murcotts has seen him develop and conduct Driver Training in every State and Territory of Australia, as well as his work overseas. His expertise is frequently sought by the media and he was called upon as a Lead Driver for the G20 held in Australia in 2014.
Mark Lane is a direct product of Jim Murcott’s inspiration. “Way back in 1998 I booked myself on a Defensive Driving Program thinking that I would learn skills that would potentially see me challenge ‘Brocky’ and ‘Lowndesy’ at the next Bathurst. I loved driving. I loved the freedom and independence; the adrenaline; the boost to my ego that driving gave me. I had been involved in a few ‘accidents’. But none of them were my fault - in MY mind! I was a classic example of the Casey Stoner’s quote ‘Obviously your ambition outweighed your talent’. Meeting Jim Murcott and his team in 1998 changed my life – literally. First and foremost, on that day I learned the difference between motorsports and everyday driving. Unless I was on a racing track, there was no place for the type of behaviour, attitude or motivation I had and displayed on public roads without seriously compromising my and other road user’s safety”.
The meeting of Jim Murcott and Mark Lane was perhaps meant to be. Mark had extensive experience in Training and Development in a multitude of different industries and fields and had worked with those acknowledged as the first to introduce and implement Competency Based Training into Australia, such as Bruce Phillips. Jim Murcott recognised this as Murcotts’ opportunity to take its driving and road safety programs to the next level.
Mark says “Jim Murcott is a pioneer in defensive driving. But so are many of the incredible Trainers and associates we’ve had, and continue to have, over our 50+ year history – people such as Dan Leslie, Graham Boak, Rowan Harman, Rick Kemp, Peter Barr, Jeff Bee, Stephen White, Robert Piper, Gary Quartly, John Ristell, Craig Lowndes, Cameron McConville, and the man himself, Peter Brock, just to name a few!. Add to that the vehicle manufacturers, media organisations, and major clients who have both supported and sponsored our efforts to ‘Help drivers to think smarter, stay out of trouble and get home safely’. Jim Murcott and Dan Leslie realised before anyone else in our industry that the perception of Trainers with “driver credibility” alone was not enough; This HAD to be combined with Trainers who had the necessary knowledge, skills and qualifications in Adult Learning Theory and could facilitate programs as professional trainers. Today, unlike any other provider in our industry, Murcotts meets that standard and leads by it”.