12 April 2021

Get behind the wheel with free driving lessons in Tumut and Gundagai

| Hannah Sparks
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Learners with Birrang Enterprise

Birrang Enterprise has a high success rate with helping learners get their L and P-plates. Photo: Supplied.

What do you do if you live out bush and struggle to understand the theory driving test or can’t afford driving lessons?

Getting to work, a hospital or the supermarket becomes a struggle but that’s where people such as Brett Naden step in.

He is a driving instructor with Birrang Enterprise Development Company which offers free driving lessons to regional communities across New South Wales including Tumut and Gundagai this April and May.

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Initially, the Aboriginal charity from Orange wanted to help Indigenous people or those with Health Care or Pensioner Cards learn to drive so they could find employment.

In 2017, one in 20 Aboriginal people were in jail for unlicensed driving or other driving offences.

However, the charity now offers free driving lessons to people from other cultures and backgrounds – anyone who needs a helping hand.

“If they show up and give us their time, we’ll help them the best we can,” Mr Naden said.

Birrang is a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) recognised driving school and has a high success rate of getting people their P and L-plates.

All learners have to do is sign-up at Tumut’s Cooee Cottage on 13 April and Gundagai’s Neighbourhood Centre on 4 May.

Brett Naden and Ryan Offner

Birrang driving instructors Brett Naden and Ryan Offner. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

Instructors will run theory lessons in the morning and practical lessons in the afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for three weeks in each town.

They can also help anyone with outstanding fines progress with their licence.

Mr Naden used to be a driving test examiner with the RMS so knows all about the road rules and practical driving lessons needed to pass.

He said it doesn’t matter if you’ve done 50 or zero hours, the instructors will be able to help.

Learners are provided with a Road User Handbook and all the theory questions are discussed with a Birrang accredited trainer.

The training provides clients access to computers and familiarises them with the format of the Learner Driver Knowledge Test.

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When a consistent pass rate has been achieved, Birrang guides the client through the process of booking their learner test at the local Roads and Maritime Service Centre.

Once the learner’s permit has been achieved, Birrang assists L-platers with gaining the driving hours needed to gain a provisional licence.

For more information, call Anna at Birrang Enterprise Development Company on 02 6361 9611.

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