Free lessons to start in Orange in answer to unlicensed driving issue

STOPPING UNLICENSED DRIVING: Learner driver and Indigenous Home Delivery Education and Training Incorporated public officer Tavenisa Diri and Orange Self-Empowerment Group secretary Koula Cathy Michael. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0112jkdrive1
STOPPING UNLICENSED DRIVING: Learner driver and Indigenous Home Delivery Education and Training Incorporated public officer Tavenisa Diri and Orange Self-Empowerment Group secretary Koula Cathy Michael. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0112jkdrive1

To reduce driving related incarceration a not-for-profit Orange group is providing free driver education for people who would otherwise be unable to get a licence.

Along with helping people avoid thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail, organisers of the initiative also hope it will make people more employable as once licensed they would be able to drive to and from job interviews and work.

The free service will be provided by Orange Self-Empowerment Group, a subsidiary of Indigenous Home Delivery Education and Training at 79 Kite Street from 9am to 4pm on Tuesday, January 24 with following sessions at the HACS in Lords Place.

A representative from Canobolas Local Areas Command will also attend the first session to discuss common traffic offences in NSW.

Orange Self-Empowerment Group leader Koula Cathy Michael will lead the lessons to help people prepare for written driver qualification tests that have been tailored to help people who are illiterate, come from non-English speaking countries or would otherwise struggle to pass the tests.

Ms Michael said she hopes by giving people the information they need to pass it will save time and money as it costs $55 to do each test. 

She said the group will also offer practical driving lessons to help people complete the 120 hours of supervised driving that’s required for people to achieve their provisional licence and is hoping to buy a car for the purpose.

“People get their L plates but it expires because they don’t know anyone who can help them get their licence,” Ms Michael said.

“Some people have no parents, no brother or sister to help them but you need to get over 120 hours, we live in Australia where you need your licence to get around.”

Indigenous Home Delivery Education and Training public officer Tavenisa Diri, 58, comes from Fiji and said the lessons are based around a Powerpoint presentation that was developed to help her pass the written driver’s test, and worked.

Ms Diri said she got her learner licence with Ms Michael’s assistance this month after previous failed attempts.

“I’m 58, I thought I was educated but then I failed and failed and failed,” she said.

People of all ages and backgrounds who are eligible to get their learner’s licence can take part in the free driver education workshops.

For dates and times of the lessons phone Ms Diri on 0412 522 143 or email diritavenisa@gmail.com.

Here is a list of road rules that you should know but maybe don’t.