BRETT Naden had no idea that when the Orange Naidoc Community Awards were over, that he’d be walking out with the Black and Deadly award for continued service to the community.
“I was absolutely blown away,” he said.
“I was totally shocked, I knew nothing about it at all.”
Mr Naden is not unfamiliar to winning awards and received accolades for his work with the RTA/RMS and Service NSW.
Many visitors to Service NSW in Lord’s Place will recognise Mr Naden from when he was employed there as the concierge and as a driver tester. He recently won the award for concierge of the year at Service NSW.
Mr Naden currently works for Birrang, a community group dedicated to teaching people with a disability, how to drive.
“I really enjoyed working at Service NSW but there would have been a big conflict of interest to be teaching people to drive, and then being there when they’re getting tested,” he said.
Mr Naden said the driving centre is open to indigenous and non-indigenous people and having a licence is one of the most important assets anyone can have.
“It’s extremely important that people in remote areas can drive,” he said.
“People in the city can use public transport to get to work, hospital or job interviews but out here you need a licence.”
Orange Naidoc Committee chairman Gerard Power said the awards were all about local people celebrating local achievements.
The committee also decides on the winners of trainee/apprentice of the year, male and female sportsperson, employee of the year, elder of the year and male and female person of the year.
“It’s a real showcase of the community, that’s put together by the community,” he said.
Mr Naden said the fact that his work was recognised by local indigenous people is what means so much to him.
“I’m feeling very proud and extremely honoured to have won [the] Black and Deadly award,” he said.