NRMA STAFF BACK BIRRANG ENTERPRISE
Last month, the NRMA presented Birrang Enterprise Driving Instructor Brett Naden with a $16,000 cheque to fund Birrang’s crucial work in helping indigenous and disadvantaged Australians in regional and rural NSW get their driver’s licence. The funds were raised by NRMA staff and matched dollar-for-dollar by the company.
The privilege of driving is critical to enjoying Australia if you want to take a road trip. However, for the clients of Birrang – of which there has been a remarkable 450 in the last nine months – a licence means more than a holiday. It is a life-changing tool that helps break the shackles of unemployment, social isolation and disadvantage.
Birrang run five-week-long programs in remote and regional centres that give people access to the theory component of the graduated licencing scheme and practical lessons behind the wheel to help them pass their exam.
Birrang staff also help clients deal with outstanding fines through a work and development program. The fines, which when left on an individual’s record can act as a major deterrence to getting a licence, are often given to people for obscure infringements such as not voting or littering.
A number of the clients who access Birrang’s services live with literacy and numeracy skills so the program has been tailored to cater to their needs. This includes providing clients with access to three special touch-screen computers, complete with voice prompts to help people understand the questions.
Brett Naden said the NRMA staff donation would enable Birrang to run a driver training program in Bathurst to help local indigenous youth and adults obtain a drivers licence.