TEACHING ROAD SAFETY: Comet Masonic Lodge Immediate Past Master Eric Froude, Acting Sergeant Natalie Timar, Comet Masonic Lodge Secretary Kevin Kerr, Constable Tanya Rewha, Tracey Stewart and Michael Stewart from Austrail Training Services.
TEACHING ROAD SAFETY: Comet Masonic Lodge Immediate Past Master Eric Froude, Acting Sergeant Natalie Timar, Comet Masonic Lodge Secretary Kevin Kerr, Constable Tanya Rewha, Tracey Stewart and Michael Stewart from Austrail Training Services.

The gift of safe driving skills

SENIOR students from Barcaldine State School are among those to have benefited from an 18-month fundraising initiative which saw Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland raise and distribute $1 million to drought-affected outback Queensland through its network of Masonic Lodges.

Last month students in Year 11 and 12 at the school participated in a potentially life-saving safe driving course which they would have otherwise missed out on due to a lack of resources in a region badly affected by the drought.

The two-day course called, 'Barcaldine Drive Safe' was organised by Barcaldine Police and facilitated by Austrail Training Services, a driving school in outback Queensland.

Barcaldine Police spokesperson, Constable Tanya Rewha said it was important for the local police to equip students with these life skills. She said students were equally attentive to the theoretical workshop as they were with the practical component.

"I thought it would be another 'death by power point' type of presentation but, I was surprised at how much student interaction was involved and how well Mr Stewart from Austrail Training Services managed to keep the students engaged for the entire session," she said.

In addition to learning about the consequences of the Fatal Five which includes drink and drug driving, fatigue, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, distraction and inaction, students also learnt about conditions unique to the outback.

The practical component on Day 2, saw students on their learner plates and provisional license get behind the wheel to complete several controlled exercises at different speeds.

The exercises emphasised the difference an extra 5km/hr can make when travelling on the roads or coming to a complete stop in an emergency. Students also experienced what it was like to have random breath test for the first time.

Constable Tanya Rewha said Barcaldine Police were appreciative to Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland and Comet Masonic Lodge for helping to prepare their students for the future.

Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland, improves Queensland lives through funding transformational initiatives in the areas of positive ageing, health and disability, education and disaster relief, providing a hand up in time of need.



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