Hi my name is Rodney; I would like to tell people about achieving my long term goal of getting my licence back.
It all started when I was in Ron Hemmings centre at Kenmore Hospital, three years ago. I began by practicing on the computer to be able to pass the test confidently. The first time I passed the online practice test I felt good, I kept practicing as many times as I could to make sure I passed more than I failed. I had support from my family, friends and Flourish Australia staff that encouraged me not to give up.
I attempted the learners’ test three times and failed each time. When I failed, I felt bad that I wasn’t able to complete it. I felt my illness was stopping me from achieving my goal; Flourish Australia staff kept encouraging me and reminding me about my goal.
I then practiced more on the computer and was able to build my confidence again and the next time I passed. This made me feel confident again.
I was supported to book driving lessons as it had been 13 years since I had held a licence and I felt I needed to be reminded about the road rules and keep my knowledge up-to-date. I completed five driving lessons before both I and the instructor were confident enough to book my test for my licence.
This scared me and made me very nervous. Before having the official test I had one last lesson with the instructor who kindly lent me his car to drive in. When I finished my test I was very excited and proud to hear that I had passed with 100%.
My next goal was to buy a car, which I was supported by family to do. It may not be the car of my dreams but it has helped me achieve independence and freedom. This made me feel good about myself to know that I was able to achieve my goal and even though it took many steps and hard work as well as some failures I did it in the end.
Now I don’t need to get picked up anymore and I am able to drive myself.
When I look back on the three year process I feel that I shouldn’t have worried as much and should have had more confidence in myself. Now when I look at my current long term goals I can see that they can be achieved if I work on them.
I am confident that my little goals will be easy to do compared to this. I am proud to say that my illness didn’t stop me from getting my licence and buying a car to gain independence. I now encourage other peers who are also working towards achieving the same goal, that it can be done and to think that “if he can do it then so can I!”
How to get YOUR licence
In NSW, you need to go through Roads and Maritime at www.rms.nsw.gov.au. Here you will find the Road Users Handbook which you can view online or download.
In Queensland go to the TMR (Transport and Main Roads dept.)
This flow chart shows the various stages of getting a licence in NSW only.