Dental therapist’s driving ambition: New friendly face takes over Callide Valley Driving School

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There’s a new driving instructor in Biloela and she may look a little familiar to some of her students. Heather Warrell is a local Queensland Health dental therapist and has been caring for children’s teeth for the past 23 years. Now, when she’s not in the school dental van, you can find Heather behind the wheel ready to teach young learners how to drive.

Heather and her husband Steven Martyn are now the proud owners of Callide Valley Driving School, taking over the reins (or the steering wheel!) from Ian Surman.

So, why driving lessons as well as dentistry?

For Heather, it was all about the opportunity to take on a local business and provide a vital service to those wanting to learn to drive.

“We believe that it’s important to keep it local, especially for our younger generation, without having to travel out of town for essential services,” Heather said. “We also saw it as an opportunity to carry on the good work that Ian’s done for more than 20 years.”

With the other local driving school closing recently, Callide Valley Driving School is now the only driving school in town.

Heather has been doing an intensive driver education course and her friendly, relaxed manner will serve her well teaching nervous new drivers how to stay safe on the roads and follow the rules.

“I’ve been working with kids for 23 years,” Heather said. “I do have an affinity with them.”

Taking on the driving school business seemed like the right road to take for the dental therapist, with the most popular lessons hours being before and after school and weekends, fitting in perfectly around her work in the school dental van.

Heather is excited about taking on this new challenge and has been inspired by former owner Ian’s prowess as an instructor.

“I went for a bit of a trip with him the other day when he did a lesson,” she said. “He’s so calm with the kids and puts them at ease as well as the wealth of knowledge that he has about everything.”

Heather intends to carry on that calm style of instruction to help build young drivers’ confidence and skills on the roads.

Callide Valley Driving School provides dual-control cars, with both manual and automatic options available.

If you would like to book a driving lesson with Heather, you can phone 0407 104 104, email, or visit to fill in the online booking form.

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