Saving Teen Lives
Every year nearly 1,500 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents around Australia. Of these, around one third involves young people aged between 17 and 25. In a desperate attempt to significantly reduce this figure, the Australian Youth and Road Trauma Forum will take place in Sydney from Tuesday 21 June to Thursday 23 June 2011.
Over three days more than 12,000 high school students from across NSW and the ACT will converge on ACER Arena to witness the startling realities of road trauma.
In order to drive the road safety message, teenagers at the Forum will witness a simulated fatal road crash as well as hear real stories from young people who have suffered brain injury in road accidents.
Forum organiser and Trauma Coordinator for Western Sydney Local Health Network, Stephanie Wilson says, 'It can be quite shocking for them to witness what can quickly become a reality for them or someone they know. The situation that is re-enacted is very, very real and is quite confronting yet memorable for them.
'As nurses we regularly witness incidents like those re-enacted at the Forum. We feel it is our duty to attempt to reduce the number of young people that come through our trauma wards - particularly for something that, ultimately, can be avoided,' continued Stephanie.
A large number of crashes are caused by distractions either inside or outside of the vehicle. By making students aware of the possible traumatic outcome the Forum aims to educate them that driving is serious business and something they need to focus on.
'Driving is a privilege and young people need to be aware of that. Education is key to minimising trauma and, at present, there clearly isn't enough in the way of driver education for young people around so we have taken matters in to our own hands,' continued Stephanie.
2011 marks the sixth year of the Forum. Research conducted by the University of New South Wales Injury Risk Management Research Centre has shown that students leave the Forum with a changed attitude to driving and are more likely to retain road safety messages for an extended duration.
The Forum holds a dual purpose of having a cost benefit outcome for the health system and other associated business areas. Road crashes are often traumatic events that can result in permanent disability, ongoing medical conditions requiring extensive treatment and a shortened life expectancy.
Open to students in years 10-12, the Forum is organised by Sydney's Westmead Hospital Trauma Unit and is co-funded by The Balnaves Foundation. Australian Youth and Road Trauma Forum
Date: Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 June 2011
Session Times: 9.30am-2.30pm
Venue: ACER Arena, Homebush Bay, Sydney
Open to: All year 10 - year 12 government and non-government high school students from around NSW and ACT
Established in 2006, the Australian Youth and Road Trauma Forum
has been set up by trauma nurses at Sydney's Westmead Hospital. The Forum gives students who are most at risk, a realistic look at the trauma caused by road crashes and provides them information and strategies in an attempt to reduce serious injuries and deaths. The Forum's contents and structure aims to treat young people as adults allowing them freedom to choose from a range of interactive exhibits. The Forum runs over three days and includes a realistic reconstructed car crash involving victims, police, ambulance and fire personnel. The Forum consists of an exciting combination of demonstrations, crash dynamics and rescue, vehicle stopping distances and active exhibits.
Included at the Forum will be displays relating to youth trauma and safety from:
Westmead Hospital's Emergency Department
Westmead Hospital Brain Injury Unit
Brain Injury Association
Organ and Tissue Donation
Drug and Alcohol Service
NSW Fire Brigade
NSW Ambulance Service
St John Ambulance
Trent Driving School Simulations
NRMA Motoring & Services
V8 Supercar driver Colin Seiders
Wheelchair Sports NSW
NSW Lions Eye Bank
The 2011 Australian Youth and Road Trauma Forum will be held at ACER Arena in Sydney's Homebush Bay on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of June and is open to all students in years 10, 11 and 12 in government and non government high schools from NSW and the ACT. Each school attends for one day only. The provisional time frame is 9:30 to 2:30pm. Approximately 12,000 students are expected to attend the event.
For further information visit www.australianyouthandroadtraumaforum.orgThe Balnaves Foundation
is a private philanthropic organisation which provides philanthropic support to charitable enterprises across Australia. Established by Neil Balnaves in 2006, The Balnaves Foundation disperses over $2 million annually supporting eligible organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous communities.
The Balnaves Foundation is co-funding the Australian Youth and Road Trauma Forum with a grant of $100,000. The Foundation recognises that driver education and awareness is critical in working to reduce the rate of crashes and deaths on our roads; particularly by those who are most at risk - young people
For further information visit www.balnavesfoundation.com