On Tuesday 19th August, Year 10 travelled to the Allphones Arena in Sydney Olympic Park for the annual B-Streetsmart road safety forum.
Upon arriving at the venue, we were amazed by the turnout – there were thousands of other students from schools across Sydney. We were not disappointed. The day began with a presentation from Ken Harrison, a Nepean Hospital trauma doctor. To complement the information he provided us about the risks of dangerous driving, a team of talented performers dramatised for us the scene of a car accident involving young people. The very realistic performance moved us deeply, encouraging us to consider what it would be like to find ourselves responsible for a car crash, the impact it would have on our passengers, and the health and legal consequences that would follow. Most importantly, the performance walked us through the necessary procedures for dealing with a road crash as either victims or witnesses
Next we were privileged to hear the stories of speakers who have been involved in car accidents and have sustained life-long, life-changing injuries. Among these was ‘Darby’, who was in his twenties when he took risks on the road while riding a motorbike for the first time. His account of his injuries and the years’ worth of rehab that followed was an eye-opener for us all.
Highlights of the day were performances from Morgan Evans, the Australian singer-songwriter who shared with us his personal stories relating to the shocking consequences of unsafe road use on everyone involved, and lunchtime exhibits. During our break, we explored the venue and participated in the various interactive exhibits set up by emergency services, leading health organisations and NSW driving schools. We especially enjoyed learning first aid and competing with each other in wheelchair basketball.
After lunch we learnt about spinal injuries and the science of road crashes. Evan Walker from NSW Transport gave us valuable insights into the importance of safety driving courses for drivers under 25, which was very relevant as most of us will be learning to drive within the next few years. After that, it was back to the buses for the return trip to school.
Year 10 thoroughly loved the experience of the forum, which was engaging and had a concert-like feel. We learnt many new things and hope that future participants will find the excursion as useful as we did.
Written by Reena Mukherjee, Year 10 Mackillop
On Tuesday 19