Journey Beyond Road Trauma is an online social network for all those affected by road trauma. Behind every fatality and serious injury statistic, there are thousands of stories. This online sanctuary provides a space where people can tell their story, create compelling tributes, find support and understanding from the online community, and ultimately begin to heal.

Under the guidance of road safety experts, the community can channel their grief into positive action by collectively campaigning for road safety. The online space can also be used as an educational resource to complement already existing road safety campaigns. Journey Beyond Road Trauma has been created by Sandra Cook and Kerry Sunderland.

Sandra’s personal journey beyond road trauma began in Adelaide in 2004, when her father died in a car crash. A women driving in the opposite direction drove over a median strip and hit her father head on. He died eleven days later after never regaining consciousness. A key event in Sandra’s journey took place on 11 March 2005, when she started videoing her family as they struggled to come to terms with the legal process surrounding her father’s death. The Cook family’s story highlights the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of certain prescription medications. 

In 2008, Sandra teamed up with screen producer/writer Kerry Sunderland to develop a multi-platform project (that’s a project where elements appear simultaneously across a number of different media, like TV, the internet, radio and print) based on the Cook family’s story, and the thousands of others like it.

Kerry and Sandra were accepted into the Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP), a course run by the Australian Film and Television School (AFTRS). It was the best thing that could have happened to the project. For a week they were surrounded by smart, brilliant, funny and creative minds. Together they brainstormed and created this innovative project – one which everyone agreed clearly had the potential to meet the needs of many people affected by road trauma.

Sandra and Kerry spent 2008 researching and developing the project. They traveled around Australia meeting with road safety experts, community members and community organisations, and of course, looking for finance. The South Australian Film Corporation was the first film body to support the project.

Sandra and Kerry then established a company, Online Story Exchange Pty Ltd, to oversee the development and production of this project. At that same time Screen Australia provided a grant towards the production of stage one of the community.

In 2009, Sandra and Kerry joined forces with their IT team, an Adelaide-based web design company called Katalyst, and began to scope and build Journey Beyond Road Trauma.

Despite the downturn in the economy, Sandra and Kerry soon succeeded in bringing the Royal Automobile Association (RAA) to the project as sponsors. The RAA funding was used to make a series of seven “digital stories” in the form of short documentaries based on the experiences of South Australian road users. The stories are featured on this website. You can watch them here.

Sandra and Kerry also brought the AER (Alcohol, Education and Rehabilitation) Foundation on board. The AER Foundation grant has been used to create a national educational program that considers the dangers of driving on high levels of some prescription medication. It includes video footage and a teachers’ guide. The JBRT Classroom Resources were launched in May 2011.

In September 2011, the Journey Beyond Road Trauma (JBRT) online community was one of three finalists in the inaugural 3M-ACRS Diamond Australian Road Safety Awards. JBRT was one of two projects that were ‘highly commended’ in the inaugural awards, which were established to recognise those who have developed a road safety treatment or initiative that stands out beyond traditional activities and delivers improved road safety.

In October 2011, JBRT learned that it was a finalist in the inaugural Australian Road Safety Awards, an initiative of the Fatality Free Friday Foundation.

Around the same time, JBRT was invited to be part of the leadership team for 33,900 - The Australian Road Safety Collaboration (named 33,900 in recognition of the number of people that were killed or seriously injured in road crashes in Australia in 2010). In recognising the scale of the global epidemic, the United Nations has declared 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Australia is a signatory to the resolution and has a responsibility to take significant action within Australia, and contribute to improvement throughout the Asia Pacific Region and the world. Find out more at http://www.33900.org.au/about

New  sentence 'ARSF now looks after JBRT. For any queries please contact us on 1300 723 843 or www.australianroadsafetyfoundation.com.


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