Move Your Body grants now open

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants, , available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019.

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants. The grants, available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019. The campaigns key messages and calls to action focus on the importance of improving older adults balance and leg strength to prevent falls by finding enjoyable activities that allow for ongoing improvement.

Grants are open to community groups and not-for-profit organisations, health professionals, community workers and fitness professionals working with older adults, retirement and lifestyle villages, local government and population health units. Hospitals, residential care facilities and applicants without an ABN are not eligible.

Click here to download the Move Your Body grant application form or visit https://www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/health-professionals/campaigns/grants/ to find out more.

How do we evolve as an injury prevention community?

Written by Rachel Meade, Injury Prevention Manager at Injury Matters.

From the 5-7 November 2018, the 13th World Safety Conference on Injury Prevention was held in Bangkok, Thailand. This event brought  together over a thousand of the world’s leading researchers, practitioners, policy makers and activists to share information and experience on injury prevention. This year’s theme was Advancing Injury And Violence Prevention Towards Sustainable Development Goals.

The juxtaposition of an injury prevention conference with the ever-present challenges of injury in Bangkok were significant. It was eye-opening to see the challenges locals face on a daily basis; while navigating the streets of Bangkok, road safety, burns, falls and electrical hazards were never far from my mind.

The conference highlighted that global progress in injury prevention is too slow, and how we need to look beyond the public health sector for solutions and improvements.

It was the opinion of Professor Adnan Hyder of John Hopkins University that as a community, we need to think of safety as a value if we are to overcome challenges. As public health professionals, we need to look beyond the risk factors for injury and look at the social issues which enable the risk factors to be present.

We need to advocate and be outraged that people are dying and being seriously injured at the rate that they are.

In 2015, 2474 people died from falls in Australia. Where is the outrage at this? If there was a singular event that resulted in that many fatalities there would be significant attention in the media, but because it is individuals and not a collective the attention is not given. Injury is a significant public health priority in Australia and we need to make more noise to bring it to the forefront of the community.

Safety and injury prevention is everyone’s business. We need action across government departments, by NGOs, industry and importantly by community. We need to change our mindset when we think of safety, where it is something we value and think of the whole system to solve the problem.

At the end of the conference five solutions were suggested:

  1. Strengthen government leadership and accountability
  2. Strengthen legislation and regulation
  3. Shaping social norms
  4. Scaling up interventions for injury and violence prevention
  5. Strengthening monitoring and capacities

As a developed nation, Australia is in the fortunate position that we are advanced in some areas where the solutions were placed such as legislation and regulation.

One area where I think we need to focus on is the shaping of social norms, particularly with all forms of interpersonal violence and alcohol; which are supported and enabled through legislation, regulation and leadership.

We need to focus our efforts on the people who need our assistance the most, the vulnerable.

The conference concluded with the reading of the Bangkok statement which can be found on  www.worldsafety2018.org and announced the next conference to be hosted by the Public Health Association of  Australia in Adelaide in November 2020. Perhaps in two years we will see how injury prevention has evolved, shaped by the evidence of what we know works and implementing interventions with the people who are in need.

New resource – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and injury

Know Injury has recently released a new resource regarding the incidence of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The resource outlines a number of statistics including that in WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are hospitalised due to injury 2.5 times more than non-Aboriginal people, with 10,165 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hospitalised due to injury from July 2013 to June 2015.

Click here to access the new resource.

2018-2019 Federal Budget – Injury

The 2018-19 Federal Budget was released on 8 May 2018, which revealed a $12.4 billion increase in the Health Budget, to $99.1 billion for health, aged care and sport.

Key injury prevention funding allocations outlined in the Budget include an:

  • Increase in mental health funding by $338.1 million to focus on suicide prevention, research, older Australians and advancing the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
  • $1.0 million of funding to reduce the number of preventable childhood injuries through the SeeMore Safety Program.
  • $0.9 million allocation to develop a new National Injury Prevention Strategy aimed at reducing childhood injuries by investing in infant and maternal health.
  • Support for Surf Life Saving Australia, Royal Life Saving Australia, AUSTSWIM and Laurie Lawrence Swimming Enterprises to deliver the Water and Snow Safety Program.

Other injury prevention related activities include investments regarding; aged care, improving access to health care facilities, Indigenous health services, alcohol and drug abuse and activities encouraging physical activity.

For the full 2018/19 Federal Budget click here.

National Road Safety Week 2018 comes to a close

Perth was chosen to be this year’s host city for the 2018 National Road Safety Week, which began five years ago and is an initiative of Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) founder and president Peter Frazer.

Peter lost his daughter Sarah in an horrific road crash in 2012 just as she was on her way to begin her university studies at a neighbouring university and to start a new chapter in her life at the age of 23.

Sarah had experienced car trouble on the way to her first day of university and had been forced to pull over to the emergency lane and to call and wait for a tow truck to provide assistance. Sadly both Sarah and the tow truck driver were killed instantly when a truck, which failed to see and avoid them, ploughed into them both killing them instantly.

Peter later discovered that the emergency lane on that stretch of road did not meet national safety guidelines and has become a tireless campaigner for road safety, marking the start of a journey neither he nor his wife had ever wanted to take.

The campaign launch was held at Perth’s newly opened Yagan Square on Sunday April 29 and was officially marked by WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron, leading road safety figures from across WA, community members and the Road Trauma Support WA team.

The week highlighted the safety needs of different road users and groups throughout the week, focusing on first responders, roadside assistance workers, vulnerable road users, those on regional roads as well as cyclists and motorcyclists.

It also incorporated a research forum which brought together those involved in enforcement, legislation, protection, research and support, looking at the latest trends and evidence around road safety and mapping out ways to work together moving forward.

Although the profile and impact of National Road Safety Week continues to grow each year and to resonate with communities across Australia, the reality is that despite education, advocacy, legislation and enforcement, the number of those killed and injured on our roads continues to grow. And with that the number of families and community members who are left devastated in its wake.

Governments across the world continue to call for tougher penalties for those who break the law on our roads, and although the vast majority abide by those laws, there are still those who don’t – putting themselves and others at risk.

Road Safety experts also referred to those who aren’t drinking and driving, who aren’t speeding and who are routinely wearing their seatbelts, but who make momentary mistakes that will impact them and those around them for the rest of their lives.

The Road Trauma Support WA team would like to thank Peter Frazer and the SARAH group for all of their hard work, the WA Road Safety Commission team who coordinated the event nationally from Perth, WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and all those across Australia who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the events of the past week happen.

As we reflect on the events of the past week, which have successfully put road safety in the national spotlight, lets pause to remember all of those who are struggling in the wake of road trauma.

If you, a friend, family member or colleague has been impacted by road trauma would like further information or support it is available at www.rtswa.org.au