From tragedy, something meaningful begins…

A History of Road Trauma Support WA

In February 1999, West Australian couple Alan and Glenda Maloney found themselves on a journey no one would wish to take. Their 17 year old daughter Skye and her friend died suddenly in a road crash.

Their awareness on lack of support available while trying to cope with their trauma and negotiating all the post-crash procedures led to their lobbying and advocating from 2008 for a dedicated service providing road trauma support in WA.

Meanwhile, countless agencies and individuals associated with road safety, trauma, mental health, emergency services and countless other areas, had also been working over many years to ensure support would be available to those affected by road trauma.

The Road Safety Council recommended in July 2009 that:

  • Road trauma counselling services be established in WA
  • Funding be independently investigate options and budgeting associated with establishing a road trauma support service in Western Australia.

Supporting this, a Private Members’ Bill amending the Road Safety Council Act was introduced in Parliament in November 2009; allowing Road Trauma Trust Account monies to fund a road trauma support service.

A Reference Group was formed and in 2011, Dr. Lauren Breen, researcher and senior lecturer at Curtin University WA, conducted in-depth research on behalf of Department of Health WA: Establishing a Sustainable Road Trauma Support Service in Western Australia.

The report recommendations, with bi-partisan political support, were followed up with a State Government commitment in the 2012/13 state budget:

  • $750,000 from the Road Trauma Trust Account allocated for the service (2013/14 and 2014/15).
  • Department of Health WA tendering establishment of a free, statewide service providing sustainable information, peer support and professional therapeutic interventions for anyone affected by road trauma in WA.

The Injury Control Council of WA (ICCWA) was awarded the contract in November 2012 with the report’s 22 recommendations forming the basis of Road Trauma Support WA’s Strategic Plan, Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles.

A Road Trauma Support WA Steering Committee formed immediately to provide strategic advice regarding service development and establishment and included relevant industry and community representatives, some directly affected by road trauma. Many of the original Reference Group were invited to continue. This Steering Committee continues to meet.

Supported by the Road Trauma Trust Account through the Road Safety Council, Office of Road Safety and Department of Health WA, the vision of many became a reality: Road Trauma Support WA launched Sunday 17 November 2013, on the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Skye MaloneyThe Injury Control Council of WA acknowledges the myriad individuals and organisations who participated in the planning and development of this service. We particularly acknowledge Alan and Glenda Maloney for their commitment and dedication in advocating for a dedicated road trauma support service in Western Australia in memory of their beautiful daughter, Skye Maloney. Thanks to the efforts of so many wonderful people, support is now available to all people in WA affected by road trauma.

For a more detailed account, click here

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