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Curtin road trauma research receives award

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Curtin University research into a road trauma support service for Western Australia has been named a joint winner in the Research Award category of the 2012 Community Safety Awards from the Injury Control Council of Western Australia (ICCWA).

Dr Lauren Breen, from Curtin’s School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, led the research into providing peer and professional interventions for road trauma victims, family members, witnesses and drivers who are adversely affected by road traumas.

The research project Road Trauma Support for WA: A community-based research partnership for change looked into the services available in WA compared with services offered in other states.

The study occurred in tandem with ConnectGroups, which investigated road trauma support services and injury prevention strategies for Indigenous people and communities throughout the State.

The Western Australian Government recently announced $750,000 had been budgeted towards a road trauma service in Western Australia, and Dr Breen’s research has been fundamental in influencing this decision.

The 22recommendations from the project will form the basis for a comprehensive road trauma support service for all Western Australians.

Dr Lauren Breen said it was an honour to receive the award in recognition of the research project.

“This acknowledgement helps to shine a light on the need for a road trauma support service in and for Western Australia,” Dr Breen said.

Road traffic crashes are the ninth leading cause of burden of disease worldwide1. In Western Australia from 2000 to 2008, there were 1,397 deaths due to traffic crashes. In this same period there were 25,736 hospitalisations2.

Deborah Costello, CEO of ICCWA said road trauma could have a significant effect on family, friends and the community.

“Having a road trauma service for WA is a positive outcome in assisting people in need of emotional support, and preventing further trauma,” Ms Costello said.

Notes to Editor:

ICCWA is the peak non-government not-for-profit organisation involved in injury prevention and the promotion of community safety in Western Australia. The ICCWA Awards are held annually and raise awareness about community safety and injury prevention and recognise organisations taking extraordinary steps to make their community safer.

1. World Health Organization. (2004). World report on road traffic injury prevention. Geneva: Author.
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2011). Trends in serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia (Injury research and statistics series no. 56. Cat. no. INJCAT 132). Canberra, Australia: Author. Accessed 23rd September 2011 from

Kristy Jones, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Mobile: 0401 103 877, Email:


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