Summer Edition 2019

Newsletter – Summer 2019

Welcome to our Summer newsletter!


Latest news.

Our last few months.

Future partnerships.

A word from our President.

Review of our Women Against Road Toll High Tea.

A chat with one of our members – Channel 9’s Brenton Ragless.

Upcoming events and programs.

Save the date!!

A Christmas message from the Board.


Our State road toll has been horrendous this year. We won’t discuss statistics because we feel that even one death on our roads is a terrible tragedy.

The Get Home Safe Foundation has praised police for their efforts to catch drink drivers over the Festive period. We are concerned that a significant number of drivers are continuing to endanger lives by risky behaviour whilst behind the wheel. We urge every one of you to have conversations with family and friends and encourage them to make intelligent plans when going out.

We would like all of you to consider this;

Road crashes are not accidents. They are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Our President Darren Davis will be discussing road safety on various radio programs over the Festive period and throughout 2020.

We want to create more awareness in the public regarding road rules, attitudes, behaviours and general courtesy on our roads.

We have developed a very close relationship with the Road Safety Commission in Western Australia. We will watch with interest as the WA media speed camera location announcements stop in January.

We are very supportive of this move. In fact, our President discussed this with the SA Road Safety Minister Corey Wingard late last year.

We believe that every road user should be aware that speed cameras could be anywhere, thus encouraging them to stay safe and legal everywhere, not just where the cameras are!


Throughout Spring we have been extremely busy. A lot of work went in to ensuring the success of the Women Against Road Toll High Tea. (Details later in the newsletter).

Early in Spring Darren travelled to Perth to meet with the WA Road Safety Commission. The meeting was very successful with an ongoing pledge from both parties to work together in the future. Darren discussed some of his findings from his UK fact-finding trip and the Commission discussed the success of some of its programs. Indigenous road safety was also discussed. Darren spoke about the SA Government’s very successful remote programs in the APY and MT Lands.

Darren has spoken on various ABC Radio programs (Board member Rosie Aust joined him on the Peter Goers evening program), Darren has also spoken on 5aa and Coast FM.

Our Associate membership had a boost during the last few months with numbers up over 50% compared to last year.

We have a busy year ahead of us, read on to find out why!!


Contact has been established between our Foundation and the SARAH Group (Safer Australian Roads and Highways). This group is widely regarded as one of the most influential road safety organisations in Australia and is credited with the launch and progress of the National Road Safety Week every May.

We have also connected with the ARSF (Australian Road Safety Foundation). We will be working with them to promote Fatality Free Friday this coming year.


Hi everybody. Firstly, as always, I must start by thanking every single one of you for your ongoing support. Without your support, we will not be able to continue our quest for safer roads and ultimately the eradication of heartache for families who lose loved ones. The goal for everyone should be zero deaths on our roads.

As you may have just read, we now have some rather important connections and partnerships being established. The WA Road Safety Commission was very welcoming to me and we had some fantastic discussions regarding road safety education and initiatives.

In January I am meeting with both the SARAH Group in Sydney and the Australian Road Safety Foundation in Brisbane. Discussions will be about future collaboration (one of the main aims of the Get Home Safe Foundation) and how we can best promote National Road Safety Week (3rd– 10thof May) and Fatality Free Friday (29thof May).

I was so proud of the efforts from our Board members (Debbie Davis, Rosie Aust, Tracey Mills, Mark Cook and Brad Williams) leading up to the Women Against Road Toll High Tea. Everyone really contributed to making the day a great success. I must also thank former Board member Debbie Baker who continues to be a valuable part of our Foundation.

I was absolutely delighted to welcome our newest Ambassador Kelly Golding to the High Tea. Kelly spoke from the heart about her family’s loss and I must say that I truly believe that Kelly will be an incredible asset to our Foundation. Kelly is just as lovely in person as she is on TV and everyone that met her was impressed by her bravery when talking about the tragic loss of her brother Matthew.

Our membership numbers are growing but we want to continue growth so that we can build our voice and contribute more to road safety. Please spread the word and encourage your family and friends to join us. Together we really can make a difference.

Lastly, I would like to wish all of you a very happy and safe festive season.

The 2019 WOMEN AGAINST ROD TOLL HIGH Supported by Bendigo Bank

Our newest Ambassador Kelly Golding was the guest speaker at the second annual Women Against Road Toll High Tea held at the Stamford Grand, Glenelg.

A big thank you to sponsors Bendigo Bank. This event is already growing with even more guests this year compared to our inaugural High Tea in 2018.

Over 60 people enjoyed a beautiful High Tea, moving speeches by Kelly Golding and President Darren Davis and fantastic music played live by Emily and Adam.

Emily and Adam donated their talents and time to entertain our High Tea guests.

Both are highly qualified musicians and we were extremely lucky to be able to listen to their music.

We had so many wonderful donations from companies and individuals for our silent auction and raffle prizes.

Everybody had the chance to join in the fun silent auction with items valued from $10 up to $250

The tables were beautifully laid out and everyone was extremely pleased with the generous gift bags.

We are thrilled to announce that due to the generosity of everyone attending (many who became new Associate Members on the day), Bendigo Bank, and everyone that donated prizes we raised over $3,500.00.

The proceeds will be essential for the Foundation to continue to develop and support road safety initiatives so that more people get home safe to their families.


Something that we will try to do every newsletter is to ask one of our Associate Members a few questions. We are delighted that Channel 9 Presenter Brenton Ragless is an enthusiastic supporter of the Foundation and joined as an Associate Member earlier this year. We asked him a few questions;

Where did you grow up and what memories do you have of your driving experiences as a new driver?

I was born at Blackwood in 1976 and grew-up in Eden Hills, attending Blackwood Primary & High schools. I didn’t have a great start learning to drive at 16yo – failing my first written test and reversing into a tree in our own driveway on my P’s – but by the age of 22, I’d obtained my truck licence as a local member of the Country Fire Service, and worked as a bus driver for a local tour company. To this day, getting my truck and bus licence early in life has been the best thing for me as a driver, helping me appreciate the importance of spatial awareness on the road.

Why are you interested in road safety?

Growing up, Dad was a volunteer fire fighter with the Eden Hills CFS, and the local fire station was like a second home. I regularly watched him respond to bushfires and other natural and man-made disasters, which included a significant number of road crashes. On finishing Blackwood High in 1993, I followed in his footsteps to join the local brigade and trained in fire fighting, first-aid and responding to road crashes, so my exposure to road trauma began very early. After eight years as a CFS volunteer, I was offered a full-time position at CFS Headquarters as a media spokesperson, providing the public with safety information about the incidents our crews were responding to. Sadly, more than half of the emergencies I attended weren’t fires at all, but major road crashes, too often resulting in fatalities.

Why did you decide to become an Associate Member of the Get Home Safe Foundation?

It was my role as CFS Media Liaison Officer that eventually led to my existing position as a TV News Anchor. Thanks to the strong connections I’d formed with the staff at Nine Adelaide during my time with the CFS, I was fortunate to be offered the role of presenting the weather for the nightly news and reporting on stories like bushfires, floods and storms. Then, after six years presenting the weather, Nine moved to an hour-long news service, and offered me the role of news reader. Sadly though, every day we report on road crashes – many leading to fatalities, adding to the annual road death toll – so I see first-hand the impact this has on the victim’s friends and families. Given my heavy exposure to serious road crashes, and being a young parent, I am desperate to reduce this toll and help support initiatives that lead to better driver awareness and safer roads.

Our State road toll is rising, as is the national toll. Do you believe that the general public are as aware as they should be regarding driver behaviours?

I think we forget that driving a car is one of the biggest and most dangerous responsibilities we have in life. Every time we drive the car, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones and other road users to ensure we all reach our destination safely. Due to the frequency we’re in our cars and the ‘routine’ attitude we have in driving them, I think the weight of responsibility is often taken for granted. Because the death toll rises slowly each year, week by week – it too is often overlooked. But if 100 people die in a single incident, that disaster receives widespread, long-lasting attention and becomes a subject of conversation. We all need to be reminded that driving a car is a risk and a privilege, and it deserves our full attention and respect. We often think about the consequences of losing our licence, but we don’t think seriously enough about losing our loved ones.

As a parent, what is your hope moving forwards of road safety awareness and attitudes of our future generations of road users?

As life gets busier and more complex, with more and more distraction – I really hope that the weight of responsibility is truly realised by our young people. While much is already done in the way of education in our schools, I could see a whole subject dedicated to learning how to drive and road safety awareness. We as parents need to be engaged in that process with our children – even before they have a licence – setting a good example in our driving habits, and actively getting involved with their learning program – not just how to drive a car, but about making good choices before, after and during. Values are caught, not taught, so we need to be mindful about what habits the younger generation are picking up on.

 Do you have a message to everyone leading up to the dangerous festive season on our roads?

I can’t believe the amount of tailgating I now see – people are in such a rush to get to their next destination. Please allow extra time to take the pressure off your drive, and allow yourself plenty of room between other vehicles so you can react quickly. Look further ahead and broaden your spatial awareness. Remove whatever distractions you have so you can be focused on your drive and arrive to your destination safely – please don’t be the next headline in our news bulletin.

Thank you for your time and your support Brenton. Have a wonderful and safe Christmas with your family.


We are already planning for next year. The Primary Schools poster competition will run again and plans are developing regarding our quest to create a Regional Road Safety Group Alliance.

Of course with the festive season approaching we are mindful of the fact that many families lose loved ones at this time of the year. To lose a loved one at any time of the year is awful, but to be reminded of a family tragedy by the sound of Christmas Carols, the site of decorations, the vision of people celebrating with their families is particularly heart breaking.

We will be spreading road safety messages via radio, TV and of course social media as much as we can so that everyone makes safe decisions over the festive period.

Here are some of the programs that will be delivered during the first half of 2020;

THE GET HOME SAFE ROUND (Drive Like A Legend).

Early in the New Year we will be hosting our second annual Get Home Safe Round at Glenelg Cricket Club. Our aim as funds grow will be to expand the concept across the whole of the league and then into other sporting codes.

The Get Home Safe Round aims to highlight the need for players of all ages to appreciate the importance of using the skills and mindsets that are used on the field of play when they use the road.

Coaches and captains are required to choose a player of the round that epitomises what a safe road user should be.

  • Continued focus
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Looking after your mates (team player)
  • Striving to improve skills
  • Listening to coaches to aid development as a player/driver/road user
  • Respecting and obeying rules
  • Respecting the needs of other players/road users and not just thinking of yourself
  • Someone who people can trust (I would want him/her on my side/I would want him/her as my driver

The above qualities are what we all want to see from players but also what we want to see from all road users.


In 2020 we will continue to support the Save A Life Australia Schools and Communities program. This program essentially addresses behaviours as drivers and passengers to Year 10 students both in metro and regional areas and is funded by Bendigo Bank and supported by Toyota Australia.

The program is the only road safety program in South Australia that involves parents at every participating school. There is now funding for extra schools so please contact us if you know of a school that would like to receive this fully funded initiative.


We will be collaborating with the SARAH Group (Safer Australian Roads And Highways to promote National Road Safety Week 2020.

An initial meeting in Sydney is scheduled and we will keep you informed regarding how the Get Home Safe Foundation will be helping to raise road safety awareness during this event.


We will be collaborating with the Australian Road Safety Foundation to promote Fatality Free Friday. Every year, we will hold our annual Gala Evening on Fatality Free Friday, the last Friday in May.

Please save the date and join us for an evening of reflection, but also fun as we continue to raise awareness of how important it is to develop safer systems, mindsets and behaviours on our roads.


We would love to see you at our Gala evening on Friday the 29thof May. We are thrilled to announce that this year we will host the event at the Sebel Playford, North Terrace, Adelaide.

The 2019 Gala was a fantastic event. Everyone enjoyed the great atmosphere, live music and delightful canepés.

The 2020 Gala will be even bigger than last year with a sit down dinner, drinks package, live music, auction and a special M.C. to be announced soon!

We have decided to keep the ticket price the same as last year so you will get even more value.

Please join us. Look out for further announcements but for now make a note in your diary. Fatality Free Friday – Friday 29thof May!!!


Our Board members Darren, Debbie, Mark, Rosie, Tracey, Sam and Brad would like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season.

We will continue to fight to make our roads safer in any way we can.

Please help us to spread our messages to everyone that is dear to you so that everyone gets home safe to their families over Christmas, the New Year and into the future.


 We would love to welcome new members and new supporting partners. To find out more

To contact us please email

For membership enquiries

To contact our President directly

Office; 08 8270 7558

The Get Home Safe Foundation acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners of this country throughout Australia, and their connection to land and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures, and to the Elders both past and present.