The George Institute welcomes $200,000 funding gift for road safety

The George Institute for Global Health is one of 12 organisations to benefit from a funding gift from the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust.

The George Institute will receive $200,000 from the Trust which has just announced its closure after a 25 year history.

The funds will be used by The George Institute’s Injury Division to undertake road safety research relevant to the ACT.

Professor Rebecca Ivers, Director of the Injury Division at The George Institute, said: “It is a sad day as the Trust enabled countless organisations to fund projects that improved road safety standards for all Australians. But it’s heartening to see it has ended its days by funding so many great projects.

“We have been fortunate to receive funding from the Trust in the past for our work on motorcycle protective clothing, bicycle safety, and novice drivers. We will use this funding to continue our work on adolescent road injury.”

The Trust came into existence in 1992 as a trust-based partnership between the ACT Government and NRMA Insurance. When NRMA Insurance ceased to be the sole provider of compulsory third party insurance that partnership came to an end, foreshadowed by the ACT Government in 2014. Remaining funds totalling $1.9 million are now being handed out to organisations which share its mission of furthering road safety in the ACT.

The ANU’s Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, and the University of Canberra, will each receive funding gifts of $432,838 for two PhD Road Safety Scholarships and to fund road- safety initiatives relevant to the ACT. In addition, a gift of $250,000 to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for a second Road Safety Fellowship, will allow the Churchill Trust to now offer this prestigious Fellowship annually.

Other beneficiaries include Kidsafe ACT, the Council on Ageing, The National Brain Injury Foundation, Monash University Accident Research Centre and the Queensland Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety.

Emeritus Professor Don Aitkin, Chairman of the Trust, said: “These funding gifts will ensure the ACT road-using community continues to be the beneficiary of the nation’s best minds in the field of road safety, long after the Trust has closed."

Over its lifespan the Trust committed $21 million to some 450 projects and initiatives, and all made a valuable contribution to reducing road trauma on the region’s roads.

Prof Ivers said: “There are few funding bodies that specifically focus on road injury research despite it being a leading cause of death and disability in young people in Australia. The loss of the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust will leave a big gap in opportunities to progress research in this field.  We encourage other agencies to fill the gap.”