Transcript: Being Safe, Not Sorry

Onscreen text:

Being Safe, Not Sorry

Improving road safety for Indigenous Australians

Presented by Catherine Liddle

Warning: this documentary may contain images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Viewer discretion is advised. The views and opinions of authors expressed in this film do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Australian Government.

Description:

Sound of car crash
Soulful music
Still images of road accidents

Image of newsreader
Text: News Story, Ryan Liddle, Imparja, ‘Six Dead’

Images of Alice Springs hospital sign

Crash site

Ryan Liddle:

“Alice Springs police say speed, alcohol and lack of seatbelts may have been contributing factors in the death of six people involved in a car crash on Friday night. The 31year old driver was discharged from the Alice Springs hospital on Sunday. He is now in police custody, charged with driving without a license and under the influence of alcohol, failing to obey police and driving a car causing harm or death. The man is also likely to face payback”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“We see news like this on the telly all the time. Then, we switch off and go on with our lives until it effects us or someone we love. The man responsible for killing six of his family members has gone to jail. When sentencing, the judge took into account that the trauma and the guilt that the offender feels will convince him not to do it again more than anything the Court could do.”

Onscreen text(also verbalized) :

“I accept that the offending has had a serious impact on you. You have lost your wife, your sister-in-law, and four nephews and…Since the offending, your children have been looked after by their grandmother, who is now old and frail.”
Jutice D. Mildren

Unidentified man:

“I accept that the offending has had a serious impact on you. You have lost your wife, your sister-in-law, and four nephews and…Since the offending, your children have been looked after by their grandmother, who is now old and frail.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“What this man did effected many people.”

Description:

Image of tree made of people, branches fade out

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Look, two little children have lost their mum, their aunty, their cousins, their dad is locked up, their aunties and uncles lost a sister, lost their sons. The whole community was devastated by death.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“Did you know that Aboriginal people are about one and a half times more likely to be seriously injured than non-Indigenous people and about three times more likely to be killed in a car crash. But why is this? Grog, to many people in the car, no seatbelts, no license. These people didn't get to die naturally of old age. They died before their time of something that could have been prevented. But our mob, we're not going to put up with this. We don't want our kids dead. So here are some ways we're going to stop this. All over our country, different communities are doing different things to keep our families safe.”

Description:

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Perth, WA

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“All over our country, different communities are doing different things to keep our families safe. A Perth based production company, Kilbardie, produced Matta Car Sorry Business, and the play has been performed around Australia.”

Description:

Images of Mutta Car Sorry Business

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“So moved were David Milroy and Michelle Torres by the suffering caused to family and friends by road crashes that they wrote the play to raise awareness of road safety issues. The play looks at the dangers of riding in the backs of utes, the suffering caused by mixing grog and driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

Lets take a look at some of the play. In this scene, Lanky and JoJo are talking about taking some of their mates to a football game.”

Description:

Footage of play, two men talking, audience watching.

Lanky:

oh yeah, some of the boys left last night, so I'm left with about six.

Jojo:

Oh yeah.

What?

You're not going to put them in the back of the ute are ya?

Lanky:

Yeah, what's wrong with that?

Jojo:

Well, besides being dangerous, it's against the law. What if you roll it?

Lanky:

Well, when my number's up, it's up. Can't do nothing about that now, hey.

Jojo:

Lanky, it's not just about you. What about the other fellas on the back? They're the ones who'll get hurt if something goes wrong with your ute.

Lanky:

Nah there's nothing wrong with my ute…

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

They won the footy match and of course there's a party after. In this scene, Lanky has had too much grog and is arguing with Jo Jo about driving back home.

Lanky:

Just leave me alone! Bugger it I'm driving back home.

Jojo:

Give me the keys bro.

Unidentified woman:

It's too late to be driving. Camp here tonight.

(unclear arguing)

Lanky:

You can stick it. You're not the boss of me.

(unclear shouting)

Jojo:

Fine you want to go? Big shot.

(unclear shouting)

Lanky get out of the car! Lanky!

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

Lanky had a crash on the way home and was seriously injured.

Lanky:

Yeah yeah I was the idiot for real. Drinkin and driving you're a bloody hero. I never thought I'd end up like this!

Sorry my brother.

Ha ha ha…I've got nothing to laugh about. I used to do things for myself. Move when I want, do whatever I pleased. Not now. You know that sign, speed kills, if you drink and drive you're a bloody idiot. Well that's me. Don't make it you.

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

This is a powerful play that gives the message that not driving safety on the roads can have tragic and life changing consequences….

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

…In 2006 and 2007 in Western Australia, 38 Indigenous drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Only 3 of them had their license. That means of 38 drivers, 35 were unlicensed.”

Description:

Man putting ‘L’ on front of car

Person driving

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Getting your license is the first thing you need to do to make yourself safe on the road. To get your license, you need to learn to drive properly and safely.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

“People who get their drivers license have a better shot at getting a good job, and doing little things like seeing a doctor or going to the shops are a whole lot easier. Communities that develop programs to help people get their license can often get funding from state or local governments or sponsors like businesses and charities.

Lets check out what some of the communities are doing to help their people get a license.”

Description:

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Port Hedland WA,

Fade to images of harbor

Images of housing construction

Image of Mick MacMann

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“In Port Headland Western Australia, jobs are being created for Indigenous Australians in the mining sector and around the town itself.

The construction sector requires qualified workers to build and maintain an ever increasing need for housing and public facilities. One of the most basic requirements for these workers is a drivers license. Mick McMann is part of a program to get these fellas work. He reckons the program delivers benefits far beyond just the hip pocket.”

Description:

Mick McMann speaks to camera

Mick McMann:

“I think it brings a lot of self respect and also achievement. Not only for themselves, for their family.”

Description:

Images of beach and skyline. Music

Image of Kylie Tesling

Images of classroom

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Across town is Bloodwood Tree. A company that runs a driver education program called Keys For Life. Kylie Tesling is a driving instructor there who also teaches a driver education class. She says, the program gives her students a level of personal confidence and skills that lead to a rewarding career.”

Description:

Kylie Tesling speaks to camera

Kylie Tesling:

“The program that I'm actually doing is called the Keys for Life and um that has been really marvelous.”
Image of classroom Keys for Life seminar:

“We've all been in cars, we all know what signs are out there. I just want you to work among yourselves.”

Voice over Catherine Liddle:

“Kylie says the combination of practical and theoretical education works wonders.”

Description:

Kylie Tessling speaks to camera

Kylie Tesling:

“I think doing the Keys for Life program and then actually taking them for lessons, that whole training is successful because you're there from the beginning and you go through that first stage and I get really excited, so yeah, I'm very passionate about that.”

Description:

Image of seminar

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Mittsy learnt to drive through the Keys for Life program and now works as an admin assistant for Bloodwood. She says that getting her drivers license is one of the best things she could have done.”

Description:

Image of Mittsy Cassidy

Mittsy Cassidy speaks to camera

Mittsy Cassidy:

“Feels like you've got an independence of yourself instead of relying on other people.”

Description:

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Carnarvon, WA.

Images of Carnarvon

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Further down the coast of WA is the community of Carnarvon, a farming and fishing town of seven thousand people. Unlicensed drivers are being helped to get their driving license by a sponsor. We interviewed Jeremy Forbes.”

Description:

Jeremy Forbes speaks to camera

Jeremy Forbes: “I'm actually a member of St Johns Ambulance here in Carnarvon. We're all volunteers. I've obviously been out to quite a few motor vehicle accidents and quite a few of those with too many people in the car etcetera etcetera and no seatbelts. So we've basically decided we'd ah purchase a car with dual controls, we got that through Toyota, and, by the way they're sponsoring us with the servicing, which is great, we had no other funding, and that will be used obviously in conjunction with the Fresh Start Program with these guys, sort of getting them up to getting their licenses and also open to the public of the Gascoyne basically for driving lessons and preparing them for sort of getting their license.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle: “In WA, the Road Safety Council has developed a program called Road Wise, which teaches people the road rules, road safety and helps them get a drivers license.”

Description:

Image of seminar

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Road Wise operates in communities all over WA. Tony Smith is the Road Wise coordinator for the area of Carnarvon.”

Description:

Tony Smith speaks to camera

Images of seminar and students faces

Tony Smith:

“We have a problem here with non-licensed drivers and of course they're not covered by insurance as you'll understand the road rules, also we are having problems with um lack of employment in Carnarvon because the guys need a drivers license to get to places of employment employers will not employ unless they can get there on time or become reliable. So we started off this program to try and get drivers licenses basically so they can get a job, locally, and this is now escalated as more parties have come on board and to the point where we now have the possibility of mine site training and employment in the mines.”

Description:

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Gippsland, VIC

Images of Gippsland

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“In Victoria, Indigenous Communities around Gippsland are making good use of Mission Australia's services to help them get their license. Having their own license means residents of Lake Tyers mission trust do not have to rely on others when they want to drive into town to get the things they need. They have independence, and because of that, confidence.”

Description:

Images of Wayne Clarke

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Wayne Clarke from Mission Australia says the program gives people a sense of achievement and fulfillment and helps them move on to a better way of life.”

Description:

Wayne Clarke speaks to camera:

“At Mission, we like to make a difference to people's lives. And after consulting with the community we found that there was a need to do something or assist with gaining their drivers licenses. Certainly, we had Aboriginal people driving around the area without a license, and certainly that had an impact with the, you know, police, and that was all pretty negative, but negotiating with local government, Victoria Police and…”

Description:

Image of man using computer to practice driving

Images of seminar, students faces

Wayne Clarke voiceover:

“other stakeholders within the regionally, decide to put this program into use cos it was really noted within the region. We have um issues with the 100 point check, a lot of our youth don't have Medicare cards or a bank statement or they don't have any bills that are registered in their name, so its quite often hard to prove their identity so we assist in that process, we deal with Centerlink and Vic Roads and a number of other agencies to address that. Quite often when someone comes in for an identity form it often takes them four or five visits.”

Description:

Wayne Clarke speaks to camera

Wayne Clarke:

“We assist them in trying to knock it over in the afternoon. But we're happy to assist them in bringing them back. We also provide some financial assistance if they don't have the money to pay for the birth certificate, we'll assist them in that way as well.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“Do you reckon you could pay attention to driving the car safely and also pay attention to road signs and also not be distracted by your mate talking to you?”

Description:

Three students in seminar

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“These three students from Port Headland are practicing just that.”

Description:

Seminar:
‘Stop’
‘Roundabout’
‘What are you doing for your 17th?’
‘Got a party…’
‘Where?’
‘At your house.’
‘Keep left’

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“In this game, one of the students is sorting a pack of cards while another shows her road signs to identify while a third is trying to distract her by asking questions. Sound complicated? It is, but it's the kind of thought process your brain needs to get used to safely drive a car.”

Description:

Seminar:
‘No entry.’
‘Stop.’

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Bidyadanga, WA

Images of Bidyadanga township

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“About 200 kilometers south of Broome is the isolated community of Bidyadanga. In 2005, the local police saw a lot of unsafe behavior on the road, people were driving without licenses, travelling in the back of utes and not wearing their seatbelts.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“The women of the community were worried about their children so they teamed up with the police to try and make a difference. But what was the first step?”

Description:

Senior Sergeant Peter Vale speaks to camera from desk in office Senior Sergeant

Peter Vale:

“Basically when I got here at the end of 2005, noticed that there was a number of people that were driving around the community without divers licenses, and also driving dangerously and also in the backs of utes and people were unrestrained in vehicles. It was quite obvious that we needed to being doing something about these peoples safety in their vehicles and try to get them licenses wherever possible…”

Description:

Images of Bidyadanga, WA. Senior Sergeant

Peter Vale voiceover:

“…From the start it was an education phase that we had running for about six months. In during that phase we encouraged as many residents as possible, people that could obtain their drivers licenses to come into the police station. And that was quite successful and ah that is a program that is ongoing. Some of them were a little bit wondering why, but once it was explained to them that it was their safety and the safety of their children that we were talking about they then understood once it was explained to them that um this is for their safety and their communities safety. And um a lot of the counselors were women and they could see the value in it and they welcomed the police to to do that.”

Description:

Senior Sergeant Peter Vale speaks to camera from desk in office

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“And what were the results of the community and police working together?”

Senior Sergeant Peter Vale:

“I would say that I've noticed a reduction in the amount of unsafe driving that goes on, the amount of sort of dangerous or careless driving that would perhaps go on. Plus, now when we drive around the community there's not very many at all that haven't got everyone in the vehicle restrained and definitely no one in the back of utes and trucks. That was also an issue for us. So from a um education um ah perspective, yeah, it's gone really well. And the people now know that should we be on patrol and if we see that anyone hasn't got their seatbelts on then they'll get an infringement because we've gone through quite a lengthy stage of education and it's well know throughout the community now that um they must ah have their kids and everyone restrained in the vehicle before they move off.”

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera. Background of Australia, road sign, road.

Catherine Liddle:

“The Northern Territory has by far the highest road toll per capita in Australia. On average, one person dies each week on Territory roads. To combat this, every year, the Burrunga festival holds a road safety song competition. School kids and up and coming bands create original songs about road safety to enter into the competition.”

Description:

Image of Australia, pulsating dot on Beswick, NT

Images of Beswick township

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“One of these schools is located in Beswick, a community of about 400 located just south of Katherine in the Northern Territory. This year, singer songwriter Shellie Morris has been invited to work with the school children of Beswick to create a song.”

Description:

Video of classroom, kids sitting on chairs in a semi circle

Shellie Morris:

“Do you want to write a song? What do you want to song about?”

Children:

“Buckle up kids”

”Road safety song”

Shellie Morris:

“Road safety song, great idea. Ok, so what are some of the things about road safety, what keeps us safe on the roads?”

Children:

“Um seatbelts!”

Shellie Morris:

“Seatbelts! What else are some of the things?”

Description:

Shellie Morris speaks to camera

Shellie Morris:

“The process that I go through with the kids is that we get together in a group, and it might be a class group, it depends on the size of the school that you go to. And that we get… we sit on the floor because that's probably the most comfortable, and we grab a big piece of butchers paper and we talk about the subject matter and I get the ideas off the students and then we workshop all those ideas, and then we bring in the music, which could be a modern rhythm from hip hop to r&b to some, it's their choice, whether it's a song written with guitar and in more of a band format and we go from there.”

Description:

Video of kids in a classroom, sitting on chairs in a semi circle

Children:

“No drinking”

Shellie Morris:

“Ah no drinking. No drinking what?”

“Grog!”

(Laughter)

“What are some of the other things that we can do to keep safe on the roads?”

Description:

Image of Sue Hermden

Images of kids in classroom

Catherine Liddle voiceover:

“Sue Hermden is the principle of Beswick's school. She says its better if the children think they've come up with the idea of road safety themselves. It makes them take ownership of it and are more likely to involve it in their everyday life.”

Sue Hermden speaks to camera:

“If the students have an involvement in taking that from the early stages through to fruition, it's more relevant to them and the outcomes certainly would be directly related to the input from the students.”

Description:

Images of classroom

Shellie Morris voiceover:

“Road safety's quite big here in the.. in this region because of the Burrunga festival. When the students chose the subject and they began to talk to be about what road safety is from the little tiny ones right up to the high school. And they quite vary and then we put it into a song then we also record that song so they get a CD of that song as well, and so that message can be reinforced again and again…”

Description:

Shellie Morris speaks to camera

Shellie Morris:

“…We have a wonderful time and lots of laughter, and that's the good key to learning.”

Classroom Children [Singing]:

Buckle up kids
We're going to town
Don't go drink when you're driving around
Watch out for the big kangaroo
If you're not looking he might hit you
Yo buckle up kids
Yo buckle up family
X 2

Description:

Catherine Liddle speaks to camera

(Children's rap playing in background)

Image of people with red crosses through the faces

Zoom in on young girl

Catherine Liddle:

“Let's face it, there are some things in the bush that are never going to change. Long drives, dirt roads, dust, roos. It's the bush, there's not much you can do about it. But now you've seen how communities around Australia have tackled the road safety issues we know we can do things about. Wearing your seatbelt, not drinking grog then driving, not travelling in the back of utes or trucks, getting a drivers license. All of these things make a difference. They're writing plays, educating their community, working with the police, singing songs, talking about it. They are working hard to make their families safer on the roads. What can you do to make sure your family live a long and happy life?”

Classroom Children [Singing]:

Yo buckle up kids
Yo buckle up family

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Last Updated: 9 July, 2014