Supporting the community
Formerly known as the Road Trauma Support Services Victoria, the Amber Community provides road incident support, education, and counselling in Victoria - either by phone, online or in-person, to support people who have been impacted by road trauma.
Regarding the name change, Nugent says “from a road/driving perspective, amber represents slowing down, making the right decisions, and taking care. This is an important message that we continuously promote within our community, and is one that provides meaning for our name.”
The work of the Amber Community extends to state-wide education programs focusing on road safety and prevention with schools, workplaces, and community groups to help those in the transport, logistics, and emergency services sectors.
This may include anyone impacted, says Nugent, including “families who have lost a loved one, first on-scene and witnesses, drivers, including those who are responsible for a crash, and emergency services responders.”
The Amber Community also hosts a peer support art therapy group in Melbourne’s Surrey Hills.
Road safety at the forefront
As part of their education programs, volunteers share real-life stories about the impact of road trauma on their lives. This “helps people understand why road safety is important,” says Nugent.
“Be aware that we are all vulnerable to road trauma, and when we use the roads, drive, walk and cycle, do it safely, be mindful, and don’t take unnecessary risks,” she says.
“This includes not driving when you are fatigued or have been drinking or taking drugs, driving at the speed limit, adapting to the weather and road conditions, and removing all distractions.”
Every May, The Amber Community holds the ‘Shine a Light on Road Safety’ campaign, which consists of a group walk around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne. It’s a good way, says Nugent, for “people impacted by road safety [to] come together to shine a light on the impact of road safety, and…help us get the message out to the community that road trauma can happen to anyone.”
Walkers can fundraise to help support those affected and continue to grow road safety programs.
On the third Sunday in November, the Amber Community also hosts a ‘Time for Remembering’ ceremony at Melbourne’s Parliament House, which acknowledges lives lost, those injured and those affected by road trauma.