Quest for Life’s Hope and Healing Tree in Bundanoon is adorned with pink, orange, purple, blue and silver balloons this week.
Each of the coloured balloons represents the favourite colour of one of the five teenagers who were killed in a tragic car crash near Buxton, in Wollondilly Shire, 12 months ago.
With the anniversary of the teenager’s deaths this week, John Van de Putt, the father of Lily killed in the crash, initiated a campaign to promote road safety behaviour among teenagers: Think of the Five, Arrive ALIVE.
The safety campaign provides a visual reminder to encourage people to think about the consequences of unsafe driving and speeding. It hopes to spark conversation, encouraging people to talk to their children about safe driving, and to get out of a car if they feel uncomfortable.
The colourful campaign is also helping to bring local communities together in their shared grief as sadly, the crash affected multiple families in a small region.
Balloons are displayed from 1 to 7 September at local businesses, school gates, and houses throughout the villages of Picton, Tahmoor, Thirlmere and Buxton as well as here in Bundanoon at the Quest for Life Centre.
Quest for Life is one of the support services helping family members to recover from trauma in the aftermath of the tragedy, through involvement with the Road Trauma Support Group (RTSG), Wollondilly Shire Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council.
Quest’s network of psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors have been providing their services to families affected as part of the RTSG set of services. The RTSG is also assisting families to engage in Quest’s immersive 5-day programs including Healing Your Life and Moving Beyond Trauma, to find solace and healing.
Quest team members also helped distribute the beautiful roadside tributes and condolence messages back to families. Esther McKay, Program Development Manager at Quest and member of the Road Trauma Support Group said:
“It’s a blessing that Quest has had the opportunity to know these families and contribute in a small way by returning the tributes”.
If you need someone to talk to, call:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- QLife on 1800 184 527
If you know someone who would benefit from attending a program at Quest for Life, please contact our Program Advisers on tel 1300 941 488 for a confidential chat. Subsidies are available to attend our programs. Quest is an NDIS Provider and is accredited by Suicide Prevention Australia.