Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Community reminded to guard against spinal cord injuries

Four young men and women with spinal injuries have bravely shared their stories and are profiled in four new Community Service Announcements (CSAs) launched today by , Bill Shorten.

The CSAs were created by the Spinal Injuries Association and are designed to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and to encourage people to please take care.

“The stories in the CSAs are real, and quite moving, but at the same time, educational and inspiring,” Mr Shorten said.

“As we head towards summer and the holiday period, more people are on the roads, playing sport, in the water and it is a vulnerable time for people to sustain a spinal cord injury.

“Amber was injured in a road accident just days before her Year 12 exams, Ian fell 10 metres down a cave while on a peacekeeping mission, Malakai was dumped in the surf and James dived into water without checking the depth.

“People need to listen to these messages because it only takes a moment for your life to change forever.

“I hope these messages are being heard and are having an impact,” Mr Shorten said.

Amber, Ian, Malakai and James are all Spinal Education Awareness Team (SEAT) presenters who visit Queensland classrooms to inspire and inform children and young adults to stay safe, think before they act and make wise decisions.

Their stories are being shown to high school students around Queensland in the Nobody’s Bulletproof DVD and will be run on television and the radio in coming weeks and months.

The Australian Government has provided over $60,000 to the SEAT program for up to 70,000 Queensland school students to learn how prevent spinal cord injury.