Wodonga students launch Caring About Regional Safety competition

A POLICE motorcycle being ridden, safely, inside a school building provided some morning entertainment for Wodonga students on Thursday.

As did the chance to make lots of noise with police sirens later.

The special assembly at Wodonga Primary School launched the 2017 Caring About Regional Safety competition, now in its 11th year. Under the scheme, primary students in North East Victoria and southern NSW create a promotional poster about safety, with the winning school to receive $2000 and the Ann Brimblecombe Memorial Award.

Senior Constable Brimblecombe, well-known for her school safety talks, died in a 2006 car crash while travelling to Mitta Primary School.

Sergeant Michael Connors, of Wangaratta highway patrol, said the competition in her honour had lost no momentum as her influence continued to be felt.

“Even a couple of years ago, some kids in year 6, they remembered her from prep and a lot of the parents do,” he said.

Wodonga Primary School wellbeing co-ordinator Stacey Anderson said although relatively new to CARS, her school had a past connection to “Senior Ann”.

“She used to come every year, the police officer that everyone knew,” Miss Anderson said.

“So it’s a nice thing to be part of her memorial.”

Wodonga Primary School student Jazmyn Stone, now year 6, won last year’s CARS competition with a poster on cyber safety.

The 2017 year 5s listened as WAW Credit Union chief executive Michael Mack encouraged them to create a poster and think about safety.

Mr Mack said while school students might know safety rules, such as around a swimming pool, they didn’t always realise how their actions could affect or influence younger children around them.

“If we can spread that message even wider through your school community and all the school communities in the region, then I think we’ve all done a good job,” he said.

About 85 schools have been sent CARS information, with entries to close mid-November and the winners announced at the end of that month.

Sergeant Connors said the competition usually received more than 100 posters on safety topics like roads, online issues or storing poisons.

“We’re always amazed at the variety of messages that we get from them,” he said.

“We can get out there and say be careful of this, be careful of that but we want to know what they’re thinking, what’s important to them.”

Caring About Regional Safety is run by WAW Credit Union in conjunction with Victoria Police.