Bond students hit the headlines recently when they staged a mock car crash at Lindisfarne Anglican School in Terranora to demonstrate the dangers of drink driving.
As a service-learning project assigned for their Negotiation class, a small team of Bond Business students set up a graphic scenario in the Lindisfarne school grounds involving four bloodied young victims being treated and removed from a car wreck: One was thrown through the windshield, two were unconscious inside the car and another lay beside the car weeping.
One by one, police, fire and ambulance crews arrived at the scene to demonstrate how they would deal with this situation in real life.
Around 200 students from Years 10, 11 and 12 watched from the sidelines in stony silence for more than 40 minutes as the emergency crews removed the two ‘dead’ passengers from the wreckage, tended to the ‘injured’ girl and escorted the ‘intoxicated’ male driver to a police car.
Some of the Lindisfarne students were visibly distressed, with one passing out and others shedding tears as the drink driving message hit home.
“You could see the reaction on the kids’ faces; everyone was shocked,” said one Year 12 student.
“Because it was so realistic, you could really think about it happening to you,” said another.
The entire exercise was organised and executed by seven Negotiation students from Bond’s School of Business. For many of the Bond group members, the drink driving scenario struck a particularly personal chord, with one of them participating in a mock scenario like this back in the United States, two of them having lost family members and friends in drink driving accidents and another having been personally involved in a car crash.
“Drink driving is recognised as a serious issue on our roads but most forms of advertising have been shown to be largely ineffective, particularly with the younger population,” said group spokesperson, Thomas Campeanu.
“Through our discussions with the Lindisfarne students during and after the demonstration, we learned that it has had a marked impact on these young people, many of whom are driving or learning to drive.
“We believe that if our efforts have helped to prevent even one person from drink driving in the future, the weeks of negotiation, preparation and time given freely by nearly 25 people was entirely worthwhile.”
The group’s supervising professor, service learning specialist Dr. Amy Kenworthy-U’Ren says this is a great example of how impactful service learning projects can be if executed well.
“The Bond students gained invaluable experience negotiating with the school principal, students and parents, as well as the fire, police and ambulance emergency crews as well as local businesses to support this event,” she said.
“They also sourced a wrecked car that had been involved in a drink driving accident and arranged for it to be towed to the site free of charge; they engaged a professional team of make-up artists to create a gruesomely realistic scene and they organised for a local film-maker to record the entire event and produce a DVD of the simulation that will be used in future police drink driving awareness programs.”
“The object of service-learning is to engage students in community projects through their university subjects - the students' work is intimately tied to what they are learning in the classroom such that their service experiences allow them to make connections between theory and real-world practice. An additional goal of these projects is to raise the students' civic and social awareness of their roles as valuable and contributory members of our communities.”
“This particular project certainly met all the criteria … on a grand scale.”
Other service learning projects recently carried out by Bond Business students include a Coast-wide book drive for Paradise Kids 4 Africa which succeeded in collecting over 6000 books for schools and libraries in Sierra Leone; and a presentation on Negotiating Skills delivered by Bond students to local high schools.