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Burpengary student’s ‘Don’t be a Dummy’ campaign wins top honours

A Burpengary student’s ‘Don’t be a Dummy’ campaign has won top honours at the Queensland Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge.

Pitching to a panel of industry experts, 19-year-old media and communications student Christina Simonoski and her teammates took out first place for their idea encouraging young Queenslanders to keep safety front of mind when purchasing their first car.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced the winning team’s concept today and said the idea would now be developed into a fully-fledged safety campaign to be launched during Queensland Road Safety Week in August.

“We asked participants of our fourth annual Co-Lab challenge to come up with an online campaign idea to help us get young Queenslanders into the safest car for their budget,” Mr Bailey said.

"I'd like to congratulate Christina Simonoski, Danielle Emmerich, Luke Middleton and Madison Brittain for their witty online campaign idea that emphasises you can take a car for a test drive, but you can’t take it for a test crash.

"Their 'Don't be a Dummy' campaign calls on young drivers to make smarter vehicle choices by likening themselves to a crash test dummy and seriously consider if the car they are looking to buy will protect them in a crash.”

Mr Bailey said each member of the winning team would receive $1500 prize money and work alongside the Department of Transport and Main Roads and a creative agency to bring their campaign to life.

Christina Simonoski said the campaign is important because young drivers buying their first car as a teenager or their next car in their early twenties need to know what they’re getting into, literally.

“What drew me to apply to Co-Lab was the experience to create a real pitch and the opportunity to make a real-life road safety advertisement that communicates an important public message,” Ms Simonoski said.

Mr Bailey said 16 innovative ideas were pitched to the Co-Lab judging panel and he commended all participants for their creativity and commitment to road safety.

“Some great insights were shared during Co-Lab, with many groups admitting during their pitches that safety wasn’t at the top of their car shopping list before the challenge,” he said.

“I’m pleased our participants have changed the way they think about vehicle safety and will share the lessons they've learned through the Co-Lab process to encourage their families and friends to buy safer cars.”

Mr Bailey said previous Co-Lab campaigns had successfully engaged young Queenslanders.

“The results from our three previous Co-Lab campaigns - Settle Down Stallion, Chin Up and Road to Zero, have been fantastic, reaching more than 12 million people and demonstrating that ideas created by young people for young people can influence behaviour change.”

The Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge was one of several road safety initiatives announced by the Palaszczuk Government at the Safer Roads, Safer Queensland forum in 2015.

For more information on Co-Lab Youth Road Safety Challenge and past Co-Lab campaigns visit


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