It was a genuine privilege for the Trust to partner with One Love Australia for the Kia Kaha concert on Saturday, 4 May 2019 at the Aurora Centre.

One Love Australia ran the concert and is an organisation that aims to facilitate and foster harmonious communities in Australia and abroad. We believe in grassroots movements that take a bottom-up approach to seek change in negative attitudes towards minorities and the disadvantaged.

One Love Australia Chief Impact Officer and Founder Ahmed Gamal Elshiekh, a Sudanese migrant to Australia, said the concert was an important opportunity for the community to come together across Australia and New Zealand so that we can start building a better future.

“This concert presents a strong opportunity to bring the Christchurch community together at a time when it’s needed most. Being able to partner and feature local charitable organisations like the Road Traffic Accident Trauma Charitable Trust is very much something at the core what One Love Australia is trying to achieve.”

The Trust currently hosts an annual Road Accident Remembrance Day to remember the people who tragically lost their lives on Canterbury roads and has also introduced the Canterbury Road Trauma Awards.

Anton Matthews (RTATCT Ambassador) and Sarah Dean, Founder were privileged to speak at the concert.

Kia Kaha Concert Speech : Sarah Dean

Sarah chooses not to speak often at public events. However, the Kia Kaha concert was one exception.

“I always believe in the significance of a powerful story and I would love to share one with you today. Four years ago, I attended my very first ANZAC memorial service with my father. I was so incredibly touched by its moving atmosphere.  But what touched me most was a young man in his late twenties, who was standing by himself crying, the tears continued to stream down his face. I began to wonder, who is this man?  What has made him cry? He impacted me so much that it was then I felt inspired to create as similar opportunity for those in our community deeply impacted by road trauma and something my once disheartened twenty year old self would have been privileged to attend. It was in that same year I founded New Zealand’s first Road Accident Remembrance Day.

Since 2011 our region has been struck with such unimagine loss,  earthquakes, fires, terrorist attacks, and spike of deaths on our roads. Although these traumatic events are normally unexpected and it is important to remember these series of events will not define us. You are simply no less. You are not alone. Your suffering is real and exists.

When you have been a traumatic event there inevitably some form of human suffering. So in the midst of our suffering how do we deal with a deep sense of grief and loss? One area I would like to talk to you about is connectedness. It is so vital for our wellbeing that we continue to engage and connect with our community.

I commend One Love Australia for organising this event.  It is events like this that build powerful platforms for our community to get together and engage in those courageous conversations.

When there is community there brings a sense of connectedness and hope. When there is hope there is love. When there is love we begin to feel truly accepted just as we are.  You are enough.

If you have been a victim of such significant trauma, I want to let you know that at times you may feel you find yourself in moments of deep suffering. You may even feel as though you have a deep sense of despair, a loss of sense or purpose or sense of self. Do not feel overwhelmed, I want to give my promise to you that this time will pass.

If someone reaches out to you, just like many people have to me. I encourage you to embrace and accept that person just as they are. They have reached out to you for a reason. Your intuition will always guide you on what to do. “