About the Jason Rich Foundation

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Tracey Rich’s letter to all

My name is Tracey Rich. Jason was my eldest son and he was killed in his car while driving to work.
Jason wasn’t speeding. He drove a totally roadworthy car, but due to lack of experience he was unable to control his car in very poor weather conditions. The consequence of Jason’s death to Wayne (Jason’s dad), Alex (Jason’s brother) and myself has been the most horrific thing that any parent or brother has to go through.

First the knock on the door from the police. Then you have to tell the other parent and son. Then we had to identify his broken body and confirm that it was indeed our beloved son and brother. The pain is unimaginable.

As I write this, it is nearly 4 years since we lost Jason and there is not a day goes by that I don’t cry. I watch a wedding on TV and remember that it will never happen for Jason. I see a new born baby and know that will never happen. When I drive in the pouring rain, I think of how Jason must have been feeling at the time of his accident. Every day is a reminder of what has been taken from us. It wasn’t Jason’s fault he was killed. It wasn’t his car’s fault he was killed. It was a tragic accident which may have been prevented if he had done a defensive driving course.

I hope you never have to use the skills you’ll learn through this course, but if you are in a situation that requires those skills and it saves someone’s life, then Jason’s death may have done something very positive for you and your loved ones.

Tracey

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WHO WAS JASON RICH ?

Jason Rich was a happy-go-lucky, fun loving young man. He grew up in Yeppoon with his parents, Tracey and Wayne, and his brother Alex. Jason spent his early years at Yeppoon State Primary School and attended St Brendan’s College for his secondary education

Jason’s Pastoral Care teacher, Mark Bunting, said, “I was very fortunate to have Jason in my pastoral care group at Brendan’s. He was a loveable character. He had that personality who everyone loved. A bit cheeky, rebellious at times but was always prepared to help out those in need. His infectious smile and personality made him very popular with the entire group. He was a good leader and especially helpful to the younger boys in the group.”

After school, Jason took up an apprenticeship at Ergon Energy, becoming a fully qualified Electrician in 2008. At age 20, being very successful, he bought his first house and had a bright future in front of him. On the 1st of December 2009, Jason celebrated his 21st birthday but was planning to have his big party after a scheduled operation in January. Sadly, he never got to have this party. Instead, we celebrate his life every day by creating an immeasurable difference in the world, ensuring his legacy lives on for generations to come.

What do we do?

The foundation holds different events throughout the year raising money to fund year 12 students to attend a one-day defensive driving course with Safe Driver Training (SDT). Each course costs the foundation $200 per student and to date 1430 students from high schools throughout the Capricorn region have had the great opportunity to attend. The success of the foundation is attributed to the generosity of the community providing sponsorship, donations and support in attending local fundraising events. We thank everyone for supporting the Jason Rich Foundation, making our roads safer every day.

Check out our JRF fundraising events for this year.

Meet the Committee

Our volunteer Executive Committee consists of:

The McLuskie’s

Linda, Gavin, Damien and Jacob became neighbours to the Rich’s when Jason and Jacob were in Year 5 at Yeppoon State School.

Needless to say, we were all rocked by Jason’s death. When Jacob came up with the idea of putting 1 million young people through driver training by 2070, we were initially rather sceptical.

How could we possibly do this? Should we make our goal a little more realistic? Then Linda was reminded of one of Nelson Mandela’s quotes, a man who changed the world for many. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

So, our family will continue to work towards our goal because we believe each of us must follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi who said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Safe roads need safe drivers and we will do what we can to bring about this change.

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