A prominent Blue Mountains road safety campaigner has been honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2022 Australia Day Awards.
Peter Frazer of Springwood receives the accolade for service to the advancement of road safety, both nationally and internationally. He is the founder and president of the Safer Australian Roads And Highways (SARAH) Group, which advocates for better roads, driver behaviour and traffic safety, established after the tragic death of his daughter Sarah in a road accident in 2012.
"It's a real mixed blessing," he said. "I'm so proud to receive the OAM, but at the same time, I was brought into this space, the road safety work I've done for 10 years, because Sarah was killed. These days we run things like National Road Safety Week, our awards, and international work, but it's always something I wish I had no knowledge of and I wish I wasn't involved in. But I'm really proud we've been able to make a difference."
The OAM is the latest honour among many Mr Frazer has received over the years. Other awards include Blue Mountains Citizen of the Year in 2013, Australasian College of Road Safety Fellowship Award in 2021 and Volunteer of the Year from Third Sector Awards in 2019. He was also nominated for Australian of the Year (Local Hero Category) in 2019 and 2020. This new one, however, trumps the bunch.
"This national recognition is so moving, and I feel so honoured and privileged. It really supersedes everything I've done previously."
Another accolade was a Churchill Fellowship, which he received in 2020, to travel overseas to research road safety in other countries. His plans have naturally been curtailed by COVID-19, but he still plans to visit New York in June to attend a "high-level ministerial meeting" addressing road safety.
Mr Frazer's attendance at the event reflects the SARAH Group's increasing international reach: he also recently delivered a broadcast for the World Health Organisation (WHO) via video conference.
Closer to home, Mr Frazer has a productive bipartisan relationship with politicians at all levels. Indeed, Mr Frazer teamed up with former Liberal mayor Daniel Myles on an independent ticket for the recent council elections, and he enjoys a fruitful relationship with Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.
Asked what his proudest achievements have been, Mr Frazer cites a petition SARAH instigated upon the group's launch to ensure roads were built with safety in mind.
"The second part of that petition was to ensure that people slow down and give space to our emergency services, roadside assistance and truck drivers. A couple of years ago that became law in NSW, called Sarah's Rule. We're incredibly proud."