Augusta Zadow Award winners revealed for 2020

Thursday, 15 October, 2020

Augusta Zadow Award winners revealed for 2020

The 2020 Augusta Zadow Awards have granted $25,000 to two projects, to improve workplace health and safety for young people. The two projects that received grants will be testing the effectiveness of VR-based training for forklift operation and if it can be applied in a practical workplace setting; and an initiative to engage with high school students in co-designing workshops in work health safety to address risks faced by young people. The annual awards were presented by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, on 12 October 2020.

SafeWork SA awards grants annually to projects that will improve the work health and safety of working women and young people, to commemorate Augusta Zadow, an advocate for women’s rights in the workplace. The grants are awarded to projects that address a work health and safety issue faced by women and young people at work, or seek to improve health and safety for women and young people at work through research and education.

Martyn Campbell, Executive Director of SafeWork SA, congratulated the initiatives that received this year’s grants, describing them as positive steps forward to provide training and guidance to reduce the number of work-related incidents involving young people.

“It is an honour to continue the legacy of Augusta Zadow and fund projects that provide outcome-based solutions to improve the health and safety for young people and women in the workplace. While we have made great strides forward since the time of Augusta Zadow, the recent workplace fatalities over the last few weeks in South Australia remind us that we still have a lot more than we can do to improve,” Campbell said.

The 2020 Augusta Zadow Award recipients include Dr Seungjun Ahn and Dr Ancret Szpak from the University of South Australia for their project, ‘Testing the effectiveness of virtual reality-based training for forklift operation safety skills among young people’. The project, which strives to prove the effectiveness of VR training by demonstrating that the skills learnt in VR can be applied to a real-world situation, received a $14,500 grant. The project aims to test the effectiveness of VR-based training for forklift operation with a focus on young workers; both skills are relevant in mobile plant operation and provide a promising avenue for safety in industries where forklifts are used.

Larry Walker and Steve Sverchek from Youth Opportunities received a grant of $10,500 for their initiative, ‘Young people in the workforce: a pathway to safety and success’. The initiative seeks to address risks faced by young workers in the workplace, by upskilling the future workforce to have a greater understanding of work health and safety by delivering workshops developed in partnership with students. Youth Opportunities’ core program is run across South Australia and strives to enhance the understanding of approximately 300 students annually.

Campbell said this year’s award recipients honour Augusta Zadow’s legacy by positively impacting young worker’s safety at work and benefitting the wider community. “I congratulate both the winners and look forward to seeing their projects completed and helping to improve the work health and safety of working women and young workers,” Campbell said.

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