Launch News

Blue Datto Foundation Limited was officially launched on 6 March 2015 by The Hon. Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services. We were so proud of the way it turned out. We were on Channel 9 News (thanks to Dimity Clancy for a wonderful story), in the SMH on Saturday 7 March and a number of other online publications including NRMA and interviewed on radio.

It was a great start to the foundation with an impressive speaker list including: our MC Christopher Brown AM (Blue Datto Patron); Liz Ellis AM Ambassador for Blue Datto; Betty Klimenko as Patron for Blue Datto; Scott Weber, President of the NSW Police Association; Coral Taylor, Director of NRMA; Kerry Chikarovski, former NSW Opposition Leader; Kevin Jones, Principal of Bede Polding College; Greg Whitby (Director of Schools, Diocese of Parramatta), and of course the representatives for Blue Datto Foundation Lauren Northen and Grace Vassallo. Also in attendance were NSW Minister for Finance The Hon. Dominic Perrottet; The Hon. Ray Williams, Hawkesbury Mayor Clr Kim Ford; Penrith Mayor Cr Ross Fowler; The Hills Shire Council – Clr Mark Taylor on behalf of the Mayor and many others.

Why we started Blue Datto: Statistics show that nearly one driver under twenty years old dies and sixty are injured on NSW roads each week. This needs to change. Please support us by Donating and becoming a Friend of Blue Datto.

NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, The Hon. Stuart Ayres, said,“While deaths on NSW roads are falling overall, young drivers are still over-represented in the number of road fatalities. Twenty-one percent of people involved in fatal crashes in 2013 were aged 17-25 years, despite this age group accounting for just 14 percent of licence holders – the NSW Government is determined to change that.”

Also in attendance at the launch was President of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber who has commended the Blue Datto Foundation, “As police officers we see the carnage and horrible waste of young lives sometimes under horrific crash circumstances.

“The impact on families, entire communities and all first responders is truly devastating and long-lasting. Any road safety initiative that keeps young people safe on our roads has our support. Education is vital in preventing more deaths and injury to younger drivers and all road users.”

Liz Ellis, Ambassador for the Blue Datto Foundation, said the Blue Datto Foundation will help schools deliver a behavioural road safety program for Year 10 students in NSW, while a complementary program will be available for parents.

“Road accidents don’t just cost these young people their lives, but the emotional and monetary cost to families, emergency services and the wider community is significant. Access Economics estimate that medical, social support, loss of productivity, emergency services and other costs following an accident involving young people to be well in excess of $1 billion per year. The program highlights that every person in the car has a role to play – the driver, their driving teacher and the passengers,” Ms Ellis said.

National Roads & Motorists’ Association Local Director, Coral Taylor who will be attending the launch welcomed the important work of the Blue Datto Foundation, “The NRMA has been working within schools for years to teach young people the importance of road safety and we know how important the work of the Blue Datto Foundation will be to keeping young drivers safe”.

“The Vassallo family have shown great strength to embark on this crucial work and we commend the Police Association of NSW for supporting this cause. Ultimately, it will help young people and their families better understand the risks that come with driving,” Ms Taylor said.

Thank you to our sponsors, launch attendees and the community for the support you have shown to Blue Datto Foundation.

Yours in Keeping Safe
Erin Vassallo CEO & Colleen Vassallo GM
(Co-Founders of Blue Datto Foundation Ltd)