FOR many young Australians, visiting South-East Asia is easy, especially for those in the Northern Territory, however, statistics show it can be a dangerous place to visit.
After losing her sister, Nicole, to a motorcycle accident while on holidays in Taiwan, Kate Fitzsimons has spent the past three years visiting schools around Australia sharing a travel safety message.
During her presentation at St Joseph’s Catholic College Katherine last week, Ms Fitzsimons shared the grim statistics on Australian travel habits.
Despite double the amount of people travelling to New Zealand in 2015 compared to Taiwan, 146 Australian tourists died in Taiwan, while only eight died in New Zealand.
The statistics were the result of different safety rules, Ms Fitzsimons explained, adding that when on holidays, it was easy to be more complacent and make riskier decisions surrounding safety than people would make at home.
“The simplest way I can sum up my entire presentation is please do not let you or your friend become just another statistic,” she said.
The Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation aims to bring more young Australians home safely from their overseas travels.
During her hour-long presentation, Ms Fitzsimons spoke of her own experiences after losing her sister, but also shared the stories of other families who faced serious debt after their loved ones were injured travelling overseas.
“We can either play the victim and withdraw from life, or move forward in a way that honours my sister’s life and brings greater meaning to my own,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
“I am so incredibly proud to say through the support of my family, we were able to choose the latter by establishing the foundation using her legacy and our experience to help make a difference in the lives of others.”
As she finished her presentation, Ms Fitzsimons advised the Year 11 and 12 students to visit smarttraveller.gov.au to get the latest information, including laws, weather dangers and terror threats, before they booked a trip abroad.