SHOULDER TO SHOULDER event coordinator Kathryn Stevens with organisers; Jordan Bennett,  Danita Potter,  Kristy Frahm, and Michael Monk.
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER event coordinator Kathryn Stevens with organisers; Jordan Bennett, Danita Potter, Kristy Frahm, and Michael Monk. Madeline Grace

'Please, if you're on our roads drive carefully'

IN THE face of tragedy, South Burnett residents flocked to the local Commercial pub where they shared a few drinks and stood 'Shoulder to Shoulder' in support of those affected by the recent road fatalities.

Shoulder to Shoulder was created by a well-known community member, Kathryn Stevens.

The event was supported by Red Earth, BIEDO, Rural and Remote Mental Health, South Burnett Ministries, and the South Burnett Regional Council.

Regional leaders such as South Burnett Regional Council mayor Keith Campbell, deputy mayor Kathy Duff, and Nanango MP Deb Frecklington attended the event at the Commercial Hotel.

Ms Stevens said she was whole heartily grateful and touched by the community turnout.

"Basically it's a time for us to come together as a community and to show support for each other through these tough times," she said.

"It's been a tough few weeks for our community and if you weren't directly involved, I bet you know someone who was. That's just how small tight-knit communities work.

"I think it's really important to keep that conversation going and to check in with the community and make sure that we're all doing okay."

The crowd was made up of first responders, local businesses, council members, families and friends, and South Burnett locals.

"We also need to pull together and show support for the first responders in trying times like these," Ms Stevens said.

"We are all so grateful for and supportive of the police, the ambos, the firies, the SES, even the council members.

"Yes it's apart of their job, but still no one expects to see some of the horrific things they've seen and responded to in the fast few weeks here.

"Nobody finds it easy to cope with these horrific scenes and traumatic circumstances."

Ms Stevens said she was inspired to hold a community gathering after experiencing first-hand how everyone in the South Burnett was affected by the tragic fatalities on our roads.

"On Tuesday, following the Monday night crash and fatalities, I had this day where everyone I spoke to in the community had been affected by this in some way shape or form," she said.

"Whether they were married to one of the doctors, or related to a council worker, or close friends with policeman. I really felt that there was a need to pull together and provide some support and recognition for these first responders and everyone involved.

"It's going to be really challenging to bounce back from this, but life goes on and we will work through this together as a community."

Ms Stevens said she also hoped South Burnett locals would take more care on our roads.

"Hopefully we don't see any more fatal crashes on our roads any time soon, or ever," she said.

"The message I really hope people take away from this event is if you feel like you need help or extra support please do reach out. There's lots of great networks in the South Burnett that have been set up specifically to provide mental health support for community members in need.

"Please if you're on our roads drive carefully and safely. Please don't take any unnecessary risks. Don't create any more crashes or any more pain for our first responders to have to attend to. Please lets not lose any more lives on our roads."