On 1 January, iRAP CEO Rob McInerney received the inaugural “Alex Award” established in recognition of one of Australia’s great road safety advocates, the late Senator Alex Gallacher and awarded to Rob for his exemplary leadership for safer roads in Australia and worldwide.
Peter Frazer, Award Founder and President of the SARAH Group, proudly announced the award on what would have been Alex’s birthday (1st January) and said it both celebrated Alex’s memory and honoured another great road safety leader in Rob.
See the virtual award presentation below:
About Alexander Gallacher
Alexander Gallacher was an Australian politician and Senator for South Australia from 2011 until his death in 2021. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party and a senior official in the Transport Workers Union before entering Parliament.
Alex dedicated his life to the interests of working people. He joined politics with 17 years of experience as a labourer and truck driver as well as a ramp services operator at Trans Australian Airlines. In his first speech in the Senate, he named his priorities as the transport sector, superannuation and road safety. He quoted US President Theodore Roosevelt who said far and away the best prize life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.
About the Award
With the support of Alex’s wife, family and great mate Senator Glenn Sterle, SARAH created the Alex Gallacher Road Safety Award (The Alex).
In presenting the inaugural award, Peter said, “Alex believed an effective road safety system must always take human fallibility into account. How we make road transport safe was Alex’s life’s focus. What better way to start this new year than to commemorate Senator Gallacher’s life by recognising another great unsung Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to saving lives and preventing serious injuries not just in Australia but across the globe.”
“The Award recognises Rob McInerney’s leadership of iRAP, a major international road safety charity, and his direct involvement in the development of the star rating model for roads that provides an objective measure of the safety of road infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants and is used to make our existing roads safer.
“Rob has led the development of the worldwide Star Ratings for Schools Programme and the AiRAP initiative that is using artificial intelligence and big data to rapidly scale road safety data worldwide.
“The iRAP Star Ratings have now been adopted as the global standard as part of the UN Global Road Safety Performance Targets and the UN Second Decade of Action Plan for Road Safety 2021 to 2030.
“In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, he’s also led work with the World Bank and other global partners to establish road safety bonds and other investment mechanisms to achieve financing of 3-star or better roads for all road users.
“In just the last 12 months, the organisation he leads has been responsible for improving safety outcomes having performed assessments in 107 countries and conducting star ratings on over 1.5 million kilometres of roads,” Peter said.
In receiving the award, Rob said, “It’s a real pleasure to be the inaugural recipient of The Alex. It’s an absolute honour and really in the spirit of Alex Gallacher’s contribution to public life. He made an incredible, passionate and open contribution. Where he listened, he heard the voices. He put that together with his own passion and he ultimately made a difference that saved so many lives.
“[An] incredibly important thing that I want to get across to people is that in his footsteps there are so many great Australians who are leading road safety not just in Australia but internationally. This award will continue to give us real passion and momentum to keep making a difference in the year ahead,” Rob said.