“I joined Victoria Police in 1988 after completing year 12 at St Joseph’s College. It was all I wanted to do growing up and I’m very thankful for the opportunities policing has provided me”. It was a pleasure hearing from the humble, dedicated Inspector Brett Harman.
In his 30+ year policing career, he’s worked in a diverse range of roles including road policing, intelligence and covert support, strategic planning, general policing and emergency and major event management.
During his career Brett was seconded to Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission, to Vic Roads International providing technical expertise to a road safety capacity building program in Vietnam and also to the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in an advisory role assisting the Indonesian National Police.
Between 2017-19, Brett and his wife Rhonnie moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he took on the role of senior policing advisor for the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), a hosted program of the International Federation of Red Cross. The position saw him providing technical expertise to various governments and enforcement agencies in low-and-middle-income countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America supporting the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS). In 2019, the success of GRSP’s program saw the team awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its successful capacity building program.
“It’s horrendous that 1.35 million people globally die from road crashes each year. That equates to 3,700 deaths a day, or one person dying every 30 seconds from a road crash. It’s also utterly devastating to think that road crash death is the principal cause of death among 5 to 29 year old’s and that half of all road traffic deaths globally involve vulnerable road users: pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists”. The BIGRS aims to save 600,000 lives and prevent up to 22 million injuries in low- and middle-income countries between now and 2025.
This year Brett, and his wife, have relocated from Geelong to Malaysia as GRSP’s Asia Pacific Manager in a newly created position to head up a team of international experts responsible for overseeing road policing programs and road safety projects across the Asia Pacific Region.
“While countries have attempted to address key risk factors, such as speeding, driving under the influence, failing to wear motorcycle helmets, seat belts or child restraints and vehicle safety standards, enforcement in many areas remains weak”.
“In addition to the human suffering, road crashes are an enormous burden on a country’s economy, estimated to be between of 3-5% of a country’s GDP. It’s a significant problem that sadly much of the world doesn’t really appreciate or understand. It affects many layers of society, this is particularly so in countries who don’t have either the public health or welfare systems in place like we have in Australia or in other high income countries”.
“I’m proud and humbled to be working alongside a team of international road safety experts and I’m grateful for what I have learnt in my 30 years in Victoria Police and I am keen to share this knowledge in those countries who have the greatest need.”
Photo: Geneva, Switzerland 2019 at the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration meeting.