Think Before – A Student Safety Initiative is a social media-driven campaign designed to improve situational awareness among international students in Australia.
It represents a new way of communicating personal safety information via an animated video clip and text message delivered through media with which students spend most of their time: social networking, You Tube and other video sharing sites, and SMS. This approach recognises that international students are highly competent users of technology and are more likely to respond to information conveyed by these means than via traditional media. Traditional forms of communication to warn students to be aware of their surroundings have had limited success so Victoria Police and key stakeholders elected to try a new digital approach.
The Think Before animation portrays ‘George’, a fictional character designed to resonate with international students in Australia. The animation is based on seven key personal safety messages endorsed by the police.
In the 60 second clip we see George encounter a series of incidents in which his attention is anywhere but where it should be. Listening to his iPod, he walks alone down a dark alley, waits for half an hour on a deserted platform, rides in an empty train carriage while using his laptop (and still wearing his iPod!), and is followed out of the station by two thugs. Along the way, with nothing more than luck on his side, George avoids becoming a victim of crime. At the end of the clip, George’s efforts to impress two girls are thwarted when he drops his kebab filling on his lap, prompting the campaign tagline: ‘Feeling lucky? Think Before you Travel.’
Many of the 650,000 overseas students in Australia are not accustomed to the danger signs in our urbanised society and some have been placing themselves in high risk situations. Think Before is one of many safety awareness initiatives authored and promoted by police across all states and territories in Australia to help improve the safety of international students. Stakeholders from a wide variety of agencies including Victoria Police, ISANA, Australia Network, government, education and industry have contributed both funds and in-kind services to support it.
Visit thinkbefore.com for more information and safety tips!
Download the animation on your phone at m.thinkbefore.com