A family who lost their daughter in a tragic accident have started fundraising for awareness about accidents.
Two-year-old Georgia Grace Lawson died on the family farm just outside Wauchope a year ago.
Sunday marked the first of many painful anniversaries to come.
After community rallies and donations last year, Georgia's family pray they can help prevent another family from suffering a similar loss, and raise money kept in a trust fund, used for heightening awareness and prevention measures, and helping families who may suffer a similar event in the future.
Georgia’s father, Tom has had 3000 car mirror hangers made.
“I’m hoping the pink star will catch your eye as you look in the mirror before driving off, combining Georgia's photo in memory of our loss.
“Check before you drive to keep your kids alive, in a visual message,” he said.
The hangers will be available from Wauchope childcare facilities and the Gazette office until further advertised.
Driveway run-overs have, unfortunately, become an increasing cause of unintentional childhood death and injury.
More than one child is accidentally run over each week across Australia, and sadly the driver of the vehicle is usually a family member or friend.
A year ago, Georgia’s funeral was held at the family property on Beechwood Road, and she was laid to rest at Comboyne Cemetery.
As a mark of respect, Wauchope businesses placed pink stars in their shop windows, in memory of the beautiful little girl who lit up people’s lives.
This week, Georgia’s little friends at Riverbreeze Childcare Centre in Crosslands remembered her singing her favourite song, Twinkle, twinkle, little star, and releasing pink balloons into the sky.
Her parents, grandparents, and little brother, Lane, visited the fairy garden created in her memory at the childcare centre, where she enjoyed many happy times.
Now, her family are hoping that the mirror hangers in Georgia’s memory will help other children be safer.
Speaking publicly about the terrible accident for the first time, her father, Tom, expressed his family’s heart-felt gratitude for the huge kindness the people of Wauchope have shown them.
I accidentally run over my daughter and she passed away. As Georgia’s father, and the driver involved, I hate having to say it, it is hard and will haunt me forever.- Tom Lawson
“It was a glorious morning, full of sunshine and warmth of the summer to come, which, as Georgia’s father, I was looking forward to so much, lots of small camping trips and outdoor things were planned. She was an amazing, bubbly, outgoing child, showing an incredible amount of knowledge and maturity, and a love she shared for all.
“Sitting amongst tools on a greasy workbench, she said “I will fix it daddy”, as we sharpened a chainsaw. If only I knew they were some of the last words we would share.
“This glorious morning clouded over instantly when an accident occurred on our family property that feels so unfair, so wrong, without meaning, without answers. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learnt that it’s easier to cut to the point when explaining the accident. It helps me accept the reality a little more, helps deal with the facts, and the devastating, tragic result.
“I accidentally run over my daughter and she passed away. As Georgia’s father, and the driver involved, I hate having to say it, it is hard and will haunt me forever.
“But on the 25th July 2015, that’s exactly what happened. I accidentally run over my beautiful two-year-old daughter, Georgia Grace Lawson, which took her life away from me, and many others. We will love you forever.
“On behalf of Georgia’s family, I cannot express our appreciation for the endless generosity of the whole community and beyond - cards, floral tributes, cooking, groceries, vegetable trays, firewood, silage, fundraising events and numerous donations from individuals, businesses, equipment for the funeral.
“Loving time of many friends and family, just to be here for support when needed. The stars placed in the windows of businesses and houses truly touched our hearts and many others.
“A massive effort involving more donations of materials and labour in building Georgia’s hut on the farm’s river bank, overlooking an amazing setting for the ceremony that couldn't have been prepared better for my inspiring, colourful girl. Georgia's hut has become a special place now, having a fenced yard to keep cattle out, and little brother Lane in. The gardens are now also touched with gifts sent recently to brighten this sad anniversary.
“It was, and still is, just overwhelming. We thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our heavy hearts.”