Youthsafe started out in 1982 as the ‘Awareness and Prevention Program’. It came about because of the passionate commitment of Assoc Prof John Yeo, a well known spinal cord injury specialist. The program was a leader in the field when first established and maintained popularity for over 16 years with wheelchair presenters visiting NSW schools using their own stories to illustrate messages about spinal cord injury and its prevention.
Demands for a broader youth injury prevention role brought about a substantial change in direction and ultimately led to the establishment of the Youthsafe program in 2000. Also new research findings in 2000 resulted in considerable revamping of the schools based presenter program which complemented the range of youth injury prevention strategies being taken up by Youthsafe.