Meet Graham

Meet Graham

The only person designed to survive on our roads
As much as we like to think we’re invincible, we’re not. But what if we were to change? What if our bodies were built to survive a low impact crash? What might we look like? The result of these questions is Graham, a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are.

Visit the Meet Graham website

As much as we like to think we’re invincible, we’re not. The human body doesn’t have the physiology to absorb the energy when things go wrong in a crash. In fact, the impact forces of just 30km/h are enough to be fatal – such as striking a pedestrian or a side-on collision with a tree.

Meet Graham. To survive on our roads, you’d need to look something like him. Graham is the TAC’s latest road safety project, highlighting how vulnerable the human body is to the forces involved in transport accidents. The TAC collaborated with leading trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield, crash investigator expert David Logan and world-renowned artist Patricia Piccinini, to produce Graham – a lifelike, interactive sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability.

Although our bodies will never look like Graham’s, there’s a safe system in place that can help protect us in much the same way:

Graham highlights the changes we need to make to protect ourselves from our own mistakes on the road. At the centre of this system is the belief that human health is more important than anything else, he is the embodiment of the Towards Zero vision.

When visiting Graham, visitors will have access to the latest immersive augmented reality technology, to look beneath Graham’s skin and better understand how his unique features would work to cushion him from serious injury in a crash. You can meet Graham in person or online at
YouTube Version Show video transcript

The truth is that cars have evolved
a lot faster than we have.

Our bodies are just not equipped
to handle the forces

in common crash scenarios.

I'm Dr David Logan.

I'm a Senior Research Fellow

at the Monash University
Accident Research Centre.

My name's Christian Kenfield.

I'm a trauma surgeon here
at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

My name Patricia Piccinini
and I'm an artist.

On a nearly daily basis, I see the
effects of motor vehicle accidents,

both passengers, drivers,

and, of course, the pedestrians
that are involved in these accidents.

In the modern world we're subjecting
our bodies to much higher speeds

and the body just doesn't have
the physiology to absorb the energy

when things go wrong.

The dangers at even low speeds such
as 25, 30, 25km/h is quite great.

So if we were to try to design
the body, if we were able to do that,

in a way that would afford
more protection...

It's a difficult question. It's not
something that we think about often.

What excites me about this project is
its relevance to our community.

I get to collaborate
with really interesting people

and that's really energising.

I really feel as though it's possibly
to make a difference in road safety.

We really work hard on developing
evidence-based research.

In 50% of crashes,
the car doesn't have time to break.

PATRICIA: So what happens
to the body?

Does it go under or over?

For the higher cars,
like four-wheel drives,

instead of going over the top
of the bonnet,

if they're high enough,
they'll catch you

and they'll drag you underneath

The most significant part of the body
for injury is the head.

And so as the head stops, the brain
actually keeps moving forwards,

smashing against
the front part of the skull,

and then bouncing backwards

and getting an injury
on the back of the head as well.

And we just don't appreciate when
we're talking about it

the forces in a car accident,
but they're incredible.

The strongest man cannot hold himself
from going forwards in a car accident

because the forces are so great.

A crash is about managing energy,

so when we're moving along the road,
we have energy.

When we suddenly stop the car
because we're in a crash,

that energy has to be absorbed
by the car and by the driver.

It would be great
if we had more protection.

We want to stop over time.

What we need to be thinking
is airbag rather than armour.

It's sad that we need to think about
changing our body

just so that we can survive
a motor vehicle crash.

this is a challenge to make it work,

that it's not just a museum piece.

It can be the vehicle
for a very important idea.

Visit Graham

DateLocation Opening Times
Jul 21 - Aug 08State Library of Victoria Melbourne, Victoria
  328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Monday - Thursday
10AM - 9PM

Friday - Sunday
10AM - 6PM
Aug 11 - Sep 14Geelong Gallery Geelong, Victoria
  Little Malop Steet, Geelong VIC 3220 Monday - Sunday
10AM - 5PM
Sep 17 - Oct 2Mildura Arts CentreMildura, Victoria
  199 Cureton Ave, Mildura VIC 3500 Monday - Sunday
10AM - 5PM
Oct - 05 - Oct 30Bendigo GalleryBendigo, Victoria
  42 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550 Monday - Sunday
10AM - 5PM
Nov 02 - Nov 24Ballarat GalleryBallarat, Victoria
  40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat VIC 3250 Monday - Sunday
10AM - 5PM
Nov 27 - Dec 15Latrobe Regional GalleryMorwell, Victoria
  138 Commercial Road, Morwell VIC 3840 Monday - Thursday
10AM - 5PM

Saturday - Sunday
11AM - 4PM
COMING SOONShepparton, VictoriaShepparton, Victoria