Key state-based organisations came together in Canberra yesterday to forge a landmark national collective  to identify best-practice solutions designed to ‘STOP THE PUNCH’ and achieve long-lasting culture change across the Australian community.

 National spokesperson, Mr Brett Duncanson said the collective reflects a shared vision of policies, prevention strategies, programmes, key stakeholders and communication plans that are expected to guide efforts across multiple sectors in the fight against senseless violence.

“These attacks are not restricted to one State or Territory, and the groups have made the decision to form a strong, committed force to make real change across Australia,” Mr Duncanson said.

“To have the commitment from organisations working at the leading-edge of culture change to share their knowledge and support those working in local communities is a real step in the right direction to battling this social disease,” he said.

Organisations that gathered in Canberra for the initial meeting included:

  • Step Back Think (Vic)
  • Sammy D Foundation (SA)
  • Matthew Stanley Foundation (QLD)
  • Injury Control Council of WA (WA)
  • IF Foundation (WA)
  • Stop. One Punch Can Kill (Vic)
  • Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group

“The group was also joined by a number individual representatives who have had their lives impacted as a result of senseless violence, including Amee Meredith from the Northern Territory who tragically lost her husband in 2010, and 21-year old Chris Lee from NSW who himself was a survivor,” Mr Duncanson said.

“One outcome from yesterday’s meeting is the understanding that there are outstanding achievements happening in different parts of the country but until now there hasn’t been any way they can be shared with others when it comes to best-practice tactics on a national scale,” he said.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence is a social disease that affects every Australian family – whether that is a young person who has been assaulted, a family that has to live with the consequences, emergency service and healthcare workers that pick up the pieces, or the taxpayer that funds rehabilitation of victims or prosecution of offenders.”

“With a significant focus on primary prevention strategies, this epidemic requires genuine leadership and a collaborative approach nationally – and together we can STOP THE PUNCH.”