QAS helps spread anti-violence message

The Cleveland ambulance station went WACO on Saturday, July 7 with the Matthew Stanley Foundation to campaign together to stop youth violence. The Cleveland ambulances showed off the foundation's Walk Away, Chill Out (WACO) bumper stickers when they opened their doors to the public. Photos courtesy of the Cleveland Ambulance Station

The Cleveland ambulance station went WACO on Saturday, July 7 with the Matthew Stanley Foundation to campaign together to stop youth violence. The Cleveland ambulances showed off the foundation's Walk Away, Chill Out (WACO) bumper stickers when they opened their doors to the public. Photos courtesy of the Cleveland Ambulance Station

THE Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has joined the campaign to stop youth violence by
teaming up with the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

The foundation was established by Paul and Kay Stanley, following the death of their son
Matthew, 15, who was fatally bashed outside a party at Alexandra Hills in 2006.

More than 150 QAS vehicles in the Brisbane region will display Walk Away, Chill Out (WACO)
bumper stickers in support of thefoundation’s cause.

Brisbane Region assistant commissioner Gavin Trembath said the WACO campaign was
designed to get young people to stop and think before resorting to violence.

“We hope that by displaying these stickers the QAS can help spread awareness of the Matthew
Stanley Foundation and the important work they do,” Mr Trembath said.

“Paramedics see the effects of violence through their patients every day.

“It’s important that people realise violence is never the answer and can have devastating
The foundation’s Paul Stanley said having the stickers on prominent vehicles such as
ambulances would draw attention to the WACO message.

“If we can just make one kid stop and think it will all be worth it,” he said.

“We wanted to give the kids a cut off point before violence happened.

“We need to work together to try and reduce it.”

Chill out program gets boost across Redlands

As appears in the Bayside Bulletin, December 5 2011

THREE bus stops in Redlands are playing their part in keeping kids in the area safe and “chilled out” over the Christmas party season.
The large black-and-red posters, showing a clenched fist with the slogan Walk Away, Chill Out, were the brainchild of Paul Stanley.

Mr Stanley is the father of teenager Matthew, who died after being punched at a birthday party in Alexandra Hills in September 2006.

After his son’s death, Mr Stanley set up the Matthew Stanley Foundation in an effort to teach teenagers how to deal with conflict.

Mr Stanley said he wanted the posters to go at bus stops, where children and tourists would congregate, to get the message out to kids about the dangers of fighting.

He chose one of Matthew’s friends Jordan Rankin, who plays halfback for the Gold Coast Titans, to become a WACO ambassador.

“Jordan is 20 years old and was the second youngest person to play first-grade rugby league at the age of 16,” Mr Stanley said.

“He played touch against Matty and became a good friend.

“Jordy and I have worked closely over the past five years and he is a great role model for our youth,” Mr Stanley said.

Redland City Council had liked Mr Stanley’s idea so much, it bought the signs and got them made up at a Cleveland printers.

The signs were put up at the bus stop opposite Victoria Point State High School on Cleveland Redland Bay Road on Monday.

Another sign was erected in Middle Street, Cleveland, and the third sign is opposite the BP service station on Birkdale Road at Wellington Point.

“I reall wanted kids over the Christmas period to take notice of our WACO slogan, which stands for Walk Away Chill Out,” Mr Stanley said.

“Councillors loved the idea and some even said they would wear a t-shirt with our slogan on it to the last full council meeting of the year.

“Some of the councillors are also going to put our stickers on their cars, so the message is spread as far as possible,” Mr Stanley said.

The signs have been so popular, even Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson has expressed interest in visiting Redlands to check them out.

Courier Mail Supports Matthew Stanley Foundation


Instead of sending out Christmas Cards the Courier Mail donates the money they would spend on the christmas cards and this year they donated a whopping $15,000 to the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

A Big thank you to Brisbanes Courier Mail, we were blown away and lost for words to receive such a wonderful donation, thanks.

Matthew Stanley Foundation partners with Queensland police, communities and schools to lessen youth violence

HELP: News Queensland managing director Jerry Harris gives a donation to Paul Stanley of the Matthew Stanley Foundation. Picture: Peter Bull Source: The Courier-Mail

HELP: News Queensland managing director Jerry Harris gives a donation to Paul Stanley of the Matthew Stanley Foundation. Picture: Peter Bull Source: The Courier-Mail

Article link here

YOUTH violence is an issue affecting thousands of Australians and one Queensland organisation is campaigning solidly to change this.

The Matthew Stanley Foundation partners with the Queensland Police Service, communities and schools to promote anti-violence initiatives including Party Safe and the One Punch Can Kill campaign.

Yesterday, News Queensland, publisher of The Courier-Mail, donated $15,000 to the charity.

The One Punch Can Kill campaign was set up in 2007 after a recommendation of a youth violence task force, following the death of 15-year-old Matthew Stanley (pictured right) at a party in 2006.

His father Paul Stanley, the founder of the foundation, said the donation would ensure the continued education of young people about the repercussions of violence.

“I speak to 80 school and community groups per year, showing kids there are better ways to avoid a fight and we’ve seen a very good response,” he said.

The Walk Away and Chill Out campaign is now a state-wide initiative aimed at changing the culture of violence among young people.

“I went to 14 schools in four days in Mackay and we’re finding everyone is affected by violent behaviour. I’ve been suitably stunned at the reaction from some of the school kids. My son’s story moved many of the students to tears,” Mr Stanley said.

He said some of the more aggressive students became emotional and expressed remorse for their own behaviour.

News Queensland managing director Jerry Harris said the media company donated to selected charity every year but this one had particular relevance.

” With so much concern about youth violence, this one brings such a powerful message,” he said.

“The money we’d normally spend on Christmas cards we’re giving to the foundation to continue educating young people.”

Youths take lead in anti-violence campaign


QUEENSLAND Youth will take a greater role in 2010’s One Punch Can Kill program, with a chance to spread the non-violence message to their peers and help design the campaign.

In a competition held by state police and supported by the Matthew Stanley Foundation and Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group, young adults can submit sound clips, artworks or movies showing where the campaign should go.

Matthew Stanley Foundation director Paul Stanley of Alexandra Hills said adults might not understand the concepts introduced through the competition, meaning a generation gap needs bridging.

“Its a brave but strong concept that breaks the thinking that advertising campaigns are only made by advertising teams,’’ Mr Stanley said.  “With a program made by young people for young people, those like me will say we don’t like it but then again we don’t understand what goes through the mind of a 16 or 17-year-old. If we find it a bit weird, it might be the concept that truly works.’’

The competition idea was born from the campaign’s early days when younger Queenslanders considered the frowning-face logo too neat and created their own edgier design.

The Matthew Stanley Foundation was founded in 2006 after Paul’s son died following an assault.
Police Minister Neil Roberts hopes the competition will encourage youths to take an active role.
“We’re asking them how anti-violence messages should be conveyed to their own generation. They need to see that the consequences of violent behaviour are simply not worth the risk.’’
More info at the website

Re-enactment pushes anti-violence campaign


Bayside Bulletin
15 Feb, 2010 04:04 PM
THE tragic death of popular Thornlands teenager Matthew Stanley at a party in 2006 has been re-enacted in a film aimed at reinforcing the ”one punch can kill” anti-youth violence message.

Matthew died after being assaulted at a party in Alexandra Hills in September 2006.

This senseless act of violence robbed a family of a son and was the catalyst for the establishment of the Matthew Stanley Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of youth violence and prevent similar tragedies

Matthew’s father and anti-violence campaigner, Paul Stanley, said the film, One Punch Did Kill, would premiere later this month.

Produced by Ian MacAuslane, Neil Doorley and Kate Comino and made with the help of some of Matthew’s friends, it re-enacts the day he died.

Matthew’s friends Michael Fry, Kate Smithson, Joel Maher and Leigh Drennan said they found it “tough and emotionally charging”.

“I have known the Stanleys since I was very young and when Paul asked me to be in the film I wanted to support them,” Kate said.

“The day we were shooting was the anniversary of Matt’s death. We thought it would be hard as we are not actors, but we were re-enacting the same story that happened to us and it just felt very real.”

The film was funded by the East Leagues Club, as part of a $21,175 grant the Matthew Stanley Foundation received last year.

The story of how Matthew died is told by Paul regularly when he visits high schools across South East Queensland to raise awarenes of youth violence.

Paul said the re-enactment of the day Matthew died, was not the first idea for the film.

“The foundation discussed an educational DVD to show in schools to help tell the story.

“Originally the idea was to film one of the presentations and play that, but it wasn’t working ? you couldn’t really get the involvement of the younger people ? so we tried something else and got together with a couple of people and came up with a proposal,” Paul said.

“My wife’s brother, Ian MacAuslane, is a freelance cameraman based in Brisbane and I asked him if he would be interested in pointing the camera at us.

“The kids themselves did what they could possibly do, I wasn’t allowed in the ward when they were filming.

“I feel the film will be able to be used in schools and other places to promote the campaign. Emotionally, it’s hard getting up in front of a room full of young people and all at the age that Matty was, I feel that I am losing a bit of the emotion that needs to go into it,” Paul said.

The film is due to premiere for invited guests only at the East Leagues Club in Coorparoo on Tuesday, February 23.

“What we are trying to get across to people is it can and does happen to real people. Everybody can be affected by youth violence,” Paul said.

The film is expected to be available to schools later in the year.

Party Safe over Christmas

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Jimboomba Times December 4 2009
(Click image to see larger view)

Click here to view larger copy

Bowen State High School


The Foundation would like to acknowledge Emily MacDonald of the Bowen Independent for allowing the reproduction of this article published on 17 March, 2009.

Dad on a Crusade


For Mr Stanley, standing up in front of a crowd of youths brings back memories of Matthew. ‘‘It really is terrible,’’ he said. 

‘‘It’s very difficult and people say ‘how can you stand up and talk to people about this?’‘‘And I say ‘I want to come back six months or 12 months later and see all your faces, you’re not in the hospital or the cemetery or even in jail.  

‘‘Does it hurt, yes it does, I can see Matthew in every one of their faces when I look round.

‘‘I go to bed and wake up at 1 or 2am and think, what am I doing,’’ he said. 

‘‘But I don’t want to go to another funeral.’’ 

Mr Stanley said they had hundreds of youths supporting their foundation by fundraising and raising awareness in the community.
‘‘Matt was such a great kid and he did not deserve to be forgotten so his legacy is that hundreds of people are talking about this,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not going to bring him back but we want to make sure other kids and their families don’t have to go through this.’’

He said they had also started talking to younger grades to educate them earlier rather than trying to change their attitude later.
‘‘It’s not like talking about someone who this has happened to, it affects the kids because I’m a real person who has been through this.’’

To find out more about the foundation,

visit . a u / o r
h t t p : // for the
Crime Stoppers Youth Challenge

In the Name of the Son

The Foundation would like to acknowledge The Courier-Mail for allowing the reproduction of this article published on September 17, 2008

In the name of the son
By: Mike O’Connor

Paul Stanley lost his son but he’s determined other teens will be saved by his anti-violence crusade

PAUL Stanley remembers the last time his son ran out on to a touch football field.“ It was on the Friday night. It was dark because some of the lights were out. He scored at the far end of the field, running across from one side to the other. He must have hit each sideline about three times. No one could tell what he was going to do,” Stanley says.“The referee told me he’d never seen a touchdown scored like that. He said he could be an international. It was the greatest game I’d ever seen him play.”

Twenty-four hours later, Matthew, aged 15, was attacked by a drunken 16-year-old outside a party and killed with a single punch.
“Matthew was punched, he was knocked to the ground, and then they laid the boot into him. He had two fractures of the skull. One from hitting the ground, the other probably from a kick and then somebody knee-dropped him as well, crushing one of his lungs,” says his father, his voice breaking as tears cloud his eyes.
It’s two years next Tuesday since Matthew’s death. In the time that has passed since then, Paul Stanley and his wife Kay have dedicated a large part of their lives to the Matthew Stanley Foundation, attempting to educate youths to the dangers of violence.
“When I give talks to kids at school, I tell them that there’s teenage talk and then there’s the language of their parents. When their parents say: `Where are you going tonight?’ and `Whose party is it?’ it doesn’t mean they don’t trust you. “I tell them that the translation of their Mum and Dad asking: `Are you going out tomorrow night?’ is: `Please God, say no, because I’m terrified.’
“When they ask: `Whose place are you going to?’ they mean: `Is it going to be close enough so that I can get there in time if something happens?’“What they’re really saying is: `You walk out the door and you leave my protective umbrella. Please, just come home!’,” he says.

Stanley’s strength is palpable. He smiles and jokes as he makes us coffee in the Thornlands home in which his son was reared. The good-looking boy with the shock of blond hair smiles down on us from photos around the living room.
His father may be strong but his grief runs deep like a subterranean stream, surfacing when it can no longer be contained. “Matty, he was too good a boy. Shit! You just don’t forget!” he says, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. “I was down at his school, Redlands College, this morning and if there was one there would have been 70 kids walk up to me and say `Hi, Mr Stanley’.
“On the Sunday (after the assault), the kids started arriving at the hospital at daylight. They just walked into the hospital room. Very few of them left. The head of the intensive care unit said they’d never seen anything like it before.”
Matthew’s grave has become a shrine, visited by the students with whom he played and studied. “I go to his grave at least once a week and there’s always fresh flowers there,” he says. “There’s a touch football on the grave the kids have used as a message board to him.
“Occasionally, there’s a new message written on it but it’s getting a bit battered after two years.”
Stanley has refused to accept government funding for the foundation, relying instead on his own fundraising. If he accepts government money, he feels he will have to dance to its tune and be bound by political correctness and he has no intention of doing that.

He describes the death of his son as the catalyst for the foundation which preaches the message that actions have consequences, a crusade that now takes him statewide.
His talks to students are powered by images of the tragedy that engulfed him. “I show the kids a DVD of the Channel 9 news reports,” he says. “It shows Matthew’s blood on the roadway, it shows the coppers holding up the football jumper with Matthew’s blood all over it, the one that one of the kids took off and put Matty’s head on. It’s pretty much in-your-face. “The idea of it is so that I can say to young people: `What I am talking to you about actually did happen’. By showing the kids the reality of violence and death, I hope to get through the message: `Hold back on your punch’.”
He does not waste his time, he says, telling them not to drink. “I never tell them not to drink, not to take drugs, not to jump into bed with someone, because they’re not going to take any notice of me. What I do say is: `Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve got to look to the consequences of your actions. If you get pissed, your judgment will be different. You could do something that will haunt you for the rest of your life’.”
Stanley concedes that if he had not begun the foundation, his life may have been easier but says he is determined to continue it for as long as he has the health and strength to do so.
The sadness, however, is never far removed. “I walk down the street and one of his friends will walk out of a shop, look at me and start crying. “It’s not fair. But to be able to say that Matt hasn’t been forgotten, as so often happens, that’s important,” he says, pausing as his voice falters. “Matt,” he says, “he was a bloody top kid.”
His sorrow turns to anger when he speaks of a justice system which he believes served him and his wife poorly. “He pleaded guilty to manslaughter,” he says of his son’s killer. “He was sentenced to five years to be released after 2 1/2 years. My son’s life was worth 2 1/2 years. That’s disgraceful. “He gets out of jail at the beginning of next year at about the same time Matt would have been starting university. Can you tell me that’s justice?

“It stinks,” he says, silence filling the room. It’s all been said. There’s nothing left to say.