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A letter from Coombabah State High School

Hi Paul,

I just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for coming into our school and speaking to our students on Friday. Your message is just so important and I believe our students took that message on board. As someone wise once said, “You can’t change the world, but if you can change just one person, it was worth it”.

As a mum of three boys, I could never imagine the heartache your family has been through, but after speaking to other staff at our school and some of the students, we all agree that you, Kay and your youngest son are amazing – a true inspiration to everyone. The work that you do – turning a negative into a positive – is truly wonderful, and we thank you for that.

You mentioned that Matthew had wanted to be a teacher, and I truly believe he is doing just that, through you. What an amazing young man Matthew must have been. Through Matthew’s death, other young people are being educated about the fragility and importance of life. I know many of our students learnt a great deal on Friday.

Thank you also for taking the time to speak personally to some of the students, especially Graison. You have been able to reach him in a way that may other staff have been unable to do. I know last Friday has been a positive step for him.

Lea Hearne – 5/12/09
hello, i have been living in capalaba for 6 years and was also shocked to hear of matthew stanleys death even though i didnt know him.. my friend who is 32 just died in newcastle last weekend due to being king hit with one punch. it just saddens me to think that people still do this. my heart goes out to you and your family, and hope that maybe one day the violence stops.

Qendon Clibbon – 18/11/09
I just heard of your efforts. I am so proud to hear someone has taken up the gauntlet! Have you considered compiling a database of researched evidence with the number of times this kind of event has occurred. It is frequent and recurring! Just here in Maitland a kid was killed after he was “king hit” in the back of the head.

Violence needs to be addressed in our civil society – not just against women by men, but all forms of violence – most importantly the violence of Men against other men! As they are the ones who are setting the example to young men of what it is to “be a man” and violence and fighting is still stupidly tollerated in certain cirumstances – usually when its “man” verses “man”. This ingrained social attitude needs to be changed before any real gains will be made!

Perhaps State and Federal Governments might begin to make laws and increase penalties to enforce these laws? Instead of the pathetic “slap on the wrist”. I think it is worth further debate about increasing severe punishments, reporting and shaming? Perhaps when the punishment begins to fit the crime, the criminals and want to be criminals might consider the consequences of their dangerous behavior? It might make a selfish person think of the consequences they might suffer, even if they don’t care about the consequences of their actions when inflicted on to another.

From my experience, The justice system is a total farce in its current state and the crooks know it! The criminal is given more protection than the victims (primary and secondary) and they milk it for all its worth. It is absolutely ridiculous! I was attacked in a home invasion suffering “actual bodily harm” – which means I was beaten senseless but not enough to be considered “Grievous” by the reporting police officers. Which in its legal definition only considers the physical harm and does not consider the psychological or emotional damage that has been done. The perpetrator was given a one year good behavior bond. I was given Post traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts & an overwhelming sense of helplessness, uselessness and severe depression. The perpetrator was given a 1 year good behavior bond? How is this punishment a deterrent to him, his children or the many people he knows?

There also needs to be a base roots educational change in the values and ethics we teach children and allow to be the norm in our peaceful and civil society. We need more people on the ball to think about the messages we send to kids in their day to day lives. Especially the examples we allow significant adults to show them. Idiotic public broadcast shows like “the footy show” with messages that encourage violence on the sporting field with – “bring back the biff” need to be totally done away with and not tollerated as fun or good entertainment.

Kids need to learn and be encouraged to tolerate and to be respectful of all people and the opinions of others. Kids need to learn and be encouraged to control their anger and to express their anger and frustration in healthy ways. But we need a paradigm shift in societal attitudes before any of this will be possible.

Telisha Gardner – 17/11/09
Hello
Today Paul Stanley came to my school Morayfield high and expressed his feels and his hurt towards out year12 class, to make us aware of ourselves and others, i was overwhelmed how much you have done not only to make people aware of this horrible situation but to change the world of teenagers. My friend jasmine and myself walked up to Paul at the end of the presentation and gave him a hug, i whispered in his ear “you are doing a good thing”, im sooo sorry about what has happen to your son and i give my sincere apologise to you and your family, i know that it can never erase what happen let alone fix/ make you feel better for what has happened to Matthew but i do wanna say you touched my heart and i promise to never use violence in any form for now on, i also would love to take the blame from all teenager and our stupid behavior and apoligise i know it makes no difference but i’m sorry and don’t ever thing what yous are doing is never effecting anyone keep up the work, and i thank you, take care bless your family and RIP Matthew for he will always be alive by your love

Tracey Rondoletti – 2/11/09
Dear Paul,
My son is year 12 student at Ingham High School, he mentioned to me Paul, you where there telling your story
Of your son Matthew.  In some way Paul, in your talk you have touched some of the students there.  Jordan was Very quiet, and when he is quiet I no something has touched him.  In north Queensland, we are very worried
About the parties, and in general the youths.  Everything turns to violence with these youths, time has changed Not for the better.  I am very sad as a parent, that I never got to see you at the High school in Ingham, you may have been Able in someway to give us advice.  I have read your story on Matthew, and that so touching. And the photo’s You have of him.
I would Iike to say thank you Paul for time to come this far to speak our children in north Queensland.

Jackie Porter – 29/10/09
Hi there,
I was listening to 96.5 this morning and heard all about what happened to Matthew.  It has left quite a mark on our family.  I am always amazed at Gods timing.  My son Scott is about to turn 15 and he has been invited to his first party this weekend – for Halloween.  I have now made a rule – he must study your website first!  None of us know how many lives have been saved by your work through this foundation (maybe my son Scott’s).  I thank you.

Kym Amor – 27/10/09
I want to congratulate you Paul on the work you are doing and the impact that you are making with your presentations to students. Watching the Year 10 students in Mount Isa sit in silence and absorb your message was incredible. When I returned to work I heard stories from parents of students who had met you the previous day and they spoke of how deeply impacted their children were when they returned home. The message is definitely out there in the Mount Isa community.

As you were aware you moved me to tears as I recalled the impact on those in the Redland Community at the time of the tragedy. What you are doing is incredible and I hope Queensland becomes a safer place because of what you, your family and your foundation are doing.

Thank you and I wish you and your family well.

Peter Cowan – 27/10/09
Listened to Mt Isa speech by Paul at PCYC for school students. It was an inspirational speech with a touching message and I believe was extremely beneficial for the audience.

Cortney Cunningham – 27/10/09
I’m really sorry. When you come to Ayr State High School, I had tears in my eyes and i felt really sad. :(

Kristen Paterson – 24/10/09
Mr Stanley. My name is Kristen Paterson, I am in grade 12 at Columba Catholic College Charters Towers. Your presentation was truly touching. The strength and courage you showed was amazing. You had everyone including myself in tears throughout the entire presentation. After you left the tears continued and the prayers began. I am sure I can honestly say that every school you go to will forever hold Matthew and your family in their hearts, I know Columba definitely will. I believe the young girl who received her first kiss from Matthew can say her first kiss was with an amazing, talented and strong young man, your son. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. Thank you for an amazing experience and a eye opening presentation.

Shannon Dillon – 22/10/09
My name is Shannon Dillon and I am in Year 10 from Ayr State High School. I would just like to say that you touched the hearts of many at our high school.

Many of us go through high school thinking that we’re invincible and that such a tragedy could never happen to us. That such a thing could only mean we’re dreaming. The unfortunate thing is, it does happen, it is reality, and, unfortunately we live in a world now where people think that violence is a way to solve things. It has undoubtedly affected your life Paul, and your wife Kay and your son along with hundreds more who have known Matthew and the millions of people who have heard your story.

I admire your courage to turn such a tragic event into such a successful campaign against youth violence. I believe it is such an amazing testimony to your sons memory and life and I for one will never forget your story, your courage to move on after the tragic events that ended such a promising fulfilling successful life that your son was going to have and, your determination as a father to create community awareness.

As a teenager I have so much more to learn, so much more to experience and you have moved me and taught me so much about life. I am sure the students of Ayr State High School will adhere to your pleading message to think before we act. That one punch, can kill.

Thank-you so much!!! You have changed my life and I am compelled to help you and other people to create community awareness against youth violence.

Monika Webb – 22/10/09
i am a year 12 student at Ingham High, and i wanted to say thank you to Mr Stanley for talking to our school on Wednesday and i want to let you know how much of an impact you have made on my class mates. we are always going to parties and see and experience alot of alcohol fueled violence, but thanks to your touching recount of your sons tragic death, i believe you may have made a real difference to peoples mind set. it has not only scared the hell out of us girls, but you even got through to alot of the thick headed and stuborn boys. thank you for possibly saving someones life, i only wish that someone could have done the same for you son and this friends.

Meggan Loring – 22/10/09
Hey, I’m from Ayr State High School and I’m so sorry to hear about this tragedy =( I couldn’t stop crying. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sure Matthew would be very proud of his family.

Sharri Liebrecht – 22/10/09
I think that paul has alot of courage to get up infront of hundreds of students at all schools and express his feelings towards his sons death
That takes alot of courage!!!

Jill Clarke – 22/10/09
when paul stanly came to our skewl his speach was realy appealing it realy got to me it realy made me think about my actions so thanks you

Tanya Emmerton – 22/10/09
mathew stanleys dad came to my school today at ayr state high school an the story he told was like no other! it was so so so sad i had to cry an i im so sorry for mathews family an friends. im sure this story will go on forever cuz i no i will be telling alot of people

Lauren Berlin – 22/10/09
I am at a school, that you have just visited.
your story touched me.
I am only 14 and me and all my friends were in tears listening to your story about Mathew.
we wish we could all help.

Kimberley Lewty – 22/10/09
today paul came to our school, and told us about matthew, and we were all touched when we heard about his tragic accident. I feel deeply about your family loss, and no how sad you would be.

Susan Fay – 21/10/09
I would just like to thank you for the very informative and compassionate talk you gave to the students at Ingham State High School this afternoon.

I have absolutely no doubt that every student received your message, as they were so quiet and attentive when listening to you.  When we went back to class, the students in my class wanted to talk about the issue and to discuss their feelings and what they had learned from you.  Any discussion can only lead to your message being received by more and more people.

Thank you for being so brave and for turning your personal tragedy into a learning experience for others.  I wish you every future good health and happiness.

Hayley Leonardi – 21/10/09
Firstly may I say that Paul you are one of the bravest and most giving people I have the pleasure of knowing. I would like to thank you for coming to Innisfail and Tully to speak with students about the heartache of losing Matty. You are truely a special family and my heart goes out to you all.

Hannah Gumbleton – 20/10/09
i would just like to say THANK YOU so very much. i was so greatly touched when Paul Stanley came to my school of kirwan high and told us of his experience and how one punch can kill. it was a very touching subject. the talk you gave me and my year 8 peers will not be just wiped from MY memory i have decided to try and help get the message across to others like myself that “ONE PUNCH CAN KILL”. i have and now will always say NO to violence as it causes not only physical pain but emotional pain as well. so i would just like to say thank you once again and tell you that the message did come across to me. :)

Louise Saro – 17/10/09
I just wanted to say that when you came and spoke to us at Innisfail State High School I really felt that this opened my eyes and also my pier’s eyes to how dangerous those situations can be. Thank you so much for taking time to speak to us because I think it will help a lot of teens to understand the consequences of one idiotic action or an action while under the influence of alcohol. Good luck for the future and thank you.

Ashley Mulcahy – 13/10/09
You came to our school today, Forest Lake State High School, and i would just like to thank you for sharing your story with us. It opened my eyes to the dangers of today’s society and has made me think about my actions towards others. I truly respect you for what you do week in week out. It takes a strong person to do what you do. So thank you again. May you continue to inspire the young population of Australia and i wish you the best of luck.
Sophie De With – 11/10/09

i hope its ok that i used matthew’s story for my school assignment on teen violence. Gathering information has been really hard going through websites that only brings depression. But this website has not, i opened this site thinking of the worst but the hair on my neck was sticking up and a shiver went through my body it was sad at first because of your loss and how of course i would cope. But it brought happiness that you are saving lives with your foundation. i just would like to say thankyou. And to Matthew rest in peace.
Adriana Boisen – 7/10/09

Mr Stanley visited my school, Good Counsel College yesterday, and I am just writing to you to say what a special and strong man Mr Stanley is. I was touched by the way you could open up about your sons life, and I think every one gets so affected by it because we all know someone like Matty. Just remember God always takes the best people from this world, to be one of his angels and remember Matty is always with you.
Thank you so much.
Chloe Moorcroft – 6/10/09

This is a truly horrible thing to have happened. Paul came and talked to my school, and really opened my eyes to violence. He was so strong to listen to, and his message is worth listening to. No one needs to go through the pain he and his family have endured.
Teneal Phillips – 6/10/09

dear mr stanley,
Hi my name is teneal phillips and today you visited my school to talk about matthew. im really sorry for your loss, matthew really does sound like an awsome person. I am currently at the age of 15 and couldnt imagine being in that situation. i think what you are doing is really good by going to schools and talking to the students about what can happen.
best of luck in the future (:
Kimberley Pascoe – 6/10/09

what you are doing is a great thing and i hope that people kids will learn from this and try to stop the violence.

i pray that one day you will forgive the kid that killed your son although it will be hard but forgives our sins we should forgive others who have done things to us. i have learned to forgive my uncle who killed his family and himself it is hard but you will feel better after it. life is hard but God never gives us hurdles we cannot handle.
godbless
Tianna Tawhai – 16/9/09
Haii Just Paying My Respects To the Family Im Very Sorry For Tha Loss I know Its Been a While But He Will Always Be in Our Hearts . Im a Good Friend of Nicks And Proud of Him For Staying Strong. Xox

Paige O’Flaherty – 14/9/09
I have not heard of Matty’s story until today when Paul spoke at the Griffith University ‘Skool Project’ 2009 just over an hour ago.

I have been touched greatly by Matthew’s story, I was in tears the entire time. What happened is so relevant to today’s society where for many teens, violence is the answer. I know that I will take with me everything that I have learnt today, Matthew has lived on, he will never be forgotten.

I am honoured to have witnessed Paul’s courage and I can see that Paul is a very strong person with a good heart. His courage and braveness to speak like he did, with such care, compassion, sincerity and concern for all the young people around him was amazing. I will always remember him, I have so much respect for Paul and what he does.

I will wear the blue armband with pride and remembrance of Matthew. I did not know Matthew but from what I can see he was an outstanding individual and his story will save thousands of lives.

Thank you to everyone involved in the Matthew Stanley Foundation. What you do, what you have done is so special. Words cannot describe the value of the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

Matthew Stanley – 18
by Cleo Gerdes – Gin Gin State High School – 13/9/09

Living, Partying, Fun,
What 18 could’ve been.
Drinking, Laughing, Joy,
What 18 should’ve been.

There are certain things that happen,
When your oldest turns 18.
You prepare for their moving,
As they go to chase their dream.

A tear is supposed to be shed,
As they walk out your door.
Then when they fade into the distance,
You party and party some more.

When Matthew left it was different,
As a tear was not shed.
Instead they cried a million tears,
And instead of a party, they bled.

For Matthew there’ll be no 18th,
And no extended life to follow.
No gran-kids for his parents,
No nieces or nephew for his bro.

I feel for the life that never was,
As it could have been magical.
The days that used to be celebrated,
Have now become untouchable.

Pal Stanley may not know,
The full effect that he has had.
But I’ll never forget Matthew,
Or the message from his dad.

A simple little message,
‘On punch can kill’.
That although Matthew’s gone,
Lives in many hearts still.

Andalin Obi – 10/9/09
i believe in grieving, but i do not believe in revenge..hi my name is andalin, and today matthew stanley’s father came to my school(Windaroo Valley sate High School) to tell of about your family tragedy.

It is devastating to hear that such thing happened to a person who had big dreams for the future…i myself had also had someone from my family die, my little brother, it was as tragic but a little different, so i cam relate. My brother waz only a day away from his first birthday before a terrible cold took him. i was only little but i understood what was going on. i didn’t even get to sing happy birthday to him. My mother alwayz wanted a son, she got one but only got to know him a while.

I am soo sorry about what happened and i do believe there needs to be something done about youth violence. i believe your son would have achieved great in the matter of sports.

P.s. Happy birthday to his lil bro, hope you have a good one
p.s.s when you asked the question about having no alcohol at the party and without violence, i was the only person that put my hand up..that was me.

it’s time to stop and think he’s with our heavenly Lord above

R.I.Paradise MATTHEW STANLEY

Cejay Wilson – 7/9/09
Well I really didn’t know Matthew but I do know his younger brother and his mum and dad they are really awesome people. And im sorry that they had to lose matthew but.. yeah.. i really don’t know what to put here …

Well I would want to thank Paul for coming to our School and talking to us about matt and how its hard and everything.

But to be honest he might not be here in person he’s here in our heart and in the memories of people who are close to him.

I would like to post a Small poem that was made by a girl with cancer so I take no appreciation for the poem .

Slow Dance
Have You Ever Watched Kids
On A Merry-Go-Round?
Or Listened To The Rain
Slapping On The Ground?
Ever Followed A Butterfly’s Erratic Flight?
Or Gazed At The Sun Into The Fading Night?
You Better Slow Down.
Don’t Dance So Fast.
Time Is Short.
The Music Won’t Last.
Do You Run Through Each Day
On The Fly?
When You Ask How Are You?
Do You Hear The Reply?
When The Day Is Done
Do You Lie In Your Bed
With The Next Hundred Chores
Running Through Your Head?
You’d Better Slow Down
Don’t Dance So Fast.
Time Is Short.
The Music Won’t Last.
Ever Told Your Child,
We’ll Do It Tomorrow?
And In Your Haste, Not See His Sorrow?
Ever Lost Touch, Let A Good Friendship Die
Cause You Never Had Time, To Call And Say,’Hi’
You’d Better Slow Down. Don’t dance so fast.
Time Is Short. The Music Won’t Last.
When You Run So Fast To Get Somewhere
You Miss Half The Fun Of Getting There.
When You Worry And Hurry Through Your Day,
It Is Like An Unopened Gift….
Thrown away. Life is not a race.
Do Take It Slower Hear The Music
Before The Song Is Over

Ron Waters-Marsh
Senior Community Crime Prevention Officer
Mackay District Office
Date: 18/08/09

Paul Stanley
c/o – www.matthewstanleyfoundation.com.au
Paul Stanley Testimonial.

Dear Paul
I am proud to provide a testimonial regarding the effectiveness of the presentations provided by yourself in relation to youth violence.

Prior to our campaign in the Mackay district in August 2009 I had seen your presentation twice. The first time was for the ‘Youth Violence Symposium’ in July 2008 in Brisbane. At this time the auditorium was full of International and Australian academics as well as human services industry workers. Not a word was spoken during the presentation and some of the most hardened industry workers were moved to tears. Early in 2009 I saw a presentation by you to a group of Grade 9 – 10 Bowen High School students, similarly silent and completely engaged.

It was as a result of the content of your presentation and the overwhelming impact it has on its audience that we, (Mackay Youth Support Services) and Mackay Police District, decided to invite you to talk to our district high school students in August 2009.

In conjunction with Qld Police officers and Qld Ambulance officers across the Mackay District we addressed over 3200 students in 9 high schools. The impact on students, teachers, police and ambulance officers was overpowering. In my extensive involvement in working with youth, (20 years+) I have never seen youth so engaged in a presentation. Comments from Police, Ambulance officers and teachers that attended request involvement in any further campaigns in the future and wholeheartedly support the message and your delivery of it.

Paul, I am proud to have worked along side you in the delivery of this message and support your work with youth violence prevention and reduction. Please contact me if I am able to assist with any further campaigns and I look forward to working with you protecting our youth, in the future.

Yours sincerely
Ron Waters-Marsh
Ron Waters-Marsh. Bsc App’ Psych.
Senior Community Crime Prevention Officer
Mackay District Office
57 – 59 Sydney St
Mackay Q 4740

Pamela Rogers – 14/8/09
i would like to thank paul for coming to my school yesterday to talk about his experiences and what happened with matt his story brought tears to my eyes its so sad

Emily Treacy – 12/8/09
My name is Emily Treacy and I am a school leader at Aviation High Clayfield. I wish to thank Mr Stanley and Brook Dwyer for making us aware of the consequences of youth violence and for Mr Stanley sharing his family’s tragedy.

The school community felt we had to support the work of the MSF and were able to raise $615.50 from a sausage sizzle. This small donation from a school of 350 youth can hopefully help to spread that message that violence is unacceptable.

Our thoughts and thanks are with the Stanley family.

Aimee-Lea Blaszczak – 12/8/09
Dear Paul ,
I understand you will be coming To Moranbah State High today . Matthew was a dear friend of mine and to see him gone still brings a tear to my eyes . I would like to say how great it is that you Paul are visiting many towns that are also victims to senseless bashing . Matthew will never be forgotten miss you heaps xox

Touched Student – 11/8/09
I am a student at Holy Spirit College in Mackay who today listened to Paul Stanley share with us the tragic story of his son Matthew Stanley, and the hardships his family have had to face.

I want to say to you Paul, that the work you are doing to make us aware of the reality of these tragedies IS helping and making a difference. Without knowing it, you have already saved many lives and Matty would be so damn proud.

Whilst i have no idea what on earth it is like to lose someone so close in such a horrific way, your story brought tears to my eyes, and the people surrounding me.

I am amazed at how you can change so many peoples lives by telling us the story of your own son’s loss.

Because Matty was literally just a normal teenager; wanting to go to parties, having disputes with parents, having many friends, enjoying sports etc, i think this campaign will make an even bigger difference because it truly does shine out the reality of this shocking situation.

Thank you so much for doing what you are, for Matthew, your family, and everyone! Your time has been very appreciated; you really have no idea.

Ash Price – 10/8/09
I am a student at St Patrick’s College, Paul visited us this afternoon and talked to us about Matt and party safe.

Ever since the presentation i have been thinking about the massive effect you have had on me. Paul, you did an amazing speech that really touched the hearts of many of us. You are a truly amazing person and what you are striving to do is definitely not in vain.

Thank-you so much for what seems to me as a life changing experience, you really are achieving what you have set out to do and i believe our community will really benefit from your talk. I will remember you for years to come.

Rhianan Rowland – 8/8/09
Gin Gin High School
to the family and friends of Matthew Stanley
hey my name is Rhianan and i am 15yrs old

a few weeks ago i had Paul Stanley to come to my school at Gin Gin High School… He spoke to us about responsibility and how to avoid situations like these and unfortunately this situation has taken a life of a very talented and very loved person Matthew Stanley…

i never knew Matthew but what i have heard from he was very talented and was able to throw a soccer ball all the way across a soccer field and in my eyes that is very talented..
shame on people who think that fighting is the way to solve things.. some people need to learn that not everything is solved through your fists, there is other ways.

i have learnt a lot over the death of Matt but i am also hoping that this never happens again to anyone.. because this is a tragic thing to happen..
to Matthews family..

i hope that you are all safe..

thank you Paul for coming to my school and showing us what one punch can do and how much damage it has caused. i am happy that you took the time out to help young teenagers like myself, through hard times and to teach them what is right and wrong to do about fighting, and what to do under the influence of alcohol the stories i was told today i guess are mind changing… and they really did make me think twice about real life today
you gave me an insight on how i should be and i hope that you have helped other teenagers like me through out Australia and they realise what a great family you are… and that your advice really does help a lot i hope that you, your wife Kay and your son Nick are all coping well and i give my heart to you guys because i do know that it is hard when you have lost someone so precious and i am grateful that i got the chance to meet you and talk to you, it is a pleasure.

please feel free to email me anytime
thank you so much
hope to hear from you soon
my best wishes

Corey Woltmann – 4/8/09
youth violence is pretty crazy. i was assaulted by 2 grown men with poles in their hands. how ever it wasn’t teenagers who did it. it was 25-30 year olds while i was on my way home from my mates 16th

Neville Coventry – 29/7/09
Congratulations for the vital part The Matt Stanley Foundation has played in the One Punch Can Kill Campaign. The news is that funding will sustain – good one decision makers. Lets swell the numbers for the Matt Stanley Team for the Bridge to Brisbane Run. Matty was stolen from this world but his footprint will be visible to all through this run….lets give him a hand, with our own steps.

Helen Richards – 23/7/09
Thank you to Paul Stanley who came to speak at Bundy High today. I am in total awe and respect of the courage it took you to give your presentation and live the moments of your son’s violent death again and again. A very touching and emotional presentation that I hope touches the hearts and minds of the year 10 students that were present. Thank you Paul, bless you for doing something so positive out of such a tragedy.

Ashleigh Bates – 23/7/09
thank you for coming to Bundestag state high school. it really opened my eyes to the danger of drinking and partying. i would just like to say i admire the courage you take to get in front of everyone and talk about your son Matthew to warn the dangers to us. my heart goes out to you and your family i could not possibly imagine would you and your family are going through. thank you so much for coming to our school. the Matthew Stanley foundation will stick with me forever and ill never forget about the tragic and heartbreaking loss of Matthew Stanley.

Felicia Datlen – 23/7/09
I don’t know where to start. First of all thank you to Matthew’s dad Paul, for coming to Bundaberg State High and sharing with us Matthew’s story. I think this story woke many of us up to the dangers of drinking and partying, it sure woke me up and touched my heart. To Matt’s family, I wish you the best and my heart is sent out to all of you. There’s nothing much else I can say except your family’s story will stick with me for many years to come and the Matthew Stanley Foundation’s Motto will stick with me for life. Thank you for waking me up to the dangers of teen drinking, parties and violence, I wish the Stanley Family the best of luck and may Matthew Stanley Rest In Peace.

Cleo Gerdes – 23/7/09
Mr STANLEY
I admire the courage that has been committed to this program.
I also want to thank you for attending Gin Gin High and speaking to us, despite how much it must have hurt.

It changed my view on things, and has given me a better perspective on life.

This poem is for you and your family.
THANK-YOU

MATTHEW STANLEY FOUNDATION
Fifteen and growing up fast,
He had the world at his feet.
He wanted the luxury deal,
But he wanted to cheat.

A Lamborghini with limited work,
An athletic career starting now.
He had goals to achieve,
He would’ve got there somehow.

A party that ended tragically,
As a life was taken in vain.
He had everything to lose,
Yet; everything to gain.

Many tears have been shed,
On behalf of his little soul.
As his dad’s story,
Begins to take its toll.

It is by no means a fairytale,
And there’s no happy ending.
It’s about many heart’s breaking,
And all reality bending.

The good thing about it,
Is now we’re aware.
We know what can happen,
When people don’t play fair.

‘One Punch Can Kill’,
The motto of the foundation.
A foundation for Matty,
Who was lost in the wrong situation.

His life changed mine,
I wish I could thank him.
Instead I’ll thank the skies,
Every night when the lights are dim.

Cleo Gerdes

Thank you for speaking to our school, despite the pain you must have felt.
I appreciate it greatly, as I’m sure everyone else did.
I admire the courage that has been committed to this program and hope you and your family remain safe and well.
Cleo Gerdes

Sarah Hutt & Dillon Anderson – 23/7/09
dear the Stanley family
we wanted to thank paul 4 givin us that talk on matthew he did a great job n hopefully kids take it to heart an they think of wat happen to him before they do something they might regret we found the talk very touching and we understand how hard it must of been for the paul to talk about the loss of his son it must of been hard 4 the whole family to loss there love one we appreciate paul 4 the talk. thanks

Cody Cox – 23/7/09
i liked your speech at my school bundaberg high it really taught me a lesson about listening too my parents……… in case i never see them again thank you!

Luke Nash – 23/7/09
thank you for sharing your life stories with us at bundaberg state high school! it was very moving and touching to the elders………… thank you, thank you. i couldn’t imagine me losing someone close to me.

Tegan Stallan – 22/7/09
heya my name is tegan i was one of the students from gin gin state high school that u had visited you had me in tears and i am glade that u had come i think everyone is i no that b4 i get into a fight i am thinking twice and of your son Matthew i just hope every one else has learnt…………… i hope things get easier for you probably not every time i think of it now i just cant believe that someone could do that to someone else it must of been really hard for use all that new Matthew i didn’t no him and it brings me in tears of thinking of it i no that i probably sound a little funny but i didn’t no how to say something and i really wanted to

Kylie Campbell – 22/7/09
I am a student that is currently attending Gin Gin State High School. Me and my friend Nikita approached you during the end of recess two in order to express what we felt and to thank you. I don’t think I can thank you enough for changing everyone’s view on life in particular. You made a great deal of change to everyone, a good change. Now we will remember the two words that could possibly save anyone who is in that situations’ live; “Remember Matthew”. I hope everything goes well, and, thanks again Paul. It made such an impact.

Rhianan Rowland – 22/7/09
Gin Gin High school

hey Paul
it is me Rhianan Rowland the one you spoke to at Gin Gin High School, probably the second last student you spoke to today

i thought that i would email you to tell you that i am happy that you took the time out to help young teenagers like myself, through hard times and to teach them what is right and wrong to do about fighting, and what to do under the influence of alcohol
the stories i was told today i guess are mind changing… and they really did make me think twice about real life today
it also made me realise that i am not the only person who has gone through tough times like these

our talk today i thought was, you gave me an insight on how i should be and i hope that you have helped other teenagers like me through out Australia and they realise what a great family you are… and that your advice really does help alot
thank you so much
hope to hear from you soon
my best wishes
Alister Walker  – 22/7/09
Recently Paul Stanley spoke at our school; Gin Gin SHS. Pauls speech was touching in the way that his son had been taken for no reason. his speech taught people that violence doesn’t have to be the solution. Now if there is any aggression in our school we say “remember Matthew”. Although its only 2 words it is enough for kids to stop and think that one punch can kill.

Thank-you for you inspiring speech.

Morayfield State High – 23/6/09
My name is Tahlia Cripps and I attend Morayfield State High School in year ten. Today we had a speech about Matthew Stanley by his father. I would just like to say on behalf of Morayfield State High, that it was very knowledgeable and noble to be able and stand up in front of 300 students to tell the tragic story of a loved one. Your were very brave and we all have so much appreciation for you sharing your story with us. I know a couple of girls and myself in the front row were in tears from how the event happened and how devastating to hear a party get so out of control. Thank you for coming to our school and we hope that you do come back next year to give us a talk because I know that we will all be there to support you and to keep our promise of partying safer. We wish your family the best of luck and hope that you remember all the wonderful things that Matthew has contributed to his teams and the community.

Neville Coventry – 5/6/09
I had cause to be reminded today that yes there is a space that Matt should be occupying as his family and friends continue their life. Whilst surely grief occupies that space If anyone ever doubted that the stolen voice of Matthew and the music of his life..can still be heard they just need to visit the Mat Stanley site and listen with their heart. To the wonderful people that give the energy and love..good on ya it is a good voice !

Kevin Huggett – 30/5/09
Paul,
thank you once again for letting me hold the memorial shield in my hands on Sunday the 17th of May. It was an honour to get the award and it made me feel proud and made me think about how much i miss him. I am here to help with this foundation.
i miss Matty with my heart
thank you again for everything you have done. Paul our a true legend and i love you cant wait to see you again soon
Love you Matty

Jenny Wallace – 3/5/09
Hey,
My names jenni. I just wanted to show all my love and support for Matt and the family. I never was fortunate enough to meet Matt but I did get the chance to talk to him and the conversation that I had with him, I cherish so deeply. My friend went to school with him and she got us talking and I was so excited to one day meet him. We had actually hoped to hang out one day not that long after the party but a tragedy happened that I still long could be changed. Matt was the most amazing person. He was caring, funny and always there when you needed him. A life was taken and it was a mistake. He didn’t deserve that. Noone does. The loss of his life has left a hole in my heart.

I was at school 2 weeks ago and I walked into the theatre to find Paul standing there with the Matthew Stanley logo on the projector and I froze. I listened to what he had to say and could relate to the way he was feeling. I can’t thank you enough for coming to my school (Ipswich Girls’ Grammar). People need to be taught about violence in order for it to stop and prevent any more incidents. This approach is working so well and has my full support. If you need help in any way, I’m willing to put all my effort in to whatever needs done. I’m going to apply for the volunteer registration and it would be greatly appreciated if you could let me know exactly what is involved.

I actually had to go through the same experience last year with one of my friends from England….Ben Kinsella. His sister is running a similar campaign in England. He was stabbed out in the street of a party. Once was bad enough. Twice is indescribable.

Please keep the strength to fight for justice and make the streets a safer place for everyone.

Thanks Jenni

Tracey Rees
Paul, I was very sorry to see you going through this again after the Alex Hills stabbing on the weekend. But probably not as sorry as this boys family are. My heart breaks for them. What have my kids got to look forward to when they start going out?? This has to stop,we need more protection in these nightclubs and pubs and partys for that matter. Who are these people that bring knives to a pub for a night out?

Merve Yeleser
hi Paul and Kay, on thursday the 2/4/08 u Paul visited caloundra city school. i am very emotional and your story deep down had touched me, i feel very sorry for what has happened to you and it must very hard coping considering one of yours sons has now gone. i thank you very much for coming in and sharing your story.

Siobhan Lambrechts
i am very sorry to hear about every thing.
your story was really touching.

from Caloundra City school

ps. we where the group of girls that spoke to you at the end!!!i am so sorry ….again

Charlotte Francis
hi im from ccs,
recently matts father came to speak to us.
i just wanted to say a big thank you from all of us!!
from ccs

Blake Peace
I just want to say that youth violence is stupid why cant people just get along. At a party your supposed to have fun so why fight. i saw two kids fight at my school once the next day they were friends so why couldnt they be friends with out fighting and the pain

Courtney Stehling
this is horrible i cant believe that someone in there right mind would do something that pathetic. its a disgrace, and i hope the person who did it suffers a like time of guilt and deserved everything he got. i been through being bashed by only 3 people and it was horrific. R.I.P Matt Stanley

Marie Hohepa
I came across stanleys bebo page and just wanted to say as a parent of teenagers myself, i am so sorry for your loss. i wish you all the best in your crusade and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. what a beautiful boy you had raised!

Haylee Horman
Mr Stanley came to our school and told us about Matthew and what happened. I think its wrong that young people go and get too intoxicated and cant handle it. They don’t realise what alcohol does to them.. I think what The Stanley s have done is really good! And may Matthew Stanley rest in peace!

Carly Laurie
Hey I Never Knew Matt But My Sister Started At Redlands In Yr 11 Last Yr And Is Mates With Everyone That Knew Him! I Cant Believe This Could Happen To Someone So Young…So Damn Horribble Thats For Sure! You Keep On Keeping On And I Love How Youve Made This Foundation…I Just Hope That This Might Stop All This Violence Thats Not Even Needed Specially Going This Far And Taking A Young Boys Life Like This! Well Ive Had My Say And I Think You The Stanely Fam Are So Damn Brave, Try Smile Ok?
Bye!
Carly! (Jessie Lauries Older Sis.)

Claire Bradbury
this story was told to me by Matthew’s father at my school, it really mad me think and appreciate what i have. I am greatly sorrow for you loss and hope people can read this and stop it from happening again

Teazia Cockburn
Hi i am from home hill state high school. Paul came and spoke to us about his son Matthew.  I became very emotional and started crying through the speech. It was a very sad thing to hear and i can only imagine what it must have been like and i am so sorry that you had to go through that. I think it is honorable and very kind of you to do this.

Gwen Cavanagh
My heart truly aches for your family.On April 8th 2006,I allowed my then 14yr old son to go out at night for the first time to see a movie with a friend. 45  minutes later I got a phone call from his mate to say Guy had been bashed and stabbed. That 5 minute drive was the most difficult of my life, not knowing if he was alive or dead. Guy survived his injuries,at least physically,but 3yrs later we are still devastated emotionally. My gentle, quiet son is gone and everyday is a struggle with his anger and depression. Out of the ten youths that attacked him only 3 were charged and all got slaps on the wrist. For 3 wks after the attack he had the imprint of someones shoe on his temple and side of his face.It could have ended so differently so easily. When Mathew died only months later it devastated Guy,although he didn’t know him.

As a community we must take a stand against youth violence and get the message out to these kids before more families are destroyed.

Tanika Heathcote
Heyy..
i didn’t no Matt but i think i might of seen him around. when i first heard about this at school it got me thinking, all those people out there who think they are so much bigger because they can fight really are the ones who need help. everyone says be careful were you hit anybody.from the day Matt’s dad bravely stood up at the Kirwan state high school and told us students about his sons death made me cry. i could almost hear his heart break, im sure everyone is proud of matt what he achieved in life and im so sorry to hear about it , the speech matts father made has reminding me every person who gets me angry i think 2wice, i don’t ever want to take some ones life away because of my stupid actions.

i could write forever on how much im so sorry for matts loss.
i just wanted to have a say..
R.I.P Matt♥

Rebecca Ross
I just wanted to let you know how much i admire your courage to keep Matt on the ventilators even after he had passed away. When my brother died from a similar incident we could not keep him on the machines knowing that he was no longer alive. Even though you could not donate his organs you showed a lot of strength as a family to be able to do what he wished. This year through my work we will be selling The Entertainment Book and half of the profits will be donated to the Matthew Stanley Foundation.
Kind Regards

Tara Ware
I still miss chilling down at mooroondu with you. was always good times watching you play soccer getting goals with your massive throw ins hehe,
welz just wannah let you know you will always be in my heart forever matty got ‘Forever Young’ on my wrist for you, see you soon babe
Paul Kay & lil nicky love use so much i have
so much respect for you nick yur a champ love yu buddy,
love you forever matt xx

Karrin F
Thanks for this site. What a great young man and so shocking that a stupid, alcohol and testosterone fuelled moment brought his life to an end. However I have no doubt that his father’s talks to students and this website have prompted many discussions between kids,and with their parents. I bet that some of this will have seeped into the subconscious of the teens and will have made a difference. Well done in making your loved child and friend’s death have a positive impact on others.

Meeka
Heyy to the Stanley family, i didn’t know Matt but i was so touched by his story. I read this back in 2006 & i came back to read it this year. The first time i read it, i was in tears! I’m 16 going on 17 next year and every time i get asked to go out i just basically say no because you never know what will happen! Sometimes i say i will go out but that’s only if I’m with a bunch of friends that are trustworthy. I think it is soo wrong what happened to Matt! I don’t know how people can be that immature and do something so bad like that. My deepest sympathy is with you as yous need all the support yous can get.

Well what i have heard of Matt, he seemed like a very nice guy! There’s not many of them around these days! There’s just people that don’t care as yous can tell. But I’ve just come to let yous know, I’m thinking of yous. Best of luck xx

Monique Fenech
To Mr and Mrs Stanley, Nick, family, friends and all those involved in the Foundation,

As a teacher of high school children, I hear about plans the students are making for parties and weekend activities etc and can’t help but have a little fear as to what will happen if their activities get out of hand.  Each news bulletin I hear that involves a child I pray to god it isn’t one I know.  Isn’t one I teach.  It’s apparent that the “dangers” surrounding these youths have changed since I was their age.  That in itself is extremely scary considering I myself am only 22.

Last week, our grade 8 students were fortunate enough to hear of the dangers associated with the choices we make through the first hand recollection of Mr Stanley.  As I spoke to my class later in the day, it was evident that he and his words had impacted them deeply.  We decided as a class to dedicate one of our 70minute lessons to exploring the Matt Stanley Foundation website in a quest to find out more about this special boy referred to as “Stanley”.  We read articles, watched the news clip, the tribute to Matt and many stories and letters on the forum.  This kid was truly special.  I looked around at my own special group of 15 and saw half of them with tears streaming down their faces.  These kids here in this Townsville classroom had never met your son, had never known the story until last Thursday.  And now, here they were, emotional – as though they had known him their whole life.  Whilst it pained me to see them upset, I was glad to see that this story had reached them beyond surface level.  They suggested that they write a series of thank you’ letters to you guys.  I do have to mention though that one young girl came to me and gave me a hug saying that she just couldn’t write anything as she didn’t know the right words.  She felt bad that she couldn’t do it but wanted me to mention it when I addressed the remainder to you.

So again, a huge thank you for all that you have done and all that you continue to do.  You are all so very inspirational and it is a truly great thing that you are doing.

Arna Presland
I thought you guys would have a comment to make about this tragic event – http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=659159

Keep up the good work doing what you’re doing, my son is 11 and these stories about violence at parties just terrify me.

Liv McLean
i didn’t know matt… i knew his younger brother nick we met on a camping trip. although i didn’t know him matt’s story has left a devastating hole in my heart. i think about it everyday. i wear one of the stanley stop youth violence bands everyday an never take it off. i also have one hanging from my school bag just so i feel close to him, although i never met him. i’ve read many versions of the story of that tragic night. i found out by walking into my lounge room to talk to my parents when i look at the tv to see nick talking and crying. i remember from that instant i felt a complete an total loss and sadness that will never leave me…
although we never met much to my dismay i will miss you R.I.P matt xx

Frances Warren
hey, paul i saw you at my school ( Kirwan High School) and i think it’s extremely brave that you came to talk to us. i Am 16 in grade 11 and thanks to you i will think twice before i go to a party .
thank you from franny

Anna Kaszycki
To Matthew Stanley and his parents, thank you for setting up this foundation. Your son was truly an inspiration – for the youth of today to go out there and achieve their dreams. I was one of the participants in the ‘Skool Project’ at Griffith University in Brisbane a few days ago and Matthew’s father came to talk to us. Thank you for inspiring us, you have taught me to always be grateful for the time i have. I will work my very hardest in the future to excel in the talents i have been given and in spirit of your son i will remember the people who deserved to be alive and continuing in their journey but have instead reached out and shown people how fortunate they are to be alive! thank you!

Helen and Graham (WA)

we read your story in thats life..
how our hearts ache for you and your family.. we lost our darling son 12 months ago,not  directly to a one punch death but indirectly..  we agree something has to be done about this one punch.

we were living in the north of wa and our dean was involved in a one punch altercation.. he survived that but it changed him. dean wouldn’t lay charges as it was a work colleague.  he became depressed and took the drug road.. sadly he was involved in an accident in broome last year and passed away aged 29. we know how devastating it is to hear a doctor tell you your child isn’t going to live.

our thoughts and prayers are with you all. when the going gets tough we just remember the good years..
much love and comfort to you all.
Stephanie B
I just read your story in a magazine – my heart truly aches for you!! I am so sorry to hear of you loss! Such a senseless tragedy that should never have accrued!!

Seems that this kind of youth violence is sadly becoming more prevalent. You guys are doing a truly amazing thing by not only keeping the memory of Matthew alive, but also making more awareness to the community that something really needs to be done to stop this happening to other young people – to save young lives, and keep other families from feeling this kind of devastation!

My heart goes out to you!! I wish you all the best!!
xox

Roxanne Farrow
hello my name is roxanne and i just want to say sorry for the loss of your son. i know the feeling of losing someone who is important to you as i have just lost my mum because of violence it isn’t fair if you ask me

Daniel Watson
I just re-read the story in thats life! I used to live around the corner at lorton court and the night it all happened alot of people from the party came to my house and told me about this.

I lived in the community for about 3 years and was originally fighting with the “A-souljahs” or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves nowadays and every single day id tell them just how stupid they really are and i still do.

I’ve told countless Hundreds that one day you will punch someone and they wont come back up But the problem is no one really listens.

And i mean this with the utmost respect and compassion to the tragedy that happened to matt, but after a month the memory of that horrific night was almost forgotten by everyone not Very close to matt.

And in some cases the mere mention of “Remember matt stanley” could escalate a Yelling match to a full blown fist fight, so really what i’m trying to say is Keep at what you’re going teen violence is ruining many young kids adolescence And pushing them closer towards Alcohol Violence and drug abuse.

I’m only 19 but lived nearly every day with this looming around me when i lived in Alexandra hills and still to this day whenever i drive down the street where matt was punched i still shake my head and think what a waste of a life for something so trivial.

I’ve left my phone number if you wish to get into contact with me if you want any insight into the workings of teen violence around alex hills and most of the Redlands area, because God knows i don’t want to see one of my mights end up like this over something so stupid.
Gwen Hill
This site is a wonderful idea, as an older person I didn’t realise how out of hand some of the youngsters are today until I started up my own business in town. The language & behavior is disgusting. If anyone says anything to them your business is targeted.The sentences given to those thugs in your case is a disgrace, harsher penalties need to be administered,(no excuses) a couple of years out of their lives is nothing, they pick up where they left off when they get out like nothing happened while your left with such a massive loss for the rest of your lives. I’m disgusted.May you get some comfort from this site knowing so many people care.
Kim Craft
After reading your story my heart broke!I am a mother of 6 and I to have a 15 yr old son and would be devastated if anything ever happened to him. I would like to take this time to congratulate you for all the work you are doing as I know in my heart that this is going to help. Once again I am so sorry for your loss and if there is anything I can do please let me know.

Robyn Bailey
I read your letter in a recent Thats Life and was moved by your campaign. This is a subject that we speak of often at work, home and socially. My two children are now 27 and 25 and although they do not now visit local nightclubs etc I still am concerned with their safety and the safety of other young people. Somehow we as parents need to make young people aware of the ‘domino’ affect of such violent behaviour. There are so many people affected by violent actions, the victim and their family and friends, but also the person who has been charged for the crime and the affect that has on his family and friends. Hence the domino affect. How do we educate them, a scenario as an ad on the TV that portrays the ongoing affect for all families involved, posters at school etc.
Helen Dunmore
I just read the story of your sons tragic death at the hands of someone else in the thats life magazine, I cannot express how sad it made me feel, I have a 16yr old son that I just let for the first time attend his first party, I did all the right things dropping him off and meeting the so called adults monitoring this event I was to pick my son up at 12am no later at 10pm my son called asking to be picked up, When I arrived my son was 2 streets away from the house running the party and there must have been 100 police officers running every where, There was young kids everywhere covered in blood, I asked the police why the kids where not at the house I had left them at and was told there had been many fights and the adults had kicked everyone out, I was so angry that I had taken the time to meet these people and explain that I dont allow my son to attend partys usually and that because other kids where fighting on the street my son and a friend had been sent away and that i was not called by the so called responsible adults. After reading about matthew my son will not be attending another party unless I know that he will be safe but there is no garantee he will be. I am going to show my son this story and hope he will let his friends know how dangerous fighting really is, It is just sad that Matthews death has to teach our children. Matthews story will be forever in my heart.
Taryn E.
I was truly touched after reading the article recently submitted in “ThatsLife!” about your son matthew and the circumstances which selfishly ended his life. I’m 18 and fortunatley I have not lost anyone in my family due to a circumstance like that but I can only imagine the pain you as a family have had to go through. I think what you’s are doing to try and reduce violence in youth is fantastic and its a real inspiration! Matthew’s death goes to show how easy it is to hurt somebody. I hope people have learnt from this terrible situation and I wish your family all the best for the future.
Keep up the good work!
X
Andrew Sprengler
I’d like to thank you guys for what you are doing. I’m only 17 and i hear and see a lot of things that mates are doing. my first ever experience with alcohol was when i was only 14 . i spent most the night talking my mate out of fighting his best mate because he was tunning the girl he liked. the end resulted in one big argument and no punches were thrown. but when i heard of what happened to Matthew i look back and think anything could of happened if there was a fight because one punch can kill anyone. thank you for starting this foundation i really believe it can go far. Matthew must be proud of all of you.
Jayne Daniels
I was just browsing when I was given the details of your sons passing, just want to say I am touched, have a teenage son and I can’t imagine what you have gone through.
Sue Stephenson (Perth)
I read with interest your comments in the Cairns Post 12/05/08, relating to the bashing of a 14yr old boy. I also had added a comment as this boy is my nephew. Hearing what is going on with the police and the “so called other person” first hand from my family, shocks and angers me. If my brother was not the person he is and had not pursued this issue it would have already be wiped under the table. He intends to bring public notice to this and hopefully begin some sort of support group to help put out to the public how this outrageous behaviour is dealt with and how it can change. I spoke with him tonight and talked about your comment and suggested he read it as it may help him with what he is undertaking. Thankfully Michael is alive. I have been sitting here feeling so much empathy for you and your family. Tears falling down my face as I have watched his tributes and looking at his beautiful young face. I am so sorry and have so much compassion for you. But most of all thank you for putting yourself out there and helping others in the community. As you say we can’t stop it completely but we can make people aware. I have a 14 yr old boy who has had 3 black eyes this year through scumbags who want his shoes or his mobile etc. To report it is a hassle as nobody seems to want to know or care. I worry every time he walks out the door. Keep up the great work you are doing and I hope each day can bring a smile to your face.

Karen Clayton
There is so much ANGER in our youth, i live in Victoria Point , just down the road, I know as fact that there are drug dens here, kids go to a local hotel, there drunk, on drugs , and usually each week are involved , some how, in an act of violence, I know one of these kids was mates with your son , so it knocked me for six when i heard that he had “bottled” a guy in the back of his head for no reason, well apparently the reason was that the kid he hit was a friend of his ex girlfriends, yes, he’d been dumped and felt he needed to take it out on someone, this is all it takes , he was drunk and under the influence of drugs and if the victim hadn’t had a mate with him at the time , well, who knows, it could have been another MATT story.

HOW DO WE GET THE MESSAGE THROUGH TO THE YOUTH
I am truly of the belief that the issues are huge and deep in regards to the anger in youth, their drug use, etc. Families are broken , kids themselves don’t know what to do , but stick together and follow like sheep .

WHERE DO WE START – I look forward to hearing back from you and if I can help in any way I will

Take care
Carol Contessi
My name is Carol, I am a primary school teacher and single mum of three teenage children. At Christmas time myself, my middle son and my daughter went down to Melbourne to look after my father and mother as my mum was having a heart operation and my father is a double amputee. My eldest son stayed on in Brisbane as he had to work. Mitch is 18, of fine build and quite an individual – he likes to dress different and dyes his hair different colours.

One Saturday whilst I was away he and some mates went into the Valley, Mitch was driver as he doesn’t drink. On the way to his car at the end of the evening at about 1am some coward singled Mitch out. Mitch tried to avoid a confrontation by veering away from this loser but he kept making a beeline for Mitch. He king-hit Mitch and put him down with one punch – breaking his jaw. Mitch’s head hit the pavement – two people then jumped on him and started kicking and punching him (Mitch doesn’t remember this as he was unconscious but his mates who were walking ahead had finally realised what was happening and told him the rest). The cowards finally left him as Mitch’s mates had lept to his rescue. Mitch woke up and started towards his car and two jumped on him again and began to punch him some more. Mitch and his mates somehow got to the car and came home. Mitch went to the doctor the following day and had a broken jaw and many cuts and bruises.

Mitch went to sleep that night and could have quite easily never have woken up – I thank the Lord that he did wake up and that he slowly recovered – physically – that is!!! Mitch never told me about the attack until I was home – he didn’t want to worry me!!! I am at a loss as to how these people can live with themselves and carry on in life having this type of disrespect to other human beings.

The biggest worry to me is that society, generally, is becoming more and more desensitised to violence – through every facet of of every day life – this leads to young people believing that this type of violence is ok.

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to your family – lets hope that there becomes an awareness of the escalating violence among young people. In my capacity as a teacher I work at many different primary schools – even Redland Bay occasionally – and I am trying to educate children, everyday, as to the heartbreak, sadness and total devastation violence can do to a family.
Keep strong
The Spot Community Centre

We were lucky enough to have Paul Stanley come to The Spot Community Center and talk to the youth that attend. The following include some of the replys the youth wrote down about Paul’s message – “It really opened my eyes to what could happen, it was interesting”. “I thought it was sad and touching”. “I thought it was very good and they should do more speeches”. “I thought it was really good, he was strong standing up in front of people telling them about his son”. “I think he knew how to get through to us and it was really sad”. “Sad and totally NOT ON”. “Sad”. “I reckon it was awesome, and we should do it more often”. “The talk was very inspirational and changed my views on violence, I think many benifited from the talk”. “I enjoyed listening and appreciated the wrist bands.” Thankyou for the positive impact you have made on our youth and we look forward to staying in touch with the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

Maree McClenahan

Dear Paul, I just have to say I am so in awe of your enduring strength, your passion and commitment which obviously comes from your intense love for your son, after such a tragic, senseless loss. I know that in a similiar situation I wouldnt possibly know where, other than to find God, to gain anywhere near that kind of strength. Im so sorry, but Im so glad I keep seeing you on TV and talking to kids, even though it doesnt get any easier, its still as sad today as when it happenned, Matthew must be so proud to have you for his dad .

Nola Hedger

I have just seen Paul Stanley on the news speaking to a class about his son’s death. It brought back a lot of memories for me. My son was bashed & robbed in Toowoomba in September 2002. As I live in Maryborough I went & got him and he came to live here with me. He would wake up each night screaming & fighting people in his sleep. This went on until February 2003 when it all got too much for him. I woke up one morning at 2.45 knowing that something was wrong.I found my beautiful son Damien hanging in the garage. He had just turned 29. In a way he was murdered & his killers got off scott free.

I admire Paul for doing someone to help other people. It has been a long hard road and always will be. We all have our memories and no one can take them from us.

Tracey Thuys

Your message is totally from the heart and that is why I think it is sinking into the youth you are targeting. My nephew committed suicide at the age of 19 ,4 years ago. I am going to pass on this web site to my sister and just maybe when the time is right she too will endeavour to help the community from her own experience. It takes courage and empathy to take youth on and tell them how it really FEELS. Good for you and keep the faith. You will touch many I am positive. Trace. X

Martha Kimani
My heart goes out to Paul and Kay. I share their sorrow of loosing Matt in that very senseless way and they are doing a great job. I lost my 18 year old in 2001 the same way and I’d like to contact them via their email is or they can contact me at kevinklove2001@yahoo.com. I also took the same route they have taken to try and make this world a better world for others in remembrance of our loved ones. My website is http://kevin-kimani.memory-of.com. May God keep our Matt and Kevin’s souls in a special place as they look down as see what difference their parents are making to change or to save at least a soul. God bless you.
H. Mothershaw
To Paul

Every week you hear of another child’s life being ended or destroyed by a senseless act of violence. What is happening to our youth, our community, the society we live in today?
Teen violence is becoming a greater issue in today’s society.
We see or hear of violence in our community everyday, but why? Why have things got so bad …..that we are killing innocent people?
These days it is frighteningly easy to kill someone once you get physical.

Remember one hit can kill.

What makes someone so angry, so violent to do such a terrible thing and take the life of harmless teenagers?

You hear about it all over the news about kids dying at parties, getting bashed and never making it through the day but you don’t realise how serious it actually is until it happens to someone you know. Something that happens in that one moment can affect you for the rest of your life weather you are the offender or the victim.

There is a growing concern for teen violence in our community. But this issue does not just involve males anymore. Females are also resorting to violence as the only solution. With girls it appears the motivation may be somewhat premeditated while boys it is more common to happen in the moment.

A teenager is out enjoying life and ends up violently killed. What is happening to our community that this issue is continuing in our society?

Generally, Australia is a place where people are safe, where violence is rare. However, times are changing and violence is becoming a part of everyday life. Violence is going on everywhere, around every corner, in the school grounds, on the local sports grounds, on the streets and most often at parties when different cliques get together. You only have to read the local paper to see that these incidents are dramatically increasing. Each week there is a new story about violence and bullying which is now being video taped on bystanders phones and used on the internet.

The reason teen violence is becoming a greater issue in today’s society may be the lack of guidance and support from parents to know that it is wrong and not the right solution to solve any problem. It also seems that the combination of alcohol, drugs and immaturity has a lot to do with the violent behaviour we hear so much about.

Teenagers see that the punch proves that they are the bigger and better man; they use violence as a way of teaching someone a lesson. Violence, especially youth violence has been a matter of some concern among the Australian public. There is far too much violence on TV that there is a definite link between the violence we watch and the way we behave.

Teenagers use violent behaviours from their family and peers as well as what happens in our neighbourhood and in the community. These behaviours are also reinforced by what we see on the television, on the internet, in video games, music videos, movies and also what we hear in the music we listen to.

The way we solve conflict has changed overtime and this is why teen violence is worse.

Whatever the dispute, whatever the argument, young people are too often turning to the swing of a fist and the landing of a punch as the only solution.

What happened to talking out our problems or just ignoring it, but it’s getting so bad that we are now seriously injuring or even killing people. In primary school you are taught to ignore it and forget about it but as you become an adolescent other factors become apparent like peer pressure. The desire to fit into a group can lead to poor decision making. We are living in a so called civilized society, yet violence is still a major issue.

Gang violence is also a growing concern in the world we live in today. Back in the day it used to be one on one but now it isn’t even a fair fight it’s 8 people on 1.

The Matthew Stanley foundation was set up specifically for a cultural change to eliminate youth violence. The foundation focuses on teaching young people about safety and how to prevent themselves from falling into dangerous situations.

Let me tell you all, that teen violence is real and is a big part of a teenager’s life in the society we live in today. Why don’t we all look out for each other instead of turning a blind eye and not wanting to get involved. Teenagers need to look out for each other, if you know someone is violent, or going to cause trouble, don’t stay silent, tell someone, tell parents, teachers, community leaders. Let’s not leave anyone alone and vulnerable, go out in groups, stay together, know where your mates are, and help each other.

Go out of your way to be kind and supportive to someone, when they look like they need help. If you know someone is violent, or going to cause trouble, don’t stay silent.

These tragedies cannot continue. We as parents, we as citizens, we as children we have to stop this from happening.

Bronwyn
hi my name is bronwyn,i live in the redlands i also am a parent of 4 boys,im currently studying criminology at griffin uni,i am working on a assignment at the moment relating to youth violence.After spending several hours reading your website,i feel as a parent i to could help in awareness of this terrible situation that our children have to face.If possible if there is any information that you could forward to me regarding youth violence it would be appreicated. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. Thank you.
L Cavaliere
i just want to express how sorry i am to hear about the death of matt. the saddest thing about the whole thing though is even after all your hard efforts; counting on the youth of today to try and make a difference cannot be counted on, because majority just don’t care until it is too late. i personally feel that no matter how hard you try the more pointless it becomes, people take life for granted and sadly would rather go to extreme lengths to maintain a high social status of ‘someone not to mess with’ than a wimp who would just walk away…i don’t think it has ever comes across a guys mind while caught up in the moment of a fight that the bigger and better option is to walk away. as a youth myself…i know that nothing is ever as it seems…however if the only good thing that has come out of this is the fact that matt has affected so many peoples lives, and gets talked and thought about everyday, his memory will live forever…

Ian G. Dorward, M.D.
I learned of your foundation from Adam Penberthy by way of the One Punch Can Kill Facebook group. I wanted to contact you because I am a neurosurgery resident in the United States who treats patients on a regular basis who suffer devastating injuries as a result of violence, and also because I recently lost my brother-in-law to a violent, unprovoked altercation. He was punched in the face and killed instantly–and now, two months later, the local authorities have elected not to pursue any charges against his killer.
In any case, I think your foundation and the One Punch Can Kill campaign are extremely important ventures, and I would like to spearhead similar efforts in the United States. If you have any suggestions, or if you would have any interest in creating some sort of inter-continental venture (made easier these days, of course, by the Internet), please let me know.

Thank you very much for your efforts in preventing violent deaths among youths. If we can help to stop further such deaths in the future, then our losses will not have been in vain.
Ian G. Dorward, M.D.

Kennelee A. Lee

Hello, My name is Kennelee and I KNOW YOUR PAIN as I am a Mother who also lost my son after he was beaten to death. He was out with 2 friends and my daughter when another young man hit him, knocked him down and stomped his head. He had such severe head injuries that he never regained conscienceless again. I never got to tell him good bye and that I loved him with all my heart. He laid in the hospital fighting for his life with a shoe print on his face from a guy who had no reguard that he was taking another person’s life. The guy was sent to prison for 15 years, and only half of that time if he has good behavior. Even if he does do the entire sentence-it will never replace the pain that he has inflicted to my family as our lives are forever changed. My son won’t be coming back ever. My daughter will never be the same, she has had enormous guilt feelings, thinking she could stop what had taken place and of course nothing I say to her makes it any better. I don’t know how to handle it myself, so I don’t feel I am a lot of help to her or my oldest son. It happened Sept. 15,2003 in Quincy Illinois and he died in Springfield. Il on Sept 16. The guy that killed my son, changed my family and my life forever in just a split second. Young people need to know that hitting a someone could kill that person. My son had never met the guy that had done this to him and was just out with his friends and his sister having a good time. The actions that this individual chose to make affected so many people, and always will. They can’t be taken back. The judge could only give him 15 years, but one day he will get his just punishment from GOD who will not have any limit in what he can do. This guy never said he was sorry, but just smirked at me the day in court, another day that was difficult for my family. The day I buried my son my sisters had to almost carry me away from his coffin, as I knew that was the last earthly connection I would have with Clint, my precious 21 year old son.

I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help spread the word that violence not only affects the person who doesn’t care about himself, but so many other people, including the offender’s family. My son had a 4 year old daughter and the guy that did this to my son also had a young child, so as I am sure you already know, this affects so many people.
Thanks for your time.
B & S James

My step son was down visiting friends down at Balina NSW last weekend , he was asked to drop off some friends at a party he was not attending himself. As he drove up to drop off the two girls an young fellow at the party there was no body out the front of the house,he pulled his car up to the gutter an as his passengers where getting out four youths came out from behind a fence an started to pull him out of his car , he was held by two of the youths against the car while the other two one of them being a amateur light weight boxer punched him in the head an upper body,he was then thrown into the gutter where they kicked him an threw beer bottles at him , he was then dragged up against the car again to be bashed some more but one of the youths holding him lost his grip an David was able to get away from them but they continued to hit him in the head an back with full an empty beer bottles as he ran away. He was able to run down the road to a ladies house who he regards as a aunty an she called the police who attended an took David to Balina hospital , he was treated at hospital an released after two hours or so , a friend rang us an told us what had happened he was driven home to us by a friend an we took him to Logan Hospital to be checked again. He is one lucky boy was all they could say , David is a person who doesn’t drink an is loved an hasn’t got a mean bone in his body we all are just coming to grips with how close we were to losing him your organization dose great things an alcohol an under age drinking makes your an every parents job very very hard, it is in the hand of the NSW Police now an they are hope full for an arrest an of all involved.

S White

Hi,
I just looked on your website for the first time since Matthew passed away, i didnt realise how much effect it has on the community until now -
the only reason i went on to have a look is because me and my fiance had our engagment party on saturday night (19th January 2008) and we had about 30 intoxicated youths gatecrash (later we found out that it was the same gang that killed Matthew Stanley), it was at the alexandra hills community hall and everything was going great until one of our friends noticed the youths aged between about 14 – 17 hanging around just outside. He asked if they could move on and they didnt like it so about 4 – 5 of them started bashing him, they had steel tubing that they were hitting him with so our mate didnt have a chance, 30 of them and one of him. When my fiance went outside and realised what was happening he pulled our mate inside luckely without anyone laying in to him. We dont want to know what would of happend if he didnt go out when he did. i understand how easy it is that “one punch can kill” and i think it is absolutely discusting that these people are out every saturday night abusing and beating inocent people up, where are there parents?? Why do they do it?? All we were doing was enjoying our engagement party with family and friends and a bunch of kids had to wreck it. It makes me sick. We had a lot of bigger males that wanted to get into them but have more sense to let it go. The police turned up and the youths fled. The police later tell us that they know who it is but they cannot do anything about it – to me thats a load of crap, if they dont do anything now then what is going to happen to innocent people in the future. Our mate ended up in hospital but luckely only got a few stitches, black eyes and knocked jaw and is very very sore. Some one needs to do something about it and i dont think the police are doing a good enough job.
Just wanted to express myself as i feel these youths need to be taught a lesson.

Wendy Murphy
When I Heard About Matthew Stanley

I’m driving, singing along to the radio at the top of my voice when the song changes. Memories come pouring out of the speakers with the first few lines; for me this song will always be tied to one event, one person, one tragic moment.
Let’s dance in style
Let’s dance for a while
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the sky

I’m watching the road, still driving, but I can also see two lines of boys in red, white and blue football uniforms. Their features are lined with anguish; no teenage bravado now, the grief is raw and naked on their faces. A long white car drives between them slowly and resolutely, followed by a sedan.
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young

Fifteen white doves are released and, although I’m in my car stopped at a traffic light, I can see them taking off into the sky as the white hearse drives away, taking fifteen-year-old Matthew Stanley to his final resting place. Among the thousand or so heartbroken mourners watching the car drive through the gates is my fifteen-year-old son, Rudi.

We often define our lives by the catastrophic events that shake our world. Anyone born in a Western nation before 1950 remembers where they were on November 22, 1963, when they heard John F. Kennedy had been shot. Most people over sixteen remember what they did that day in 2001 that has become internationally known as 9-11. Time seemed to stop. Shock held us frozen as we looked in utter disbelief at people at work, at school, in the street. For thousands of kids and parents in the Redlands Shire, we will remember where we were when we heard about Matthew Stanley.

On September 23rd, 2006, the first day of the spring school holidays, Matt went to an eighteenth birthday party. While he was chatting to a pretty girl he knew from sport, he didn’t know that some of her boyfriend’s mates had taken exception to his friendliness. Word started to spread that they were threatening him and eventually someone warned Matt that he was in danger. The details of what happened next are fluid and different stories and rumours have developed. After all, the eye-witnesses are just a group of traumatised children who went to a party one night and watched something unthinkable take place. I’ve heard that he left the party, but had only walked about fifty metres when the boys caught up with him. The biggest boy, a huge sixteen-year-old, grabbed Matt and immediately began to pummel his face and head with his huge fists. I’ve heard that even though Matt was immediately unconscious, his attacker continued to viciously punch and kick him, throwing him around like a rag doll and taunting him to ‘fight back’. I’ve also heard that it was only one awful punch that did it. I’ve heard that he threw Matt’s broken body into the gutter and returned to the party, or went home. I’ve heard a lot of versions, but one thing is irrefutable—at six fifteen on Sunday night, having never regained consciousness, Matthew Alexander Stanley was declared dead.

I first met the Stanley family when my son, Rudi, was nine. He wanted to play soccer so we joined the local club; Matt played on one of the other teams and a couple of years later they ended up on the same team. Even then, Matthew was one of the better players, but then he was naturally talented at all sports. A few years later, Matthew started going to Rudi’s school and the two boys became friends. By the end of the year, Matt was the most popular boy in the grade. By the time they were in their second year of high school, Matt was arguably the most popular boy in the school, with a large group of friends that crossed ages and genders. Known by the one word moniker, ‘Stanley’, he had grown tall, blonde and good looking. And he was cool. Way too cool for the conservative Christian school they attended. Matt and Rudi spent endless hours in the disciplinary ‘planning room’ because their hair was too long, their shorts were too low, their shirts weren’t tucked in, or their shoes were untied. Their teachers called them ‘walking uniform violations’. Luckily for Matt, he was not only good at every sport he played, he was also one of the smartest kids in the grade. Working in the school canteen, I would often be the one to give him lunch. He was cheeky, friendly, eternally hungry, and never failed to make me smile.

On Sunday, September 24th, the day we heard about Matt Stanley, we were having a quiet afternoon. My husband, our two eldest children and I were getting ready for church. Rudi was getting ready to go to the local Italian pizza and pasta joint where he worked as a dishy. All day the TV stations had run a news story about a fifteen-year-old Brisbane boy who had been savagely beaten at a party and who was now fighting for his life in hospital. Every time the story came on, I felt so thankful that my fifteen-year-old son was home safe. No name was given, but for some unfathomable reason, I was sure that none of our friends could have been involved, that this kind of thing couldn’t happen to us or anyone we knew. My brother-in-law called in just ten minutes before we had to leave and after seeing him off, my husband came back in the house, white-faced. Taking me aside, he told me in a trembling voice that the boy in the news story was Matthew Stanley and that he was not expected to live. We didn’t know what to do; Rudi was supposed to start work in fifteen minutes. I felt sick with shock. We made the decision not to tell him until after he’d finished his four hour shift. The details we had were so sketchy and to be honest, I hoped it might be a mistake.

We arrived at church and sat down at the back but I couldn’t stop crying. I realised what a stupid decision we’d made to send our son to work; I worried that Matt’s name would be released and that Rudi would hear it on the news while he was washing the huge pasta pots in the kitchen. One of my friends told our pastor, Dave, about Matt and he prayed for the Stanleys, for Matt, and for the kids who would be affected. I couldn’t stop thinking about Rudi. Just before church finished, Sean got a phone call from him. He was sobbing—one of his friends had called him; someone from work was dropping him off at another friend’s house.

We drove to the house of a family we knew well, and our baby fell into our arms, weeping. There were cars all over the street belonging to kids from school and about a dozen teenagers sat in the dark on the front lawn crying. Another twenty or so were scattered through the house and back yard. As I walked by, kids I’d watched grow up would crumple into my arms, suddenly frightened children again in need of comfort and a maternal embrace. Over and over, they kept asking me, ‘Why Matt?’ I felt overwhelmed and completely inadequate to give them any answers; it made no sense to me either. All I could do was hold them while they wept and make nonsensical, soothing sounds in their ears, like I did when my own children were helpless babies.

Inside, a few parents sat around the kitchen table, holding cups of tea tightly between two hands. They were exchanging stories about where they were when they heard about Matt Stanley. Some didn’t know him very well. One mother was surprised to find out his name wasn’t actually Stanley—she’d never heard him called Matt. The owners of the house had twin sons who were born on the same day as Matthew. Some of us had never met before; the only common ground was our children’s grief. And we all saw in each other’s eyes the unspoken, chilling fear that was creeping through our thoughts: How would we ever feel that our children were safe again? We could no longer pretend that this kind of thing couldn’t happen to us or anyone we loved. At six thirty we got a phone call from Matt’s dad to tell us he had died.

Matt’s friends chose the song, Forever Young, for his funeral. His parents, who love all the kids so much, wanted them to be involved. His touch football and soccer teams wore their jerseys and formed the honour guard as his coffin was driven out of the church grounds. Over a thousand people, many of them teenagers from the various local schools, crammed into the church and overflowed onto the verandas and car park, where speakers were set up for the funeral. The church that Paul Stanley had thought might be too big for the service was busting at the seams with people who mourned the loss of his teenage son. He was overwhelmed by the number of people who were affected by Matthew’s death.

On a Saturday night I am at an engagement party for my pastor, Dave’s, daughter. Paul and Kay Stanley are there. It turns out that Dave, who had never met them prior to the night he heard about Matt, has kept in close contact with them since the funeral. Tomorrow is Mothers’ Day and Kay tells me she’s dreading it. I’m ashamed that I’d been feeling neglected because two of my kids have to work. How is she going, I ask. ‘Most days I have to force myself to get out of bed,’ she says. Paul throws himself into working with the Matthew Stanley Foundation; he is determined to wrench some kind of meaning from his son’s seemingly meaningless death. I wonder how anyone can ever recover from something like this, let alone scrape together the semblance of a life. But they have to, for the sake of their youngest son, a wonderful boy, now their only son. I resolve to be thankful every day for my children’s relatively safe passage through the world so far.

This morning, Mothers’ Day, while two of my children are at work and the other one sleeps safely in his bed, I look up the website of the Matthew Stanley Foundation. I cry when I see the picture of Matt on the home page; it’s the same photo I have on my fridge of Matthew at the beach with his blonde hair dishevelled from the surf, a cheeky grin on his face. The website contains the words of Youth Group’s song, Forever Young, which will always be Matt’s song now. It has links to the Queensland Police Party Safe website. There are tributes from kids from school, kids I’ve known their whole lives. One of them is a letter from Leigh, Rudi’s oldest friend; his mum was one of my best friends in high school. It sometimes amazes me how lives intertwine and tragic events cause pain that affects us all. The site expresses Paul’s hopes of giving meaning to his son’s senseless death. Most of all, I read expressions of grief and love from Matt’s family and friends, who will never forget where they were when they heard about Matt Stanley.

A few days ago, my husband was talking to Rudi’s soccer coach. Our son changed clubs a few years ago and played against Matt’s team in 2005. Rudi was sweeper and Matt was striker; it was a great game to watch and ended in a well-deserved draw. In a couple of weeks, they play Rudi and Matt’s old team again. Talking about the up-coming game, Rudi’s coach said, ‘I wonder if they still have that kid with the throw-in.’ We knew exactly who he meant; Matthew was a local legend for his ability to throw the ball from the side lines straight into the six yard box—as dangerous as a corner. My husband told him that was the boy who was killed last year. ‘Shit, was that the kid?’ Everyone in Brisbane has heard about the boy who was fatally beaten at a party. ‘He could throw the ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen.’ Carlos played semi-professionally in Sydney and his dad played for Uruguay, so that’s quite a compliment. ‘That’s a damn shame.’ I wonder, if it takes a community to raise a child, does it take a community to mourn a child? This event has affected almost everyone I know, in one way or another. I think that throughout our whole lives, small things will always remind us of Matthew, and our hearts will break all over again, for ourselves, for our children, for Matthew and for his family.

Even though it feels like time stands still when something tragic touches us, the fact is that it doesn’t. Life, as they say, is for the living. Matt’s family have had to observe Christmas, their birthdays, and now Mothers’ Day without him. His friends had to have their Grade 10 dinner without him, go on to Grade 11 without him, celebrate their birthdays, and get their learner drivers’ licences without him. Next year they will graduate without him. They will grow up, go to university, get jobs, marry and have children. But Matthew Stanley will always be the bright, funny, good-looking, talented, popular fifteen-year-old kid who had his future stolen from him. Forever young.

Ashleigh Johnson
hi my name is ash johnson and i just wanted to say that i am sorry to hear about your loss of matt as he sounded like an amzing teenager! i am from christchurch in New Zealand and the same thing kind of happend to a girl form my school hannah rossiter as she was a hit by an oncoming car at a party while saying hi to her friends on the road….. party was out of control and police couldnt stop it!! i say that we need some one like you guys here in nz to do the same here as our parties are getting out of control and know one is taking anythig serious again… just forgetting whats happend bascially!! i wuld love to have a wrist band to support but dont knw if that possible…. but would love to hear from u sometime…. rip matt and hannah i know everyone misses u and u will be in our hearts forver and ever!! xxx:P

Mandy Evans
Matt wat a great guy.
Miss that kid.
He was a madd kid..
Loved him so.
he was great.
Miss him everyday
i think about him everynight before i go to bed.
I miss Matt more and more everyday.
Thanks for all the gudtyms yooh and i shared matt.
Love you always
Mandy

Danielle Morice

I think that this site is a great tribute and reminder of Matt who could never be forgotten.
I went to primary school with Matt and have so many great memories of him, he was such an amazing person and he is greatly missed by everyone. I would never go more than a few weeks without bumping into him whether it was in a shopping center or him just popping into my work to say hello.
He was so friendly and caring and his memory will always be kept alive.

I would just like to say i’m sorry to the Stanley family for their huge loss.
Take care.
R.I.P Stanley.

Caitlin Holt

I just wanted to say that what happened to your son is just terrible, and that my heart is with you all. I think that the people that did murder him barely got away with a slap on a wrist. God Bless Matthew may he rest in peace.

Belinda McLaughlin

hey,
just reading on the homepage of this website what had happend to this young, talented, inspiring boy; shocked me, it gave me shivers up my spine to here that such a horrible thing could happen to an innocent person.

This is an amazing foundation that will make a difference in todays society.

violence is definatly NOT the key to solving anything.

Matthew Stanley, will definatly be remembered not just for what he succeeded in, but for the person he was.

Donna McCann

Blessings I heard you on the radio last night and my heart went out to you and your family .

I my self have a son of 16 , whom came back from sth bank on the 4th of dec 2006. He was walking back from wynnum train station to stop at the 7 11 and purshase a slurpy he was king hit from behind not out sent to the PA hospital. the police did not want to know any thing at all about it.

I guess he was lucky.

Naomi Holder

Your story has affected me greatly, not least because I am the mother of two young sons. I want to congratulate you on the great work you are doing, and hope that some good can come from Matthew’s death.
Best wishes.

Rhys Henderson-Jones

Matt was a great friend and you should be very proud to raise a kid like him

Claire Dow

LETTER OF THANKS TO THE STANLEY FAMILY

Congratulations to the Stanley Family and to Matthew’s Dad, Paul for being a finalist in the Courier Mail/Sunday Mail ‘PRIDE OF AUSTRALIA MEDAL’, 2007.

Paul, you were one of three finalists in the Category of Peace and I most sincerely honour you and your special family for contributing so passionately to our Queensland community for the protection of our Youth. I was privileged to be seated at your table for the finalists’ judging on 27 October 2007 and sadly observed that at this most auspicious event there were three separate families in attendance that day at the one table who are all Survivor Families of Homicide.

I salute the Stanley Family and the Matthew Stanley Foundation.

Yours most humbly,
Claire Dow xxx

Kelli Johnstone

It is so sad to hear about matty the things that happen in the society these days i am a 15 year old female and i love partying but i heard your story and i am very cautious these days and i tell my friend to do the same thing.

Tom Pitt

Hey Nick , Nicks Parents,
Im sorry what happened to you I no this is extreamly late i was scared to say somthing, But im extreamly sorry for your loss and i hope to make a donation soon,
Sincerly Tom

Sarah Smith

hey, well im not very good at this sort of thing.. well i did not know Mathew Stanley, but reading all the beautiful thoughts that pepole have left to help support his family and many friends, i wish i did! This foundation is a great inspiration to many ages.. im so very sorry for your great loss.. and may my thoughts be with you!

Kathy Regan

Having attended Matthew’s funeral last year and the memorial this week in support of the Stanley family and my son who was with Matthew when he left the party and tried to assist him during and after the assault, I have had the misfortune last night of seeing my boy arrive home injured after being set upon by a group of youths at our local railway station. Another senseless act by a group of seven or eight mid teens with absolutely no respect for human life and it’s frailty. While my son has stated that he is extremely lucky to have survived the initial blow to his forehead and maintained reason enough to recoil and try to protect himself from the other assailants before fleeing, he is also non-chalent about the less favourable possible consequences of this event and the sense of responsibility required to avoid placing himself in such a vulnerable position in the future.

I appreciate your endeavours to educate our young people but feel I need to wish you luck with a generation who have been given a false sense of security where even a parent’s authority (in the reasonable and caring sense) is challenged and over-ruled by a society who believe their freedom of expression is more important than a sense of responsibility.

In remembrance of my son’s friend Matthew and out of respect for a family who are trying to support and protect us all, I thank you.

Darcy Cooper

On the 24th September 2006, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy died at a teenage party. The subsequent shockwaves that overcame his family and community were devastating. His name was Matt Stanley.

“Stanley”, as he was known affectionately by his mates, was yet another victim of the ever increasing phenomenon of teen violence. It must stop!

With the federal election looming and the anniversary of Matt Stanley’s death fast approaching, it is a timely reminder that this issue needs to remain on the political agenda.

To truly stop this epidemic, we need to work together as a nation. Youth violence does not just affect some communities; it has the capacity to significantly impact on all communities. Matt Stanley’s death highlighted the fact that random acts of violence can happen to very ordinary families with well-adjusted children.

Education is the key to bringing about social change. We need to continue to educate teenagers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and how to party safely. We need to educate adults too, about the ways in which it is possible to maintain their children’s safety and to access programmes that already exist such as Party Safe. Party Safe is a Queensland State Government and Queensland Police initiative.

Teens also need to be given the opportunity to speak out on violence and other issues affecting them. And politicians need to be ready to listen! A recent community consultation held by the police minister, Hon. Judy Spence, Minister for Police, recently attempted to address the matter of youth violence however; it fell short of its potential, as the agenda was predetermined.

Let’s not wait until these acts of violence affect your family. Our youth need to: say no, speak out, help others and be heard. Let’s ensure teenagers live long, healthy and rewarding lives. We deserve a bright future.

Bronte Jacobs

i just wanted to thank you for tonight.
it was really great and i was so happy to see so many people there. it just goes to show how fantastic stanley was and still is today :)
thanks again for everything. you’re all a true inspiration.

Troy Luke

Matt stayed over my place alot back at primary school, he was a good friend, i didnt find out about it for a couple of weeks after the event happened. Im extremly sorry and writing this for you to know that he isnt forgotten. R.I.P Matt

Steve Gibson

Tommorow marks the first anniversary of Matthew’s death . Until his death I had not even heard of Matthew, yet the way he ways taken really affected me and moved me quite strongly. I do not know any of his family or his friends, yet I sympathise for them as if I knew him as a friend.

To all Matthew’s family and his friends i offer my prayers – and hope you might take comfort in knowing that he is in a happy place watching over you all.

Jessie Adams

I’m not sure who reads this but I feel I must send it all the same.
Hi, I’m Jessie Adams and I worked with Matt at Trade Secret, we started together and in a way ended as I was working with him on Saturday.

Matt was so beautiful, he could always make me smile and he was the only one I didn’t care about not doing anything when we worked together because he was quality to have around. & boy did he eat! I can remember us sharing food and fighting over the maggie 2 min noodles in the lunch room, I love to have those special memories.
His pay pocket still has his name tag sitting on it, I made sure it was left there and I think he knows we still think of him every time where there.

Thank-You. All my love.

Candice Herse

I would just like to say that even though i was not the best of freinds with matt i did no him, and i knew him well enough to no that he had an amazing spirit about him and a will to suceed. At the news of matt’s death i was reduced to tears, in a way i felt almost selfish at the fact thought of howw Matt’s close freind and family would feel. But then i thought that is not what Matt would have wanted. He would have wanted every one that felt saddness to learn from it, to not feel bad but to celebrate the time he shared with us. Matt is an angel, and heaven knows there is a shortage. I’m just so happy to no that Matt’s death was not invain and that the colpret wwill be brought to justice cause No one deserves a fate that was handed to Matt, and he will be dearly missed, he has touched the hearts of so many people, people he had never spoken a word, and that in itself is a beautiful thing, just as he was.

Also so to Matt’s dad i have sooo much respect for you, you have taken a tragedy like this and turned it into some thing positive that will in turn prevent other tragedies, you are a very strong, giving and amazing human, Matt was so lucky to be plessed wwith such a caring father, im sure you made his life the best it could be, you ar and angel.

R.I.P – God Bless
Di Quilty

I’ve just spent over an hour moving through your website – it should have taken half that time, but I had trouble reading through the tears. I have a 16 yr old son, he is just a month older than your Matty, looks a bit like him too, and I can’t even begin to realise the utter pain that you & your family must have gone through & continue to go through. My heart aches for you. A lady I know lost her 32 yo son in a car accident & one day when we were chatting, she told me that she knows she’ll die with a broken heart. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.

Tonight when I was reading one of the letters on your site, my son came & looked over my shoulder & asked what I was reading. I told him & it gave us the opportunity to chat about parties, young people drinking, anger, fights & all those things parents of teenagers worry about. I take the opportunity when I can, to talk to my son about the reality of out-of-control parties, what some people are like when they drink or get angry, how easy & quickly your life can be altered forever, and your site creates the opportunity to talk about the horrible reality of violence. Thank you.

I am amazed that in spite of your grief you are able to turn your personal tragedy into such a positive force. Your site is fantastic. I have two teenagers – my daughter is 18 & at uni & my son is in Yr 11, a surf lifesaver at Mooloolaba Beach & friend to everyone (very similar to your Matty). Their dad died 6 years ago, when they were only 12 & 10, and being a single parent to teenagers is not the easiest job in the world, but it is made easier by people like you, who, despite their own pain, put so much into ensuring no other parent goes through what you and Kay are going through, by opening our family’s eyes to the reality of stupid, stupid behaviour. Thank you.

Keep up the good work – I know there would be plenty of parents out there thanking you – you’re doing a great job.

Linda Griffin

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Matts Mum, Dad and brother. Not a day goes by I do not think of their unimaginable pain.My son is 1 day younger than Matt and every time he goes out Matts face flashes through my mind, and I spend the whole time worrying if he will return.

The major problem that I see with teenage parties at present, is the amount of alcohol consumed by very young kids. At a recent post semi party I helped supervise, 16yr olds were rolling up with large bottles of rum and bourbon, cartons of beer and slabs of premixed drinks. It was unbelievable that the parents obviously purchased this alcohol, and left their kids at a party and drove off to put their head in the sand, always thinking “what happened to the Stanleys won’t happen to me”. This attiitude by other parents makes it very difficult for the others who don’t want underage kids drinking, as suddently your kid is the nerd or loser who doesn’t drink. The first step to cutting out the violence is cutting out the alcohol, raise the drinking age back to 21, and make parents responsible for not letting their kids drink themselves silly. Don’t parents realise when the kids are that drunk it is impossible for them to look out for themselves and make smart decisions.

My prayers and with the Stanley family, and I also pray my son will make it through the teenage years, even if he does call me the fun Nazi.

GOD BLESS YOU MATT AND KEEP YOU IN HIS CARE

Sharon Evans

Paul & Kay & Nick,

I think of you all every day and just know what wonderful people you all are and you are in my thoughts & prayers. This is not an easy time of year coming up to the first anniversary, but I know you have amazing support and are so brave for all you have done to keep matt’s memory alive. I never met him, but I was at the funeral and everywhere I go people talk about him, it is truely amaging how many people have been affected. I wish you all the best and know that many possitive things lay ahead out of this tragedy. Thanks for your never ending determination to make a difference and keeping the community involved and giving us the knowledge we will need to keep our kids safer in this ever changing world. Love from Sharon xxxx

Kymelle Athorn

I am writing to applaud your efforts at addressing the increasing and disturbing trend towards violence in our society. One area that concerns me greatly is the level of violence in our media. Each and every night there are television programs that depict graphic violence (eg. CSI). I believe that such programs glamourise violence and desensitise viewers and consequently I feel that such programs contribute to the acceptance of violence in our society. Are there any opportunities for concerned citizens to assist with the work of your foundation ?

Many thanks.

Katey Comino

Like every other parent my heart broke when I heard this story and I started an ‘anti violence’ campaign at my daughter’s school. Everyone was so eager to do something that we got ahead of ourselves, didnt put enough planning into it and it didnt take off as intended – doesnt matter because we learnt something along the way, maybe it can contribute to the campaign. We focused too much on the ‘non violence’ and should have focused on encouraging young people to ‘look out’ for each other – abit like the saying “don’t fight war, promote peace”.

So if I get it up and running again that will be the new tangent and we’ll do something so we can raise funds for the foundation. I’ve just looked at the video’s on this site and it looks to me you gave Matt an awesome life – you have to be proud of that!

Geoff O’Callaghan

I heard about your foundation on the news today. I’ve done a lot of work in the Stanthorpe area to help teenagers who are potentially in trouble. Lately, I’ve had to slow down because of heart disease, so I’m not doing much now.Our main problem is drugs and alcohol. I don’t think we can stop what is happening until we meet the problem of drugs head on. My unpopular view is that kids should get random drug tests at school and those that test positive should get counseling and help. Until that happens, we aren’t going to get very far with the problem. Civil libertarians will scream, and so will the drug dealers, but I believe it’s the way to go. It isn’t necessary to test all kids – and they shouldn’t get a criminal conviction from the process, but they do need to get help. This may involve compulsory treatment in a centre.
Best wishes with your work.

Jayme Russell

Hello. My name’s Jayme. I’m from NSW and had never met Matthew, but I was completely shocked by his death. I found out about the Matthew Stanley Foundation because I was in the process of finishing an artwork on youth violence.

I was touched by the Foundation and fully support it.

I am also in the process of writing a persuasive speech for my yr10 english class at school, with my issue being youth violence. It is something that is very close to my heart, even though I have not had any personal experiences. Youth violence is something I am completely against, and I would like to do more about it, but I’m not sure what there is that I can do. This is one of the many reasons I chose to do this topic for my speech.

I thought I would email to show my support.

Laura Ryan

This foundation is a great idea and it’s putting everything that happened towards doing something good. Stanley was a great person and I use to talk to him often. I didn’t hear what had happened for a long time after and I, as all his other friends were, was devastated. He was an amazing guy and he will always be in mine and my families hearts. My family has made previous donations before and we will continue doing so to show our continual respect towards Matty and his family.

Olivia McLean

this site i hope raises awareness for children and their families all over australia i know this event has affected me

Tori Rae

sorry about you loss. he obviously didnt deserve what he got. i think it’s a great foundation and its wonderfall the he has touched many peoples hearts, his story has sure touched mine.

Kyaha Hoh

Hello i read the site on matt’s death and i also saw the tribute to him on
Bebo. I am a 12 year old girl that lost her cousin of the same thing she was the same age as matt and she also was a very talented girl at both sport and her school work. When we lost sarah we didnt think it was reaal well i didnt. she was the one that i could talk to and tell her all my problems then when i found out she was dead i felt like i had lost a big part of my life she sounds alot like matt she use to make kids smile and she was very poular. But i still think about her every day. I know your probly thinking well shes is 12 she doesnt know much but ..i know how much it hurts to loose someone close to you.

I can remember when i got the news i just sat there and cryied for days. But i felt the most for her brother he would not go into her room they were REALLY REALLY close it really touched me one day i walked past her room crying and the door was half open . . i loocked it was him he was sitting on her bed crying and talking to her he said”its all my fault i should have been there to save you i should have” i didnt know what to say so i kept walking and then one night i when into her room and sat in her fluffy chair that she loved this might sound weird but she came back to me she said” tell mum not to worry ill allways be here tell nanna i love her and tell mum i do to tell all my cousins and your sister i miss then and kyaha im telling you i love you and ill allways be here for you i love you all”

Thank you for your foundation im sure it will help alot
Kyaha Hoh

Hello i didnt know matt but he sounded like a great guy,im only 12 yrs old and i lost my 16 yr old cousin sarah of the same thing i just wish i was there to save her . . . they both didnt deseve to die the were young sarah was very talented at school and sport to. I am very sorry for your los of one great guy.

R.I.P Matt

IN RESPECT TO MATTHEW ALEXANDER STANLEY

He was just a boy and still at school.
Matt Stanley was an Inspiration not another fool.
He was the type of guy who’d help you in the toughest situations, He’d
always be there no matter what even on vacations.

Every time you think of him and all the love he spread,
Gone or not Matt Stanley will never really be dead.
In our hearts and in our dreams, there he’ll always stay,
The presence of him being here will never go away.

He was a very sporty kid and very athletic,
He was a good touch footballer and of course I can’t forget how good
he was at soccer, he was just terrific!

We all knew his heart was made of solid gold.
And the wonderful memories we have of him will never ever grow old. We cannot say matt is no longer here, that’ll be a lie. Because we still have his presence, now that will never die.

He was so young with his childish grin,
Matt Stanley’s death was more than a sin.
There wasn’t a dry face after word of his death,
Taking his life was an unforgivable theft.

His interests were in soccer; his mind was on the game.
With sport he showed commitment, that’s where he got his fame. That
beautiful guy and his beautiful smile, Always put on a smile on
everyone’s dial.

We thank him for everything he had ever done,
And promise to live on thinking of him and all that fun.
It’s time to end this lovely poem… I say with a great big sigh,
Matt, I know you’re here so remember you’ll never be
By Emilie
[R.I.P MATT STANLEY]

Leanne and Craig Servin

Dear Paul and Kay, and any other concerned parents,
Last night my 15 year old son, also a Matthew, snuck out , twice , to a party he was told he could not go to. There are obviously issues that we as a family need to deal with regarding his sneaking out.However, the reason I write to you tonight, is that, after discovering him at this party a second time, it came to our attention that another parent (the parent at who’s house the party was at ), had knowingly and openly allowed his under-age daughter to have this party with alcohol, that was supplied to not only to my son (without our knowledge or consent ) but to dozens of other teenagers who were also under-age. My son, and many of the other CHILDREN at this party were not “just” under age, they are “several years ” under age.

My husband is an ex-Qld. police officer and so, many of our friends are also, many still in the Service. They inform me that there is nothing I can do as the parent of a 15 year old CHILD, to stop another parent or adult from supplying MY child with alcohol if it is on private premises. SOMEBODY, somebody who should have taken responsibility, supplied these children with alcohol, and if this man’s daughter is to be believed, he went to bed and left them to it. My son also came home with a large “hicky ” on his neck, so no doubt, a lot more than teenage drinking went on.

When we collected our son a second time, it was in the cold light of day. The scene that greeted us was one that could be likened to a battle-field. However, it is one that many neighbourhoods wake up to every Saturday and Sunday morning. There were empty beer cans and smashed and empty beer /alcohol bottles strewn all over the front lawn and gutter.Inside this house were dozens of bleary-eyed teenagers, who emerged from the front living room of the house after what looked like a teenagers version of a slumber party.

Once home safely with our son, I rang the local Police station, because as I stated , my husband is now an ex- police officer.Perhaps there may have been favourable changes to the law over the past 2 years, regarding these matters?? But sadly, no.I was informed by a very sympathetic officer that I needed evidence. Previously stated facts were not enough. I felt SO defeated and still do.

My point is not one of casting judgement upon other parents and what they want to do with their own children, whether it be morally corupt or not.My distress is caused, because, currently, under Qld .law, other parents and adults can supply MY CHILD with alcohol, allow and turn a blind eye to possible acts of carnal knowledge involving my child, and there is not one iota of anything I can do about it. All my child has to do ,is do what teenagers have been doing for decades—-sneak out of the house and go against his parents express wishes. Not only did this father thumb his nose at us, when I rang another set of parents to check if they had allowed their 15 year old daughter to go to this all-night party, they too openly said they knew of the alcohol being there and were O.K. with it. Am I losing my mind, am I the only parent left on this planet who thinks this is NOT o.k.?? !!

Where to from here, for us ??I don’t even know where to begin, although I will go with my gut instincts and try to talk to my son and try really hard to listen to him too. Do you have any advice, information or just anything at all to add that may be of comfort or help to this floundering mother? I would be so grateful.

Your son’s story struck a chord with me back in September. But for the grace of God, go any of us. Your pain must be unimaginable, and so I thank you for finding the strength to go forth and launch the foundation in your son Matt’s memory, hoping to prevent even just one more senseless loss of a life through the effects of drugs and alcohol, the most insidious drug of all.

Many thanks for your reply. Your son is not a forgotten memory—-the number of my friends who recalled his story when I mentioned only my own son is something that, I think , means that you had an impact, that the message you have been trying to get out there is indeed, out there in other people’s minds and hearts.
I will continue to fight for what I believe is right—that indeed it is my son’s right to grow up at a pace that I, as his mother, feel is appropriate, without the influences of others who will never have our son’s interests at heart to the degree that his loving parents do.
I will continue to log on to your fabulous web-site for up-dates, however, I will always keep in mind that it something that you wish you had never had cause to create in the first place.Your son’s fun-loving face and pictures are in my mind now, especially as my Matt looks like a dark-haired version of yours.

Jo Stanley

i got very sad reading through this site, good on all friends and family of matt who are trying to get this issue out in society . good luck and thank you for sharing a life that should be here right now , i wish the very best to his friends and family on getting the word out and make a difference in memory of mathew stanley.

Kelly Walker

To all Matthew’s family,

I am kelly Walker and i attend Flagstone State Community College, i attended the Youth Forum at the Brisbane Convention Centre. I am deeply sorry for your loss and strongly admire your efforts to change the Important teenage issues which strike us all in today’s society. Your honesty and sincerity was definitly appreciated by all in attendance. Matthew’s foundation will live on and will make a difference in today’s world, as it has touched so many lives already.

You are strong hearted parents that are determined to make a change. Good luck to the Stanley family in the future and beyond.

Sue Lewerissa

I am Teacher-Aide and mother of 2 children, a boy 16 years and a girl 14 years. I’ve just received at school the Education Views Magazine for July which goes out to all staff in Education Qld and saw the story on Matthew and couldn’t put it down.

I immediately showed my husband also a Teacher and took it in to show my children. It was then we realized that my son has probably been playing against some of Matthew’s friends in the Redlands Touch Football Team. My son now plays for the 16 year old boys from Dodgers, Gold Coast and they have had some close games this year in the representative side when they have played at Redlands, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and a week ago at Glasshouse Mountains.

I also recognised the picture of Paul Stanley and wondered if that is you with the team and their coach? I have looked at all of Matthew’s site and showed my children and admire your courage and strength and what you are doing. I cannot simply try to imagine what you have all gone through and what you continue to go through. I felt such an overwhelming sadness when I read all the stories and tributes on the site and do remember when it happened last year thinking of my own son the same age as Matthew.

I now find myself worrying already about next year and him wanting to go to Schoolies and about the tragic things that can happen. Thank you all for what you are doing and for speaking out about the violence that exists for todays youth.

It would be wonderful if you could come to all schools even Primary Schools and tell Matthew’s story.
Kindest regards and sympathy to you all.

Hayden Davey

words can not express the way i miss matthew stanley. He was one of a kind and when i seen him i swear something about him that made me feel different. I remeber the first tim i seen him was at redlands little atheletics; he came up to me and these were his exact words “hey hayden i remeber you, remeber me from districts in the 200m, your heaps fast”…oh my god words of stanley the most out going person i no considering i didnt have a clue who matt was. Well for those who dont no him thats who he was. The most friendliest mate a friend could have. I was one of many friends matt had,but i of a billion who miss him.

matthew alexander stanley we are all missing you everyday, luvn you everyday and praying for you everyday. many hearts go out to paul,kay and nick im soo sorry for the loss of your son.

il try n stay stong for you matt because i no you would want us to be happy.

miss you forever and ever
LOVE YOU MATT…R.I.P
SEE YOU SOON

EM

I only recently came across yur website the foundation is the best thing out. Hearing your sons story n yur great lose has greatly impacted me and in a way set me straight. It has totally opened my eyes to the consequences of actions of such and I intend to keep my word in order to respect yur sons memory, to never be apart of activities which could put me in the same position.

I thank u once again for the impact yur site has had n hope yur sons memory will continue to help young teenages make the right choices in life.

Rest in peace Matt your meory will live on.

Tara Wright

I am very sorry for the terrible loss of your son i have been to a party where it has been crashed i am just so sorry for your loss i didnt know your son matt but R.I.P….

Lots of love tara

Jessica S

I don’t know this Matthew Stanley boy, but when i read what happend i litrally started to cry, just reading that can touch peoples hearts. i don’t understand how a group of people or acutally anyone could kick a 15 year old you to death they dont understand that they ruin lives of teh parents and everyone around him that loves him. this boy could of done great things, most of all knock some sence into the people that think bashing people make things better. get a life. RIP Matthew Stanley, all my love to his friends and family.

Eddie Lau

I read about your story on the courier mail and I am sorry for what has happenned. I would like to say what has kept me out of these youth violence situations, or maybe I am just lucky. I am from Hong Kong, and at a young age (I was about 11 years old at the time) there was a government TV advertisement about youth violence which has stuck in my head even up to now and reminds me all the time about real situations in life.

The ad starts off with a “Chow yun fat” movie, the typical gangster hero in HK cinema, beating up some people movie-style, got guns and knives etc… then something happens. He gets killed in the ad. the next scene, the director says “cut!”. obviously showing that it is just in a movie. Then it says a very important message: [There is no "Take 2" in life.
Becareful with your daily actions.]

I dunno if that message has worked as such but most people from HK know this line. I think that was a really and important message that got through to me quickly at a young age to always remind me that every step u take in life has consequences, it’s not a computer game or a movie, which i think a lot of youths often forget and accidently do really stupid things.

Hope it helps, and i hope u can help a lot of kids.

Natalie Billiard

I just want to say thank you for trying to make a difference.

I am now 28 years old but when I was a teenager I was very angry at the world, I had low self-esteem but each morning I woke up, I put on that angry mask because I thought if I showed people how I really felt inside, they will see how close I was to the edge.

It would have taken one person to sit and listen, without judging or saying what they thought I would want to hear. It would have taken just one person to see that deep down I was just a scared girl trying to be brave, trying to survive. Instead I got labelled: The girl with attitude, waste of space… and this coming from teachers. I spent 8 hours a day with them.I know they don’t have the time or the resources to help all kids like I was but maybe if teachers were trained more in psychology, maybe they would see that some of those kids with attitude aren’t as bad as they portray themselves to be. Stop the labels and listen. Communication has almost gone.

I am now a mother of 2 living in France. I have come a long way from that scared little girl who didn’t know if it was better to live or die. Every day I ask my children 2 questions when they get in the car after school.
1. What was the best part of your day?
2. What was the worst part of your day?
I want my children to know that they can always tell me the good and bad things that happen to them in their day. Always..
Communication will free us all.

I am sorry for your loss and I hope you achieve everything you have set out to achieve.

Bec T

I went to the same primary school as Matt, and although we weren’t friends it wasn’t hard to tell how great of a person he was. His personality shone like no other and its so sad to see someone with so much opportunity pass away. Memories never fade though, and even the people who have never met him will never forget him.

This foundation is a great idea, and my support lies with you.

Shanayde

Matt’s Story has moved my heart is so many ways, He has changed the way i view my outlook on life as well as the way i see underage drinking.

I guess as teenagers we really do think that were all un-stopable, I used to think it too, Until i found out what happend to Matt… It made me realise that there is more to life than getting drunk and partying all the time.

Its weird… Although i never knew Matthew, I can’t stop thinking about him and what happened.

I would love to Donate some money or something to your foundation… Also, me and a couple of my mates would like to purchase some wristbands if they are still available.

I feel so sorry for your loss, and for all Matt’s friends and family.

Also i would like to thank you. This has been an eye-opener for so many of my friends including myself, Matt’s story has had us all in tears from word go. I still sometimes cry for him. :(

Alice Paulsen

i met matt once or twice at school i did not know that well but his story has touch me and all my friends and i’m so sorry for the lost of your son paul,kay and nick from what i hear he seemed like a very nice boy

Jan and Bill Thompson

Dear Paul, Kay & Nicholas,

We were shocked and saddened to read the recent article in the Qweekend magazine, our heartfelt condolences to you.

Jan and I both remember the tragic events of last September as I’m sure most in the Redlands would. At the time we could not understand how this could happen at a teenage party and we both commented on how it must feel for the family concerned, sadly we did not make the association.

We remember Matty well from our time in Frank St. If we were pottering around in the backyard he would half climb the tree on the fence line and have a chat. When we hid the soccer table in our garage before xmas, and then playing against him he was unbeatable. Matty always seemed to be on the move, coming or going, but never too busy for a friendly wave and smile.

We cannot forget the kindness and welcome you showed to us as new neighbours. Your kind wishes and support when Georgia arrived and the camaraderie on and off the golf course remain a lasting memory.

You are in our thoughts

Lea

I live close to where the party was held where Matt lost his life. I pass by every day with my two little boys in the car & shed a tear for how tragic it is that a beautiful young soul is lost & all of the other young people involved will never be the same. Many of your comments on here ask the question “why is our youth so angry?” “why are they more violent than when we were teenagers?”. I think that it is time we started looking not only at the alcohol & the damaged home lives of some of our kids (as these factors have always been present).
As a mum of a little boy who is extremely reactive to food additives, it terrifies me to read the ingredients labels on most of the food products available to us these days. The ingreients of most foods read like a pharmacist’s list of dangerous chemicals. Preservatives, flavour enhancers & colours have horrible effects on alot of kids (& probably alot of adults). My son changes from a sweet, calm, rational child to a hyperactive, irrational & violent child after consuming them. Take-away foods are the worst offenders of using additives & considering that a large part of a teenagers diet is fast food, doesn’t it make sense that some kids are reacting to these chemicals? Food was alot more “natural” when I was a teenager & there was alot less youth violence. Maybe there is a connection there…. my thoughts & prayers are with your family & I think that your foundation is a wonderful thing that WILL make a difference. Good Luck.

Mandy Evans

Hi, I am really sorry for your loss and i am sitting here in tears because of how sad this was. I had met matt a few times and i thought he was awesome. Matt and I shared the same birthday. Matty was awesome. Loved him to bits. and always will.
Kay, Paul & Nick, I am sooo sorry for your loss and i Hope that what you are trying your hardest to do will be enuff to put a stop to this rediculous violence.
I used to live in your area and i used to go to these parties and witness the violence and i thought someone i will get close to will be a victim of this. And that person happend to be Matt. I am really sorry guys.
Love now and forever

Kirst

i feel sooooo sorry for you i dont know how to say how i feel…. just that we know he is in a safer place now with god up in heaven and he is watching over every move u take. he is in a place where he is safe now and smiling down on us

Tiah Steinhardt

My name is Tiah Steinhardt and I am a friend of Matt’s and i wasn’t sure where to send a tribute. I really just wanted to say that he was a great fella and I am really missing him! The first time I ever met Matty i knew we would be good friends. Im finding it hard to face he is gone but i can still see him playing down at redlands everytime im down there… To Paul, Kay and Nick you have really made me smile with your bravery and your strength to keep going! I really admire you and all my best wishes and love is sent through my prayers. I love you Matt, you will forever be in my heart and i will never forget you!! Your a hands down legend… Forever Young! I will see you soon buddy, watch down on all of us and know we are thinking of you! I hope your showing them up there how to play a good game of touch footy pal!

Demelza Glaister

I was just reading the site you wrote, I am in tears it was so sad to hear what had happened to such a gorgues boy! I lost my bestfriend 2 years ago and are still struggling to cope, I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your son, He seems like such an ANGEL. I never new him I don’t even live In brisbane I live in Townsville .. I thought I would write a poem in dedication to Matthew!

Where have you gone I need you by my side You are my rainbow & my sweet SMILE The tears are streaming down my face .. losing something I can never Replace Your heart is still with me Your hand is always mine to hold For I know you are in the next room Watching over me I miss you dear boy And wait for you to come home each day after school I needed to tell you those three words that meant so much “I LOVE YOU” I never got the chance to before you left But, I know you hear my silent prayers of I LOVE YOU . R.I.P_______Matthew Stanley

I hope nobody else has to suffer the way your son did ..

Demelza Glaister

I just wanted to show my support for your website it is really great that you have done this for your gorgues boy matthew I never knew him and I found out about who he was from bebo .. I know how it feels to lose someone you are close to because I lost my best friend . I just wanted to show some respect to yourself and the rest of your Family ; I would also like to know if we donate do we have to be apart of a buisness and is there a limit on how much you donate. Once again I am sorry for the tragic loss of Matthew

Kelsie Jones (America)

I live in America and I came across this site. It is very touching in so many ways. Your son sounded like a gentlemen. From what I have read, maybe I should consider what kind of party(s) I need to pass up. I am 15 and I don’t party but I know that as my high school years go around the corner I will be wanting to party for graduations. In doing so, I will take your advice and let my parents know what kind of party I will be attending and so on.
Matthew sounded like a really great kid. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

Debby Ramsay

As one of many close personal friends of Kay, Paul, Matt and Nik, I can only say how deeply I and my children Nicole and Mitch have felt the loss of Matt through this senseless act of violence. Our children have grown up together, spent birthdays together. They were supposed to attend each others weddings and celebrate the births of each others children. We think of Matt every single day and can only share a small amount of the intense and immense pain Kay, Paul and Nik feel. We will never be able to understand how and why this happened to such a wonderful young kid. It is up to society to enforce changes to each and every school to change the curriculum to include self respect and respect for others. Someone falls over, you help them up, not step over them. Someone cannot protect themselves, you look out for them, not take advantage of their weakness. These are lessons which need to be taught throughout the entire school years. “Show me the child at 7 and I’ll show you the man”. We must educate our children from a very young age. If a child comes from a less than desirable home life, if they see another way to treat one and other, this will encourage them to bring what they have been taught into the home. Party Safe should become part of weekly Peer Groups held in high schools. Matt tried to do the right thing – to walk away – he was still killed. Government and Politicians need to look at Mental Health issues for the young. Why are there so many angry young people? Why are there increasing numbers of bashing happening in todays society? There is nothing available to the young until a crime is committed and then rehabilitation is offered. This is too late. The boy who killed Matt is also a victim in a society which has let him down. An unwanted problem, now too late to fix. Damage is done. Question how and why are we letting these type of kids fall through the cracks with a slap on the wrist.
I send my love and support to Kay, Paul and Nik, to Jan and Warren, uncles, aunts, cousins, and their many many friends, as their pain will never go away. Our Matty will always be remembered.

Cassandra Steer

Matthew,

Your memory is so much alive that people, who have never met you, feel they know you. Your family and friends are some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. How they each find the strength to bear the immense daily suffering of being separated from you, is beyond comprehension – and they have my full respect and admiration for their courage.

Despite their enormous grief, they also somehow find the additional strength to give the most significant gift one could ever give another human being – and that is to prevent the death of a loved one – for others.

We will never know how many young lives they save or the identity of those they save. But what we can say without hesitation is that you, your family and friends are at the forefront of some of the most significant changes ever made in our community. You, your family and your friends are essentially giving young people back, the rest of their lives.

Today, your family and friends did you proud, as they have in the past eight months, and all the years before. They are leading by example. The love, caring and respect that exists is contagious… and it is spreading out amongst the community, creating something so very positive… Just ordinary, everyday people, showing us the way forward, with basic love, kindness and respect, (despite enduring such deep grief themselves)… They are truly inspiring… and are touching the hearts of many, just as you have.
Loretta Muenchberger

Its wonderful that people are taking an interest in this subject…it has worried me for a long time that kids can be bashed by gangs and they get away scott free…
Starting with the school kids is a good thing I think, but maybe the ones who need educating arent there or arent listening and I dont know what we do about them. There are so many young kids smoking dope (of any kind) – I see it in my street – and drinking -their parents turn them into the street in some cases – that they seem past redeeming and they are pretty angry.
Hope you can understand what Im saying.
Good luck and keep up the good work.

Bronte Jacobs

hello MR and MRS Stanley,

my name is bronte jacobs. i do not know whether you remember me, but i just wanted to say that i am thinking of you always. i never got the chance to tell you or stanley how much he meant to me. i drove past your house the other day and memories flooded back to me. i left redlands college after year 8 and didnt stay in contact with stanley as much. i regret it. he was an awesome guy and an inspiration to all. his happy go lucky nature was infectious, and i miss him. i heard some of his friends on AM radio this morning and it sounds like you guys a doing a fantastic job! god bless you all. oh and say hi to nick for me!
Kimberly Casey

My name is Kimberly Casey. I attend Faith Lutheran College. Just recently Paul Stanley came and spoke at my school along side my mum.
My mum is a Paramedic for the Queensland Ambulance Service and her name is Tricia Casey.
When Paul came and spoke at my school it affected many of the students there. Many of them were friends of Matthew Stanley and i remeber that a few days before the talk they were asking that the talks do not go ahead because it may impact there emotions in a way that they were not ready to face yet. The speeches went ahead, and im very thankful that Paul took the time to express to us the emotional roller coaster he had and still is riding. I have been witness to several violent attcks that were due to the affects of alcohol and it is not something i want to keep witnessing each time that i leave the house to have a fun time out with my mates. Just recently a 16 year old male was attacked out the front of a conveniant store in Victoria Point, he was pushed to the ground and then coped one punch to the face. His nose has been broken and myself and another girl assisted him at the time, we took him to a local medical centre were he was seen to. I want to be able to leave the house knowing that i will be having fun and not spending my time looking after a victim of alcohol abuse. Thankyou very much Paul Stanley for speaking at my school, it has affected me more then you could imagine and i am very thankful for that.

Once again thankyou very much

Deborah Birchley

Dear Mr Stanley,
I am the mother of a 14 year old boy and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the work you, your wife and team are doing.
I attended the Parent’s Forum on Wednesday evening at Marist College Ashgrove, it was wonderful. I feel such much more equipped to handle the coming years. The criminal lawyer that spoke was great also.
Please pass on my thanks to the girls that attended, they did a terrific job. I wish there had been more boy’s there to hear them. When it was advertised as a Parent’s Forum I think most that attended thought it was purely for parents.
Thanks again for all your hard work. I am sorry for your tragic loss.

Tania Bunt

Hello I am glad to hear about what you are doing!
I am 11. I am so glad to hear that you are trying to make it safe for when I become a teenager!

Ashley Barnes

My name is Ashley Barnes, and i am 13 years old.
i used to go to school with Nick Stanley,
i am not sure who is going to get this email, but i saw what happened on the news and would like to say that i am very sorry for your loss.
i think i only saw Matthew once or twice, but knew nick very well, and i remember how much he loved and talked about his brother.

Please send my sympathy to nick as well.

Perry Matthew

What you are doing is great, I saw story on TV with the foundation in Matthews memory and your commitment is inspiring. I am a follow victim myself who was left with a brain injury from an assault. (sorry I can’t express words better)

Neville Coventry

Paul, Kay and Family

Your energy in the face of the most cruel act that can be inflicted on any parent is very special. Not only are you and the youths involved working to create the behaviours and consicience that is necessary to prevent this horrid evil occuring in our society but you have been there also to support others in their grief. I am so pleased to see Madonna is going to be at the Media Launch and I know that Belinda Sanders outside of Brisbane will sustain the messages. I call on those such as myself to use their resources to network and spread the message that we must stop, think in act and say no to violence to be worthy of our life on this planet.

We must also spread beyond all artificial barriers the work that the Mathew Stanley Foundation. Sadly we have been deprived of the contribution of a wonderfully human being but we must never be deprived of what his voice would be saying…we have to makes sure of that.

We must sustain our indignation and surely be inspired by the Foundation. I wish you well at the launch..and certainly will be there.

Jacqui Bunt

Hi my name is Jacqui and I am 12 years old and Thanks for making things safe for everybody. You are doing a really good job and hopefully things will still be safe for me when I am older.
Thankyou heaps.
Michelle Radford

Dear Kay and Paul,
Everybody encounters a problem or two in the journey of life, but nothing could compare to that of loosing a child. I wish you both, and your family the strength to one day find an inner peace along the road. And I hope that bastard (sorry) rots in a cell for the rest of his natural life!
Kindest regards,

Melissa Browne

I didn’t know Matt to well, I was told that he and my brother use to be pretty good buddies back in the day. I think this foundation is awesome, though for it to be heard, Matt having to die, shouldn’t have been the way.

All the luck, and with love…

Bronte Jacobs

hello MR and MRS Stanley,

my name is bronte jacobs. i do not know whether you remember me, but i just wanted to say that i am thinking of you always. i never got the chance to tell you or stanley how much he meant to me. i drove past your house the other day and memories flooded back to me. i left redlands college after year 8 and didnt stay in contact with stanley as much. i regret it. he was an awesome guy and an inspiration to all. his happy go lucky nature was infectious, and i miss him. i heard some of his friends on AM radio this morning and it sounds like you guys a doing a fantastic job! god bless you all. oh and say hi to nick for me!

thanks

Eddie and Katherine Platt

Hi, my name is Eddie Platt, I am a registered nurse who worked in the RBH head injuries intensive care unit from 1997 – 2001.

The reason I am contacting you is to offer my help should you require it at information sessions or however you feel you could use it.

I have seen first hand the devastating effect that this kind of incident has on all involved many times over and can offer insight to youth regarding physical violence and how easy it can lead to death or serious injury.

May I congratulate you for your strength and fortitude during this time and making something good of your son’s passing.

Good luck with the foundation and the good work you are doing for all. Happy to help you guys with my time and knowledge in what ever way you feel fit.

Rosa Bunt

Congratulations and best wishes for the launch of the Foundation on Thursday. The message you are trying to get out to the community is very widespread and I feel well received. Everyone I know is aware of your aims and feel passionate about what you are doing. I feel you have chosen well in having Jess McCabe on your committee as she is level headed and in touch with the message you are sending out.

Shirley Cornish, Maroochydore

Hi
I wanted to say congratulations on setting up this foundation in memory of your beautiful son. I too have ‘lost’ a son – he was tragically taken in a car accident at 23 years of age. As a result of this loss, I returned to study and become a counsellor, so I too could help others to cope when faced with such a tragedy. If I can help but one other person to survive then, like you, my son Justin’s death will not have been in vain. Matthew will be so proud of his wonderful family.
If there is any way I could be of support to you, please do not hesitate to ask.
Take care and warmest wishes.
Bec Ringma

Dear Paul and Kay,
I wanted to say it was an honour to know Stan. He would always lighten up my day no matter what. He has taught me so much when it comes to touch and i can never thank him enough for it. I miss stanley more and more everday and it doesnt seem real that he is gone. Matty is so proud of both of you and what you are doing. You have both helped me through dealing with Stanley’s death but i will never fully be able to come to terms that he has gone. You are both amazing people and you have also touched so many people’s lives. I love both of you so much and Nick means more then the world to me. You are the most giving people i know and i appreciate everything you have done for me. I am trying my best to help out any way i can. It feels like i have known you my whole life and i do think of you as my second family. Stanley will never ever be forgotten and will never stoped being loved. Thank you for everything you have done for me, words cant express how much you all mean to me. I love you all with my entire heart and i always will.
Thank you
Love always Bec

Kylie McCafferty

Hey guys,
Paul i would like yo thank you soo much. You came to my school today and gave a speech. I am so thankful! I didn’t know matt but i have quiet a few friends that did and from what i hear he was just awesome! I wish i had had the opportunity to meet him and I hope that this organisation keeps going!
R.I.P Matt Stanley i will remember you always

Taylor Seage

Stanley was a kind hearted kid and i dont think anyone will forget him thankyou paul and kay for allowing me to know your beautiful son and keep up the great work

Tara Ware

heyy. matty was a great person i miss him dearly i played at the same soccer club as him for about 6 or so years watta soccer player he was im playing on his old team thhis year aint the same without you mann!! i think this foundation is really sweeet good work!! much love to paul and kay and nick hehe we still nigz fo life nick buddy love you stanley r.i.p babe. never forget you. love always Tara xoxoxo.

Teisha Shadforth

um very gud but I am still crying about it

Annette Lourigan

Dear Paul and Kay,
You will be able to tell from my email banner that I am a funeral director. Mostly though I am the mother of a teenage girl who I am very grateful got through schoolies last year in one piece, even no body piercings.

My heart went out to you when I read about Matt and goes out to you each time I read in the papers about bashings and stabbings of our youth at parties or out and about. I have been a funeral director for almost ten years, my innocence was taken a long time ago. Being a funeral director on the Sunshine Coast and doing the coroners work makes for an anxious mother. My daughter keeps putting off getting her drivers license. When people ask her why, she blames me.
As Metropolitan Funerals Community Relations manager I do wonder what you would like us to know for when we serve families in similar circumstances to yours? I wonder about how when I speak to year twelves just before schoolies about driving carefully and being aware of drug and alcohol issues how I get them to understand your story?

I learnt along time ago (and more a mechanism to keep me sane) that out of all things-good things happen. I find you both to be so brave, I admire your unselfishness to want to protect all children and all families from your sadness and experience. I know that your Nick will grow with much wisdom and plenty of love.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email, thankyou for opening your heart to a community that needs to be reminded of why we should look out for each other. I believe our childen will ache for a better world and I beleive they will create it. If you would like to have a coffee with me and teach me I would be grateful for your time.

Gods Blessing to you.
Carmen Hurst – Foundation Member

Thank you for giving me the chance to be involved with the foundation.

Matt was the most amazing and inspiring person that I’ve ever met and as I’m becoming increasingly passionate about what you are trying to do, although it is hard, I’m so glad to be involved.

I think with all of us working together the foundation is going to achieve great things.

Natalie Habilay

I think that matt would be overwhelmed to see what everyone has done for him, i knew him through soccer at mooroondu we use to hang out at the club house and now its empty without him. Thank you so much for doing this for our dear matty
Christina A.

Little young man at the age of fifteen
seen his life flash before him.. as we crowded at the scene
A shock for everyone, couldn’t fathome it was “actually real”
the look in the mothers eyes was a look of steel
we had faith in lord to save him that night
but it seems we were so wrong, far from right..
a precious life was taken away
before the sun rose and hit the next day,
the last blessing he got was he was able to say his goodbyes
to his loved ones with tears stained in their eyes.
oh the sweet child didn’t wana go
but the Lord had sent for him, that’s all we possibly know
we may not understand because of the greatness of the pain
but one day we will see and understand that rainbow through the rain
Oh what a tragedy to loose someone you love
but now it’s time to stop and think he’s with our heavenly Lord above

R.I.P STANLEY
LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU FOREVER

Simone Kucyk

I am really sorry to hear about your loss, I can’t imagine how hard the last 7 months have been for you and your family.

What happend was totally inapropriate and should have never of happened.

Parties should be under control and supervision of parents/guardians. My thoughts are with you.

Poem Written by Natalie Hart

“STANLEY”

I Knew Matt Stanley for at least four years.
His tragic death has brought me tears.
I can’t believe that he has gone,
All I know is it is wrong.

The loss his family has to feel,
I bet they can’t believe it’s real,
The pain they have will never leave,
Forever more they will grieve.

Matt always had something smart to say,
Didn’t really matter what the day.
There he was with a cheeky grin,
To always get the last word in.

The kindness he gave to my son,
Stanley that’s where you had me won.
The heart you showed to all around,
For great things you were bound.

A boy so special and funny too.
How do we say goodbye to you.
It’s been my pleasure to be acquainted.
Matt, my dear, you should be sainted.

Nothing compares to a mother’s love.
Butt Matt will see from up above.
That we loved and cared so much too.
Matt Stanley we will always love you!!

Always Remembering Stanley
With all my love from Natalie Hart.

Suzanne & Terry Lavery, Capalaba:

Both Terry and I wish you all the best with this new Foundation. We are lucky to have so many genuinely concerned people out there doing this kind of work for our kids.

I hope that the Foundation does well. I’m sure with it’s team, it will make a difference even if to only a few. It’s a great thing to do in Matthew’s name for this friends and family. I didn’t even know Matthew, but I see his flowers every day twice a day each work day and think about the unnecessary loss of such a young life.
Nikki Gleeson, Fig Tree Pocket:

I have just finished reading the story about Matthew Stanley. I have finally stopped crying, grieving for a boy I never knew. After having my fourth son seven weeks ago, it really brought home the terrible and tragic circumstances boys can get themselves into. I hope boys Matthews age are made to read Trent Dalton’s story and maybe think twice about fighting at the next party they go to. My heart goes out to his family.

Diana Dryer, Cashmere:

Saturday’s article on Matthew Stanley and other unfortunate victims brought me to tears. The ever increasing worry of teenagers out in society makes me want to lock my own children up until they are at least 30. When I was a teenager some twenty years ago, kids getting blind drunk and bashing others was very rare. Has society dis-intergrated that much?

Many folk talk of the ‘Good old days’ and how things have changed. Well, I think things really have changed for the worse. Parents today must shoulder some of the blame for how teenagers behave. They may not put the alcohol in their children’s hands but they seem to have forgotten to teach them how to behave in public, somewhere along the way.

If more parents did their job properly, there would be less rat-bag kids out there to meet up with good kids, like Matthew Stanley.

Pauline Reed

Just a note to say how much I appreciated the sensitive article on Matthew Stanley and others who have needlessly and senselessly been taken due to teenage violence. I cried as I read about ‘losing matty’ and thank you for the sensitive and yet factual way the article was written.

My heart goes out to the family, and to far too many families who have lost their children in the prime of their lives, without any sense or reason.

Susan Sheppard, Greenslopes

The (unwitting) emotional neglect of children by parents preoccupied with the pursuit of money or status may be the cause of rising youth violence (‘Losing Matty’ 25 February). Children simply need time with their parents or other family for love, nurturing and guidance, right up to adulthood.

Recent research shows that too much childcare too young causes heightened aggression in school age children. We now have a generation or more affected by this. Older children are often left to look after themselves, alone or in the company of peers, outside school. Quality time with family on a daily basis can be non-existent. This does not augur well for society and we need a collective rethink of our priorities.

Julie Trost

I am the mother of a 16 nearly 17 year old son who is still at High School, recently he asked me and my husband if he could have a party at home for only school students, we agreeded after giving it much sole searching. We set down the ground rules and made sure we had extra adult help on the night. We had 50 or so year 12 kids at our place and we sat and watched all night and waited for any trouble. The night went off with out any problems thank God, I was very impressed with the way the young adults conducted themselves.Yes there was alcohol and it was supervised, I am not a parent who generally likes to see the youths of today drinking(especially in excess) but how do we stop this act? If we say no they find a way to bring it in to the party and so on. I am sure that we are one of the lucky families that had a very controlled party with no bad behaviour as we have heard only too much in the media of the bad side of life for the young people.

I am sure that even with all the advise that we give our son on the good and bad of partying he is testing the waters from time to time. I am very concerned at the way some kids are left at their on devices for more than they should be, and most of the time their parents don,t know where they are.

Our son is no angel but we are trying very hard to guide him down a normal path in life. If there are any answers or if they have ever published a guide to the correct way to parent children please let me know where I can purchase it.

Our deepest sympathy to the Stanley family, may God be with you all over the Easter break.