Step Back. THINK.

Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, Geelong Footballer, James Kelly, Step Back. THINK. board member, Dan Cronin, Step Back. THINK. CEO, Eliza McDonald and James Macready-Bryan, the inspiration for the formation of Step Back. THINK. 

Name: Step Back. THINK.
Location: Melbourne
Employees: Step Back. THINK. has only two employees, but is heavily supported by volunteers
Focus areas: Youth violence
Website:  www.stepbackthink.org

What is Step Back. THINK.’s mission?
The mission of Step Back. THINK. is to educate young people about the serious consequences one punch can have; and consequently reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities that are too often the result of a fight.

What services does Step Back. THINK. provide?
Our main service is our education program which is presented to Victorian secondary schools. We are currently in the process of creating an online education tool which will help deliver our program to schools Australia-wide. 

Step Back. THINK. is also launching our new intensive education model in which Step Back. THINK. will run half-day sessions with secondary school students to try and achieve real behaviour change.

How does Step Back. THINK. engage with youth?
In order to raise awareness Step Back. THINK. members speak at Victorian secondary schools and work with partners such as the Geelong Football Club to run awareness campaigns and competitions.

How long has Step Back. THINK. been around and how did Step Back. THINK. come about?
Step Back. THINK. was formed in the wake of the horrific injuries sustained by James Macready-Bryan on his twentieth birthday in 2006.

The consequence of one punch, which caused James to fall backwards hitting his head on the pavement, was serious brain damage from which he will never recover.

The organisation was originally formed to keep James’ friends involved in his life. However, members of Step Back. THINK. continued to hear about the issue of youth violence and in the year after James’ assault two young lives were lost to a single punch.

Step Back. THINK. decided, that being young people themselves, they were the demographic that were both the perpetrator and the victim and therefore the message was best coming from them personally.

What are the major challenges Step Back. THINK. is facing?
The major challenge Step Back. THINK. faces is creating a cultural change. Cultural behvaiour is shaped over many years which makes our aim – to change young people’s attitude towards violence – very difficult. It is something that will take time and effort, but Step Back. THINK. is in this for the long run.

What does the future hold for Step Back. THINK.?
This year the Victorian government announced new funding for Step Back. THINK. totaling $800,000 over four years. This has guaranteed our operation for the next four years which is an exciting prospect.

Step Back. THINK. will be rolling out our new education program, launching new competitions to engage young people and creating a bigger awareness campaign in conjunction with the Geelong Football Club.

What is Step Back. THINK.’s most important achievement to date?
Step Back. THINK.’s most important achievement to date is securing funding for the next four years. The funding represents the support the community and the Government have for Step Back. THINK. This will help us to reach more students and hopefully achieve real behavioural change in young people.

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