News & Insight

 

Community Messages of Support

The Foundation continues to receive thousands of supportive letters and emails from caring Australians who live right across the length and breadth of this great country.

 We have received letters and emails from mothers and fathers, bouncers, paramedics, young people, teachers, doctors, judges and politicians - people from all professions and from all walks of life, young and old.  ALL of them carry a common theme: the violence has got to stop, education has got to continue and we all need to TAKE KARE.

We wanted to share some of these messages with you - to thank you for sharing our grief and pain, and for speaking out for change.  

Every word of encouragement helps us to help you.


I watched 60 minutes last night. I remember the news story last year when this tragedy happened. I am a 36-year-old father of a 7-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl. To say that I hugged them tighter this morning when they woke up is an understatement. Your pain is matched only by your grace and courage. Congratulations on acting with such dignity and for starting such an amazing legacy for your son.
— Michael P
I just read about the marked decrease in alcohol-fuelled injuries as a result of changes to legislation and practices. As a mother of two young adult boys I can’t thank you enough for your selfless work to push for change after losing your beautiful son and brother. Thomas was fortunate to have had the love of a wonderful family and his legacy is now helping other families. Thank you so much.
— Jenny
I write to you in a personal capacity. I am 26 years of age and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. For the last 6 years I have worked as a paramedic for the Ambulance Service of NSW. Much of that time I worked at Paddington Ambulance Station and throughout Sydney’s eastern suburbs, servicing Kings Cross, Oxford Street, George Street, The Rocks and many of Sydney’s other popular night spots. Whilst my short career has been filled with great pride and satisfaction for the care I provide, it has also been marred with the repeated exposure to the tragic suffering of young men and women, but particularly young men, exposed to obscene acts of violence. In my experience, this is virtually always in the presence of alcohol, and seldom in the presence of other illicit drugs.

I am moved by your story, as a young man, as an older brother to my younger brother, as a paramedic, and as an Australian. Your suffering is the saddest part of my job and the harshest reality of what we as paramedics are exposed to time and time again.

I write to you simply to commend the work you are doing, even in the face of such tragedy for you and your family. Whilst I understand you have an impressive advisory panel of experts with diverse knowledge and experience, I would love to participate in anyway possible for what I believe to be a fundamentally important issue for me and my fellow young Australians. I look forward to any opportunity to assist you in achieving your Foundation’s goals.
— J.E.
Stuart Kelly spoke so well and was so brave to speak in front of the nation. Well done mate. We are all behind you!!!
— Martyn
thomaskellyyouthfoundation
We cannot allow alcohol to be an excuse for violent behaviour and being sober and punching someone is no different! Thank you Ralph and Kathy for your tireless fight for justice for Thomas and everyone else who is a victim of senseless violence.
— Samantha
I totally support this wonderful Foundation and these amazing parents. We need tougher laws, politicians with conviction and a tougher judicial system that serves the victims not the perpetrators.
— Prue
Although legal, I believe alcohol is our most dangerous drug. Resulting violence is massive, leaving us all vulnerable. My own family has been decimated by it.
— S.
I am a 25yr old female who lives in the city of Sydney. Up until April last year I was also working as a licensee of a major entertainment venue. During my time in said profession I witnessed multiple incidents that were fuelled by drugs and alcohol. 
The tragedy of Thomas’ death and now the passing of Daniel Christie are both stories that play over and over in my head.

I struggle to understand how any human could act so carelessly, to do something so heinous without any thought of the consequence deeply saddens me. I would love to support this foundation in anyway further. I believe that the more voices unite, the sooner those who can make positive changes to ensure that incidents like those that led to the untimely passing of two young people can make a difference. 
 If there is anyway I can help, please let me know
— S.
Rarely would I make contact in this way as it feels such a personal thing to do. However I was so touched and impressed with the way you spoke this morning on radio. So calm and rational but with the love and dedication to your precious Thomas speaking volumes. Also obvious was the spirit in which you want to facilitate change in the interests of doing whatever possible to help protect our community from violence - I understand your resolve is certainly not coming from a place of vengeance. From the early days you and your wife have always appeared to show such strength and grace in the unimaginable situation that your family has been faced with.

I’m sure you have a myriad of people giving their direct and indirect support - please rest assured you have one more in me. I have only just come across your website so will now have a good look at it - I am also a mother of a 15yr old boy and 17yr old girl so will show them. My thoughts are with you and your family as you continue to face your daily life without your precious Thomas - his beautiful spirit certainly seems to shine through in his photos.
— Sue
thomaskellyyouthcharity
Totally moved today by the brother of Thomas as he spoke so openly and with heart. Stuart, you are an inspiration to all young people. Keep up the cause. Yours sincerely,
— D.
Together we can make anything happen. Thanks for giving hope where little existed, people are starting to TAKE KARE. Thank you for allowing me to do my tiny bit.
— K.
I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate receiving news about ‘The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation ‘TAKE KARE’. While I never knew Thomas personally, I will never forget Thomas, he was and is much loved and sadly missed by so many. I have been driving ‘State Transit Authority’ Buses’ part-time for several years while completing my study. I drive STA buses in and out of the city. Sadly, I often witness first-hand the effects of alcohol–fuelled violence both on and off the bus, alarmingly many bus-passengers and STA bus-drivers have been assaulted as a result.

It occurred to me that while Thomas’ life was shortened in the most tragic of circumstances, I also feel that the message you are trying to get across and the circumstance surrounding Thomas has not gone in vain, in fact I think Thomas is saving many young lives. When the news broke about Thomas my heart also broke, as it did for so many others.
— K.
As a rural resident I am hoping that your message is for ALL communities, as ALL communities, are affected in the same way by violence. I have not yet read the article, but hope it includes people in the country as there are the same problems here.

This morning I contacted the Premier’s office in support of this cause and was glad to be told there have been many calls about this already.
— Cynthia
As a parent, I just wanted to send my deepest regrets for the shocking loss of your beautiful son Thomas. God speed to you all, those of whom are left to grieve and fight on, for Thomas and for justice. May our voices help you, Thomas’s family, and give you confidence to keep up the fight! We share in your vision, and applaud your great courage at this time!
— Paul
Good luck with all you do. The education program can only help, I wish you every success.
— T.
thomaskellyyouthfoundation
So proud of all the changes you have made in the time since that awful night. Keep it up!
— Nathan
Thank you so much for your endeavours to protect our young people from such cruel and senseless violence. Our culture of alcohol abuse by many in the community is unacceptable and needs to change. Our politicians have to listen to the community’s demands to adequately prosecute offenders. People choose to drink and commit acts of violence on others.
— Bernadette
I am a Year 8 student in Armadale, Melbourne. This term our year level has been studying the novel ‘The Outsiders’ by S. E Hinton in English. As a part of this unit, we were looking at senseless violence and how it affects people today.

Whilst exploring this topic, we studied the issue of one-punch killers and discovered the sad fate of Thomas. We were deeply moved by Thomas’s story and the other unfortunate victims of such coward attacks. As a result we decided to have a fundraiser for the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation because we feel this is a very worthwhile cause and we wanted to make a difference and help change the pattern of these tragic circumstances. Senseless violence has a huge impact on the story and characters of the novel ‘The Outsiders’. This linked back to the story of Thomas and had a very meaningful place in our hearts. We raised $80 and we hope our donation is able to make a difference in the future.
— Anon
Every time I think about Thomas I feel the grief of his loss. I am so admiring of how the Kelly family have taken these steps to make his death count in the campaign against senseless violence.
— Susan
thomaskellyyouthfoundation
Your work is positive and encouraging. I really like the education surrounding the “3R’s” aimed at schools. Brilliant work, thank you for all you are doing to ensure a better future!
— Jewel
Thank you for your magnanimous courage in setting up this foundation.
— Glynnis
I’m both glad & humbled that you & your family have chosen to make such an heroic difference as a response to your loss of Thomas.
— Dianne
Firstly I would like to tell you how heartbroken I am for your loss of your beautiful son, I am truly sorry. Secondly I would like to say thank you! Thank you for all you are doing. I am in awe of your strength and courage to make a stand and see the changes made that are so desperately needed. 

I am a mother of two young boys, a sister to two teenage boys, an aunt and a cousin to many wonderful boys and young men whom I wish to protect and educate. 


— Beth
I have been following the story of Thomas Kelly and his family and this foundation they have set up and have been greatly moved by it all. The awareness you are trying to raise around alcohol fuelled violence and the steps you are taking to prevent more people being attacked or killed is applauded. For someone like Ralph and Kathy who have gone through so much yet have managed to find the strength to do this is nothing short of amazing. My heart goes out to any family who has to go through that. I just wanted to say keep up the good work and you truly are making a difference to helping reduce such horrible events.
— S.
Firstly, let me thank you for the courage and vision that was required to set up this Foundation and my sadness that it happened because of actions that caused the loss of a clearly wonderful young man. Twenty-one years ago I lost a good mate to a drug-fueled knife attack, as we were walking home one evening. He was 24 years old and we were in our final term at Uni, before qualifying as teachers. Such a waste of potential that would have benefitted so many others and so traumatic for friends, family and the community.
— Mark
thomaskellyyouthfoundation.png
I am one of the many nurses who look after these victims of alcohol related violence on the acute ward of St. Vincent’s. It’s where the patients come when and if they do make it out of ICU. I would like to take more action on describing the plight of the victims who do survive and how their lives and the lives of their families are irrevocably changed after a senseless incident like the one your son was subjected too. I hope that sentencing of the perpetrators is as meaningful to these victims as to those whose lives are taken. It is a struggle looking after these patients who become experience cerebral agitation. I’d like to know what we can do as concerned carers... we are all in agreement and note that in the last 5 years the violence has increased - the public may feel some sense of assurance of those victims that survive but we know first hand what a hellish road ahead it is! We think of you and your family often - and of the Rodriguez family from Brazil and the Christie family of course.
— R.
We support your cause 100 percent and we admire your amazing strength to do what you are doing while you are so heart broken.
 Thomas, you, his brother, sister and family are in our thoughts and prayers always.

— Jacqueline
I would like to help the TKY Foundation, but am not sure how. We have two teenage boys. Do you speak to parent groups? Can I write to my state member? How do we effect cultural change to make irresponsible consumption of alcohol unacceptable? The smoking campaign worked, eventually. Public backlash got the promotion of online gambling off the TV. How do I talk about it amongst my girlfriends (mums) when some of them exhibit binge-drinking patterns by pre-loading?

Your family is often in my thoughts. I can’t begin to imagine what you have been through. I hope there might be a small amount of comfort knowing there is an army of parents walking beside you.
— Helen
I have been following Thomas’ case, and the many other alcohol related violence cases, closely since Thomas’ death. I have been shocked and saddened that this is still happening and that it is still culturally acceptable for people to drink to excess or to resort to violence to sort out issues. 

I want to help stop alcohol related violence. In 2013 I completed an Honours degree is Justice Studies and wrote my dissertation on alcohol related violence, with a focus on media representations. I believe that our culture of drinking needs to change and society’s acceptance of this is not right. I want to help make a change in our society, but as one person, it is hard to know where to start. Eventually, I would like to run programs for alcohol related violence and education programs in schools to try and change the culture of drinking to excess and resorting to violence. Is there any way I can get involved with this foundation to help stop alcohol related violence?
— Jessica
This afternoon, I received your updated email, via the ‘Change.org’ newsletter. Two hours later, my husband and I were leaving the ‘Argyle’ pub in the Rocks, around 6pm. As we were walking away, two fairly intoxicated men were trying to enter and the security guards barred them. Within seconds, the inebriated men became very agitated.
The response to their behaviour was exceedingly swift. The guards had the immediate co-operation of 4 other neighbouring security staff and the police arrived within 3-4 minutes. The abiding message to the men involved (who were arrested) and all passers by, was that there was zero tolerance to this type of behaviour, anymore.
As the parent of a 15 and 18 year old, ThanK you for the amazing differences you, Thomas and your family have/are making. It is working. I have seen it tonight.
— F.L.
I just want to encourage you that this is a good thing that you are doing. I believe in what you are doing. Instead of turning away from these young people who are drunk and maybe on drugs you are embracing them and seeing the person not the behavior. This is truly beautiful; you are truly loving parents who genuinely care. 
 I am so sorry about what happened to your son, I believe he is in God’s care now. I hope that you see many lives turn around through the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, as they see the result of violence on the streets. I really commend you in embracing the problem. I never met your son Thomas, but I believe he must have a heart like yours and he would be so glad that you are helping these people. I am studying to be a school teacher, I would want to pass on morals to the children too and mention organisations like yours and help form convictions of right and wrong. You are changing Australia and Thomas Kelly is honored to have such caring and devoted parents. To leave a lasting legacy, that honors Thomas’ life.
— Sarah
Firstly I would like to tell you how heartbroken I am for your loss of your beautiful son, I am truly sorry. Secondly I would like to say thank you! Thank you for all you are doing. I am in awe of your strength and courage to make a stand and see the changes made that are so desperately needed. 

I am a mother of two young boys, a sister to two teenage boys, an aunt and a cousin to many wonderful boys and young men whom I wish to protect and educate. 


— Beth
Dear Premier, I am South Australian, but urge you to take up the proposals of Ralph and Kathy Kelly and show real leadership in curtailing the alcohol fuelled violence which is a nationwide problem. I hope that through your leadership, other State Premiers and the Federal Government might be encouraged to take steps toward reducing and eliminating this ugly side of our society.
 We are losing our young decent men at the hands of criminal thugs.
Please step up with courage - many Aussie citizens will take heart and be delighted if you do.

— Christine
thomaskellyyouthfoundation
thomaskellyyouthfoundation
We are general practitioners in North Sydney with a large practice of over 60,000 patients and a practice of over 25 years in practice. Many of our patients are young people. We also have 3 children aged 19, 17 and 16. We are very concerned regarding the current issue of alcohol and young adults. We would like to make a contribution to this issue.
— Anon.
Education, the learning process, is the foundation that everything is based on. When we insist on an education system that is based on standards of acceptable behaveour & mutual respect, we will start to begin the process towards a “civilised society”.
— Don
I am deeply moved by the events that took place and understand the effects of alcohol in excess and it’s destruction to the community. I have recently moved from Melbourne to Sydney and happy to give my time to support this cause as 5 years ago I used to live in Kings Cross so saw a lot.
— Sarah
I am a mother of a nineteen-year-old who is a kind considerate young man who is a non-drinker and I have a twenty-year-old daughter also a non drinker. I wish to complete a seminar paper and oral presentation on violence and alcohol and how to help educate our community in making safer choices.
 I would greatly appreciate it if I could mention your organisation and the wonderful work you take part in helping others. I believe education is the key. My aim is to promote organisations similar to yours and your heartfelt stories. If I can connect to one person in my class I believe I can help change the outcome and make a difference to all of our children, past, present and in the future. 

— L.
I wanted to say that I was profoundly moved by your words and I am very glad for Australia that you are taking this issue on” (13th September 2014).
— Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University