The Foundation launched almost two years after university student and aspiring footballer Pat Cronin was tragically killed by a coward's punch as he went to assist a mate.
Pat Cronin’s family officially launched the charity at La Trobe University, where Pat was studying physiotherapy, in a bid to help prevent similar deaths.
La Trobe is supporting the Foundation and is hoping to raise funds to develop interdisciplinary research projects examining the coward’s punch from a number of perspectives. This builds on its existing expertise in areas including alcohol policy, public health, psychology, sociology, criminology and gender-based violence.
Family, friends and Foundation ambassador, footballing great Matthew Richardson, were on hand at the ceremony at La Trobe’s Bundoora Campus. A memorial plaque in Pat’s name was also unveiled.
The launch of the Pat Cronin Foundation has taken place almost two years after Pat died, following the completion of legal proceedings. It has three goals: education, awareness and research.
Pat’s father Matt said while the Foundation had been set up for some time, its work had until recently been restricted by legal processes.
“Today, in some senses, is a new beginning,” Matt said. “The creation of the Foundation was always about honouring Pat and we can now commit our full attention to our central mission – to ending the coward’s punch.”
“Pat’s death was senseless and just didn’t need to happen. We are determined to do what we can to reach young people with the message to be wise and to think before you act.”
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor John Dewar was at the launch and supported University researchers working with the Foundation to research this emerging community problem.
The University hopes to raise funds to support research projects that can contribute to the development of evidence-based programs to prevent the coward punch. This builds on the University’s existing expertise in areas such as alcohol and behaviour research conducted at its Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR).
“Pat was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship to study at La Trobe and had a bright future until his life was cut tragically short,” Professor Dewar said.
“We’re committed to working with the Foundation to research and better understand why this is happening and what could be done to prevent future deaths,” Professor Dewar said.
More information on the foundation is available at www.patcroninfoundation.org.au
Picture shows L-R: La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar, Robyn Cronin, Matt Cronin, Emma Cronin, Lucas Cronin
La Trobe media contact: Claire Bowers 0437 279 903 email@example.com
Pat Cronin Foundation media contact: Matt Cronin 0419 508 858, firstname.lastname@example.org