2017 Lace Up Logo Black Tag

Thousands Lace Up to Tackle Social Violence


For immediate release

During the week of 7-13 August, Step Back Think’s Lace Up campaign kicks off as schools and workplaces join sporting clubs in raising awareness about social violence, which includes one-punch assaults, pub brawls and street fights.

Step Back Think today releases new statistics to coincide with Lace Up Week (7-13 August). The Social Violence Register compiled by Step Back Think found that social violence killed 20 Australians in 2016:

  • 55% of victims were aged under 30
  • Location summary:
    • NSW 6 (30%)
    • QLD 5 (25%)
    • VIC 4 (20%)
    • WA 4 (20%)
    • TAS 1 (5%)
  • 70% of deaths occurred between Friday and Sunday
  • All victims and known perpetrators of social violence in 2016 were men
  • The nature of social violence differed between cases
    • 8 deaths involved a single punch
    • 8 deaths involved stabbing or assault with a weapon

Step Back Think CEO Anna O’Halloran said, “This new data shows that social violence is a significant national issue, costing some their lives and damaging countless others. Tragically, 20 lives were cut short by social violence in 2016, the youngest victim was just 16 years old.”

“That’s why we’re working with local and professional sporting clubs through the Lace Up campaign to mobilise communities and drive change from the ground up.”

“Sport is central to the lives of young men and can play a powerful role in creating cultural change,” said Ms O’Halloran.

Currently in its fifth year, the Lace Up campaign has grown to more than 30,000 participants across Australia. From Tassie to Territory, over 150 grassroots sporting clubs will lace up to prevent social violence, along with Ambassadors from AFL and NRL clubs across the nation.

In Round 21, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS will wear orange shoelaces for Q-Clash 14 to promote healthy competition and raise awareness about the issue. Gold Coast SUNS Captain Steven May is passionate about addressing social violence because it is something the players feel strongly about.

“A punch can end everything and as a club we want to be part of the solution to end social violence”, said May.

By working together, players, coaches and fans can help make our communities safer.

Step Back Think is a pioneering not-for-profit focused on the prevention of social violence. Donate at to support anti-violence education programs and game-changing awareness raising campaigns.

– ENDS –

 Media Enquiries

Eden Giagnorio | Camapaign Coordinator

M: 0408 508 502

Lace Up 2017 Ambassadors

  • Steven May (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Michael Barlow (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Michael Rischitelli (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Keegan Brooksby  (Gold Coast SUNS)
  • Mitch Robinson (Brisbane Lions)
  • Alex Witherden (Brisbane Lions)
  • Callum Sinclair (Sydney Swans)
  • Shaun Edwards (Sydney Swans)
  • Marcus Adams (Western Bulldogs)
  • Will Langford (Hawthorn)
  • Jack Billings (St Kilda)
  • Nathan Hrovat (North Melbourne)
  • Sarah Hosking (Carlton ALFW)
  • Jess Hosking (Carlton AFLW)
  • Christine Nunn (Australian Squash Player)
  • Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)
  • Suaso Sue (Wests Tigers)
  • Matt McIlwrick (Wests Tigers)
  • Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (Wests Tigers)
  • Craig Cain (Ambulance Victoria)


Lace Up Campaign Supporters

The AFL CrownBet Community Partnership is proud to support the Lace Up campaign, an initiative developed by Step Back Think to drive cultural change and prevent social violence in the community.

This year, Step Back Think have been able to more young men with anti-violence messages thanks to the support of CrownBet.


About Step Back Think

The Lace Up campaign is an initiative of Step Back Think, a pioneering not-for-profit organisation focused on the prevention of social violence.          

Step Back Think was formed by a group of friends after James Macready-Bryan was assaulted on his 20th birthday in 2006, suffering a permanent brain injury from which he will never recover.

Our vision is to create a society free from social violence by educating young people, raising awareness and driving cultural change.