We are a small team of doers and thinkers, working part-time but always passionate about the issue of social violence. We are a young team and young people are at the centre of our work.

We are energetic, self-motivated and collaborative, committed to working together to achieve our vision of ending social violence.

If you are interested in joining the team as a staff member or volunteer, visit our news section to view any current opportunities.

Ben O’Toole – Education Officer

In 2007, Ben was a victim of a one-punch assault. He suffered a severe brain haemorrhage as a result of his head hitting the concrete. He was lucky enough to not only recover, but also retain all physical and cognitive abilities. In his role as Education Officer, Ben shares his story and educates young people on the dangers of social violence. Ben also holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science degree from the Australian Catholic University.

Ending social violence matters doesn't just impact the victim or the perpetrator. It impacts friends, families, co-workers, strangers, emergency workers, team mates, clubs, communities; it impacts everyone.




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David Hardy - Patron

In 2016, David joined Step Back Think as our first Patron. Since David’s son Joshua Hardy was murdered in an act of social violence in 2014, David has advocated tirelessly for positive change. He believes in the power of education to drive cultural change and shares his story with schools, sporting clubs and community groups to raise the profile of the issue.

As Patron and a parent, David has taken a leading role in our awareness-raising initiatives, speaking out about the impact of social violence on him and his family. In his role as Patron, David hopes to encourage young men to step back and think before they react and make a split second decision that they will regret forever.


Step Back Think Board

John O'Donoghue

John O'Donoghue, Chairperson

John has been a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 11 years. He is an assurance partner on listed and large multinational companies, including companies in the Mining and Energy industries.John brings financial reporting, risk management and corporate governance skills to the Board. He is passionate about the Step Back Think mission, both as a father of teenage children and as someone whose own life has been changed by social violence impacting on close friends.


Scott Holmes, Secretary

Scott has had an extensive and diverse career focussed on gender equity and the prevention of violence against women. Scott started his early-career as a librarian, is a trained Anglican Minister, worked as a Project Officer with the Darebin City Council, Healthy Workplaces Senior Advisor with the YMCA Victoria, presented to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Family - and has recently joined Our Watch, a national prevention organisation established to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children.  Scott brings an incredible passion to the Step Back Think Board and crucial insight into the deeply embedded cultural practices of gender inequality and sexism that drive the rates of violence against women.


Jilly Charlwood

Jilly Charlwood is a marketing and communications professional with more than 10 years’ experience in producing social marketing and communications campaigns that engage communities and drive measurable behaviour change.

She is currently Director of Media and Communications at Our Watch, where she is responsible for leading large-scale social marketing campaigns to prevent violence against women and their children. Jilly’s previous roles have included leadership positions at WorkSafe Victoria, the Victoria State Emergency Service and the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Jilly is a passionate advocate for the role of social marketing in changing the attitudes, norms and behaviours that drive violence. 

Kerryn Oliver

Kerryn is an experienced teacher working in Australia and as an Educational Consultant in New York City. Kerryn and her family of 8 siblings live daily with the impact of a one punch attack which left their oldest brother with an Acquired Brain Inquiry. At the age of 64 he now resides in an old people’s home. That one violent act has impacted on many lives particularly him who has not be able to fulfill his potential as a husband, father, brother and uncle.

Ending social Violence matters because...the impact is irreversible and far reaching.

Shakira Silvestri

Shakira Silvestri has more than eight years' media and communications experience across the public and not-for-profit sectors. This includes working at the National Gallery of Victoria and The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, where she is currently the Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations. Shakira and her team are responsible for the Foundation's external and internal communications, including campaigns, media management, social media, advertising and publications. Shakira has lived overseas, spending two years in London working in media and communications. She is passionate about working in the not-for-profit sector to communicate the positive impact organisations like Step Back Think have on society to inspire support and to drive change.


Shivaan Bardolia

Shivaan has significant experience working in the not-for-profit sector and as an adviser to governments, corporates, NGOs and community organisations on social policy issues. He has worked across a range of sectors including education, justice, children, youth and families and Indigenous affairs, and has a passion for purpose-driven ventures that aim to break cycles of inequality and influence real societal change. Shivaan is currently a Manager at PwC’s Indigenous Consulting and brings evaluation, governance and risk management skills to the Board.