Step Back Think was formed in the wake of the horrific injuries sustained by James Macready-Bryan in 2006. James – better known to his mates as MB – was assaulted in the CBD on his 20th birthday on October 13th, 2006. A single punch knocked MB to the ground where his head smashed against the pavement, resulting in catastrophic brain damage from which he will never recover.
In the year after Step Back Think’s formation, Matt McEvoy, 24, and Justin Galligan, 16, died from brain injuries similar to MB’s, in two separate incidences that mirrored the tragic senselessness of MB’s assault. In the years since, countless more young men have sustained horrific injuries from assault, and others have lost their lives.
The sole mission of Step Back Think is to educate people on the catastrophic consequences one punch can have. We believe the logical flow on effect of increased awareness will be fewer instances of derailed lives and tragic deaths.
Since 2008, Step Back Think’s initiatives have garnered support from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Eddie McGuire, Neil Mitchell, Steve Bracks, Peter Costello and former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.
Thousands of students across Victoria have taken part in Step Back Think’s education program since the beginning of 2011. The initiative – created and conducted in collaboration with Hugh van Cuylenburg and assisted by past and present AFL footballers and athletes – illuminates for students the mystery of the brain’s physiological behaviours, and encourages them to examine and understand why certain situations spur anger-fuelled reactions that all too often end in violence.