WHOLEHEARTED SUPPORT: Madeline Brunty, Danielle Crisp, GAGAL general manager Leigh Zimmerlie and Jaye Garthwaite along with Matthew Fowler and Lachlan Muller at the back.
WHOLEHEARTED SUPPORT: Madeline Brunty, Danielle Crisp, GAGAL general manager Leigh Zimmerlie and Jaye Garthwaite along with Matthew Fowler and Lachlan Muller at the back. Andrew Morgan GLAGAGL

Hands on apprentices learn to be hands off

APPRENTICES have safety drilled into them from the beginning, so it's no wonder this group is standing in support of APN's #handsoff campaign.

Matthew Fowler knows Matthew Matthews, who lost his brother Brandon to street violence, so he understands first-hand what violence can do.

"I've seen people on the main street (of Gladstone) getting rowdy," he said.

"There's heaps of police presence, which is awesome. I always feel safe."

Matthew Fowler said the "lockout" stages were the worst times when fights were bound to start.

"I always thought that with my size it would be fine, but because I'm so big they come up and want a challenge."

Matthew said many people didn't realise it wasn't the punch that killed, it was the fall afterwards.

"I was raised to never hit anyone and never probably will," he said.

Leigh Zimmerlie, Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Ltd general manager, hopes the message will spread to the rest of her apprentices.

"I want them to realise they shouldn't go out and do that (be violent). Not only could it destroy their career as an apprentice, but it could destroy their whole future," she said.

"I've got children who have been through going out to the nightclubs and I've seen violence when I've gone to pick them up."

Madeline Brunty said she had seen people in groups trying to start fights.

"The whole idea that 'one punch can kill' - people don't get it," she said.

"They've got to think about themselves just as much as others - it's humiliating, your work is on the line for one silly thing that can be avoided."

She said it was often the taxi wait that was the problem, and people should have a back-up plan.

"We always have a designated driver…but there's also dial-a-driver, someone who is at home who will come and get you if you think you've had too much.

"You can always get a cop to breath test you, just to double check."

Be a part of the #HandsOff Promise

HERE's how you can get involved in the #HandsOff campaign.

By taking the promise, you pledge:

•        Not to participate in, or condone by being silent, any form of street or late-night violence; and

•        To report any incidents of such violence to the relevant establishment and authorities

It's easy to do - just visit http://bit.ly/saynotoviolence and follow the steps.

SHARE YOUR STORY

Have you, your family or friends been affected by violence? We would love you to share your story.

Your story is the most powerful way to bring about change. You can share your story easily here, on our website, via our Share Your Story page.

If you want you could also make a short YouTube video telling your story and why you support the #HandsOff campaign. Just remember to send us the link so we can share it with others.



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