Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

'Stop' apt slogan for campaign to end coward punches

Steve Huntly has chosen a slogan for his campaign to stop coward punches: 'Stop'.

JESS CRAIG February 20, 2014 4:38am

Steve Huntly.



It’s a simple word that Steve Huntley hopes will have a big impact in his campaign against one-punch attacks.

Mr Huntley is the first to admit he has a chequered past, but like many before him, he has overcome his demons and wants to make a difference in his campaign to end coward punches.

In his work with emergency services, Mr Huntley was involved in the tragic search for Murray River victim Tim Gaylard earlier this month and was overcome with emotion in the aftermath.

Mr Gaylard, who died after going missing off Moama beach, had previously been the victim of a one-punch attack in Colac and later, the face of a Geelong Advertiser campaign to stamp out violence on the streets.

A need to do something, combined with sympathy for the Gaylard family, spurred Mr Huntley into action.

Now the driving force behind a locally led campaign to stop coward punches, otherwise known as king hits, Mr Huntley said it was important Mr Gaylard’s legacy lived on.

The father of three and grandfather of one designed his own logo to kick-start a local campaign and has chosen the word ‘‘stop’’ as his slogan.

‘‘I had plenty of community feedback and there are many different slogans,’’ Mr Huntley said.

‘‘I’ve come up with the idea to create a series, using the input from the community.

‘‘Some of the images will feature the logo I designed and the word ‘stop’. Others will have the community ideas and some will just have the image.’’

The Riverine Herald is supporting Mr Huntley in his quest.

‘‘When I learned about what had happened to Tim prior to him losing his life in Moama, I was just stunned,’’ Mr Huntley said.

‘‘That’s where the idea came from.

‘‘Tim was the face of a campaign to stop senseless, booze-fuelled attacks and he nearly died (in 2009) after a one-punch attack.

‘‘I want to continue that work and continue his legacy.’’

Mr Huntley’s own background saw him experience violence first hand.

‘‘You can either overcome it or you can submit to it,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it and it’s not a good thing.

‘‘When you put your neck out like this, you do expect some criticism, but this is the right thing to do.

‘‘These violent attacks need to stop.

‘‘No-one has the right to take someone’s life away from them.’’

The next step for Mr Huntley is to secure support from licensed venues.

‘‘People in the street have been stopping me and saying what a good thing it is to do and that’s so encouraging,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve been talking to a few guys I know who do security around the area and they’ve had an idea to embroider the logo on their work shirts.

‘‘Little things like that will really help... I don’t want Tim’s message to be forgotten.’’

Away from local and regional support, Mr Huntley said he’s even had phone calls from friends in America.

‘‘A friend somehow got a hold of the story which ran in the Riverine Herald and called me up to say what a good thing it was.

‘‘I had goosebumps after that.

‘‘This campaign isn’t about one person.

‘‘It’s about communities working to stop violence and make people think about their actions.’’

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