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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Page: 11104

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (09:36): I rise today to speak on an important organisation in my electorate and a tragic event that occurred recently. The Luke Adams Foundation was established as a result of an incident on 1 May 2011 in which 19-year-old Luke Adams, a Swan Districts footballer was enjoying a night in Northbridge in Perth, Western Australia. In what is a sequence of events, it is alleged that in a one-punch attack he fell to the ground and suffered major head injuries. Luke entered into a coma with very little hope of recovery, and the message to his parents, Gary and Kaylene, was that his recovery was questionable. Luke fought back and just weeks after the assault came out of the coma and is now in a long and arduous process of rehabilitation, but is showing encouraging signs. Recently he attended a game at the Swan Districts Football oval and spoke with the players pre the game about his recovery, his contribution and his aspirations.

He is a talented young footballer who is studying at university, and that event, that one hit, resulted in his circumstances changing and in the dilemma parents face when they have to make a decision as to whether to turn off life support or live with hope that a recovery will occur. There was lots of media attention in support of families and friends and, in particular, the Swan Districts Football Club. The Luke Adams Foundation, created by his family to raise awareness so that other families will avoid having to go through the same terrible experience, is now in existence.

As the local federal member and the No. 1 ticket holder for Swan Districts Football Club, I was invited to be on the board of the Luke Adams Foundation. We are driven by the slogan 'Respect and responsibility'. I certainly look forward to working with the CEO, Brendan Parker, and other board members to develop and deliver antiviolence education programs to young men, to WA schools, sporting associations and youth organisations in the broader community. It is important that the shenanigans that occur within functions, events or social occasions do not result in those one-punch injuries, because they are life threatening or at least, in a sense, a cowardly approach to attacking another human being.

I hope that the work the foundation does will deliver a change in the way young men, in particular, think so that taking responsibility for their behaviour, respecting the differences of opinion of others and respecting individuals will prevail and we will not see another incident like it.