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Too Soon, Too Late

With special guests:

  • Ralph & Kathy Kelly
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

There is widespread knowledge of the July 2012 attack on 18 year old Thomas Kelly. The sorrow felt by the community was compounded by the loss through suicide of Thomas’s brother Stuart four years later.

Ralph and Kathy Kelly have experienced the unimaginable but as a measure of the innate qualities of them and their family they have, in the time since, made great strides in reducing the dangers on the streets of Sydney.

In their book Too Soon, Too Late Kathy and Ralph tell how they explored what happened on those July days in 2012 and 2016. They talk about the care and assistance they have received from people such as former NSW Premiers Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird. They also reveal the human side of the people on the front line such as the NSW Police Force Homicide Squad. Within themselves Kathy and Ralph found the bravery missing from anonymous “trolls” who did not like some of the changes to our drinking laws even if they resulted in a dramatic reduction in hospital admissions on a Saturday night.

The forewords to this book are written by former Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Professor Gordian Fulde Director of Emergency Department at St Vincent’s Hospital for thirty years up until 2018, the longest serving Director of Emergency in Australian history. These people know what a difference Kathy and Ralph have made.

It is a wonderful privilege for this program to speak with the Kellys. They would be excused if they had responded in a completely different way than they did. Instead of some blind effort at retribution they established Take Kare Safe Spaces program which has assisted over 60,000 people to get home safely. One can only hope that the Government, both state and federal, will acknowledge the achievements and make more of their own resources available to assist in this work. This will help those affected directly but as seen in the Kelly family there is a flow-on effect that multiplies the damage from random violence.

Hearing the voices of Ralph and Kathy in this program gives us a wealth of understanding and the drive to help before it is too late for our own young people.

If this program has raised any concerns please contact:

Lifeline 131114

beyond blue 1300 224 636

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Ralph & Kathy Kelly

Ralph and Kathy Kelly are the founders of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. After losing their son, Thomas, to a cowardly one-punch attack in 2012, and their son Stuart to suicide in 2016, they have pro-actively campaigned for behavioural change in the community, social support for victims of violence as well as violence protection. This has resulted in the provision of Take Kare Safe Spaces in the Sydney CBD, a Financial Hardship Victim Support program through the Department of Justice and a two year UNSW research study of the Safe Space programs that commenced in late 2017. As part of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, the Kellys have also created Stay Kind. Stay Kind is a youth suicide awareness campaign initiated by the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation in early 2017 encouraging all Australians to care for each another. The campaign aims to raise awareness of and help prevent youth suicide.

Song selection by our guest: It’s Quiet Uptown by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Phillipa Soo, Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton

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