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The Pat Cronin Foundation: Working with the VCAA to Be Wise

On 16 April 2016, Melbourne student Pat Cronin was killed by a single punch as he went to assist a mate who was being attacked. The punch didn't knock out Pat, and he didn't hit the ground, but it was enough to fracture his skull and cause an inoperable bleed in his brain.

The Pat Cronin Foundation honours Pat by providing a positive voice to awareness, education and research about the so-called coward punch. The foundation has prepared the Be Wise Educational Program for delivery to Year 10–12 students. The program focuses on harm prevention and awareness, and encourages young men and women to use their voice to educate others about bystander action and stopping the coward punch.

The VCAA has been working with the Pat Cronin Foundation to provide feedback on aligning Be Wise to the Victorian Curriculum: F–10 Personal and Social Capability. The curriculum includes two strands: self-awareness and management, and social awareness and management. The self-awareness and management stand includes a sub-strand on recognising and expressing emotions, helping students to develop the knowledge and skills to regulate, manage and monitor their emotions. The social awareness and management strand includes sub-strand on collaboration and a sequence of learning on conflict resolution.

Geoff Smith from the Pat Cronin Foundation said, 'We recognise that Pat's story resonates with so many people. We believe that violence is a community problem that requires a community solution.

'We need to teach respect and resilience. Violence is not an issue for just boys and men or just girls and women – we all have a role to play.'

The Be Wise presentation is available to schools and reflects teacher and student feedback. For further information, go to the Pat Cronin Foundation website or email For further information about F–10 Personal and Social Capability, contact Monica Bini, Curriculum Manager: or (03) 9032 1693.