A Bendigo couple has generously donated a series of anti-violence books to all primary schools in Greater Bendigo, in the hope that educating the youth will help reduce violent acts in society.
Ian and Edith Dyett were so moved by a recent article that chronicled the 2016 death of Pat Cronin, they felt like they had to do something.
"We don't have any grandchildren and our children are older, so it's not something we are likely to contend with," Mr Dyett said.
"It wasn't something that concerned us, but I thought, who is worrying about everyone else's children?
"That's what the Cronin's are doing."
The Pat Cronin Foundation honours the life of Pat Cronin, who was punched from behind on April 16, 2016 when he attended a bar in Melbourne.
After being taken to hospital, two days later, Pat's family made the agonising decision to turn off his life support system.
The foundation honours Pat's memory by providing a voice to awareness, education and research about the coward punch.
Foundation founder and Pat's father, Matt Cronin, said the publication of three story books is part of the foundation's aim to have Prep to Year 12 education about the harms of violence and the coward punch.
"The story books have three key messages and they are to be wise, think carefully and act kindly," Mr Cronin said.
Mr Dyett said the couple could have simply given money to the foundation, but felt the purchase and distribution of books to local primary schools was more meaningful.
"We spoke to Matt Cronin and asked how we could get these books into the schools and he said somebody has to take them there, so that's what we did," Mr Dyett said.
"This is about Pat Cronin, a lovely young man who died at the hands of sheer stupidity."
The trio of books will be provided to all primary school libraries in Greater Bendigo in time for the start of the 2021 school year.
"There are loads of grandparents out there, who like most people, are worried about the world their grandchildren are growing into," Mr Dyett said.
"What better Christmas present could they give than these books to teach them how to turn it around."
Mr Cronin said the Dyetts gesture is the first of its kind in Victoria and he hopes to one day have copies of the books in all Australian schools.
"The foundation has set itself a goal of conducting 300 presentations at schools and community groups in 2021 and would love the opportunity to speak to school students in Bendigo," Mr Cronin said.
Profits from the books' sales are directed to the foundation and form a critical part of the its 'Be Wise' education program.
The first book, The New Playground, revolves around how one child makes a wrong choice in pushing a playmate off the slide because he wanted to be first.
The second book, The Four Square Challenge, centres on children playing a ball game, which leads to a challenge that takes an unexpected turn and leaves one girl learning an important lesson.
The third book, Footy Fever, covers an important footy match where one player wanted to make a name for himself at all costs and soon learnt a valuable lesson about teamwork.
The books are available for purchase from patcroninfoundation.org.au and Tiny Sprout, 3 King Street, Bendigo.
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