Matthew Kevin Cronin - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Courage versus the coward punch
Pat Cronin Foundation
Tireless. Humble. Astonishing.
Matt Cronin is courageously campaigning against senseless violence in memory of his youngest son, Pat, who passed away after a single coward punch in 2016.
The loving father has risen above community outrage to be a voice of calm and encourage others to think about their actions to prevent similar tragedies.
Pat, a popular physiotherapy student and sportsman, was only 19 years old when he was hit from behind in a senseless act of violence while enjoying a quiet night out.
Matt and his wife, Robyn, started the Pat Cronin Foundation to end the coward punch.
Matt and others from the Pat Cronin Foundation speak to thousands of school students and members of community organisations, sharing Pat's story to change attitudes to violence.
When Matt speaks there is pin-drop silence as 16 to 25-year-olds put down their phones and tune in.
"We are determined that no other family should suffer as we have," he says.
Matt says his work is making a huge difference in the community by encouraging people to make wiser decisions.
"Pat was a normal kid from a normal family. If this can happen to Pat, it can happen to anyone, and this is why we are getting so much support from the community," Matt says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The foundation will use its grant to give 16 presentations at local organisations that cannot afford the usual fee.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here