Bruce Steensen
Bruce Steensen

One punch and a life ends

BRUCE Steensen was a loveable larrikin who would do anything for anyone.

On February 21, his generous nature cost him his life.

The Brisbane 53-year-old was walking along the Mooloolaba Esplanade about midnight, savouring the clean crisp Sunshine Coast air, laughing with a mate and looking forward to hitting the golfing greens the next day.

An argument between a young man and a taxi driver caught his attention.

"Let it go mate," he told the young man.

Seconds later he was lying on the footpath. The next day his life support was turned off.

This was not how Mr Steensen - a soon-to-retire risk manager - was supposed to die.

Kim Lewin said her former partner was "fun-loving and carefree".

"He was charismatic; he could tell a good tale," she said.

Mr Steensen raised Ms Lewin's three children, Luke, Elizabeth and Jack, as his own.

His life revolved footy.

He was the state president of the AFL Masters Football Queensland until 2012 and a National Hall of Fame member.

The outpouring of grief over his death was massive.

"Bruce had a lot of friends," Ms Lewin said.

"Bruce was a really helpful person and I didn't realise the extent to which he had helped people and how much he meant to various people until his service.

"He was just a typical Aussie fellow, I guess, and that's why he could connect with all sorts of people.

"He could connect with the people he played football with, but then he could put a tie on and have a conversation about various other things."

Ms Lewin struggles to get through each day.

"Since Bruce's death I worry that I'll never be the happy carefree person I used to be," she said.

"His departure was devastating, our hearts are broken but his life was amazing and he lived it to the full."

Mr Steensen's 21-year-old alleged assailant is facing a murder charge.

 

LAW AND DISORDER

NO Australian city is immune to the problem.

Police across NSW and Queensland are doing their best to thwart the aggressors - through a mixture of innovation, state government policy and good old leg work.

READ MORE: $50 million for Binge Drinking Strategy

In the Grafton region, a proactive legal approach has helped keep the statistics down.

Coffs-Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said police had handed out $150,000 in fines - about 60% in Coffs Harbour and the remainder in the Grafton area - in the eight months to the end of the 2013-2014 financial year.

Each fine is worth $550.

"We've had a target approach for the past 12 months in relation to personal responsibility on alcohol," Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said.

"That includes taking significant action against those who can't act responsibly."

In Queensland, police hope the Safe Night Out Strategy and the Safe Night precincts will lower violence.

Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, the executive responsible officer of the Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy, said the police, the community and businesses' interests must be balanced to produce the safe areas.

 

SAFETY TIPS

What the experts say about avoiding booze-fuelled violence

Northern Rivers Social Development Council chief executive Tony Davies

  • Put safety first and make sure there is a designated "responsible" member of the party to ensure everyone arrives home in one piece.

Mental and emotional health expert Rowena Hardy

  • Watch how much your mate is drinking.

Queensland Safe Night Out Strategy executive responsible officer Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon said

  • parents should talk to their kids.

 

Be a part of the #HandsOff Promise

We will also celebrate those who step up and take the #handsoff Promise.

And that's where you come in.

By taking the promise, you pledge:

•        Not to participate in, or condone by being silent, any form of street or late-night violence; and
•        To report any incidents of such violence to the relevant establishment and authorities

It's easy to do - just visit http://bit.ly/saynotoviolence and follow the steps.

SHARE YOUR STORY

Have you, your family or friends been affected by violence? We would love you to share your story.

Your story is the most powerful way to bring about change. You can share your story easily here, on our website, via our Share Your Story page.

If you want you could also make a short YouTube video telling your story and why you support the #HandsOff campaign. Just remember to send us the link so we can share it with others.

 

Have you been a victim of violence?

This poll ended on 16 November 2014.

Current Results

Yes

62%

No

37%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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