CONTENT WARNING: This post deals with suicide and may be triggering for some readers. Please contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 if you’re struggling with symptoms of mental illness.
The unique pain of losing two sons to homicide and suicide is one Kathy and Ralph Kelly face each day of their lives.
In 2012, their eldest son Thomas was killed in a random one punch attack in Kings Cross, and four years later in 2016, their youngest son Stuart took his own life. He had dropped out of university a few months prior following a hazing prank at Sydney Uni’s St Paul’s College.
Both boys were 18 when they died. Now, their sister Maddie – the only remaining Kelly child – is 23.
On Tuesday night, Kathy and Ralph appeared on Andrew Denton's Interview where they discussed how their lives look now, carrying on as a family whose pain is simply unimaginable.
Pain that has only deepened from the cruel actions of strangers who levelled hateful online attacks on the family, for their involvement in aiding the implementation of Sydney's lockout laws.
"Let's kill off the rest of the Kelly dogs," was one particularly horrible comment Kathy recalls from the early days of the lockout laws.
The family, particularly Ralph, were passionate advocates for Sydney's lockout laws through the foundations they established after Thomas' death - The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and the Take Kare initiative. Now, they also run the Stay Kind initiative, in honour of Stuart.