"I can't save my own kids. But I'm determined to save others. Please donate, if you can, to help me.
Thank you so much for any support you can give.” Aaron Cockman, Margaret River, Western Australia.
On 11 May 2018, Aaron Cockman’s life changed forever. He learnt that his four children had been shot dead at the family home near Margaret River in Western Australia – the ultimate act in a family break-up that had been through the family court system. Three other family members, including his ex-wife Kat, died in the family tragedy that shocked a nation. Many throughout Australia shared in Aaron's grief.
“I loved Taye, Rylan, Arye and Kadyn so much. I miss each of them every day and I miss Kat too. I want to make sure that this never happens again to any other family,” Aaron said in a letter sent to every Australian federal politician in January. “There is one thing, I know, that would have made all the difference: a completely different approach to family separation. One that kept kids and their families away from lawyers and family courts.”
When Aaron made his first plane trip in 16 years to visit Canberra in August 2018, it made national TV news and headlines in the mainstream media around Australia. Politicians and judges alike heard our message of the risks to children of allowing them to be exposed to lawyers and family courts: bit.ly/aaron9news.
On 14 February 2019, Aaron returned to Parliament House, Canberra, to launch the Aaron4Kids Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to saving children’s lives and preventing the childhood trauma that so often results from family breakdown today. Working in collaboration with the well-established and respected non-profit For Kids Sake, the foundation is raising funds to create and promote a safer, healthier approach to family breakdown - one that keeps children away from harmful court systems and helps children live safe and happy lives, even when their families change.
All income will contribute directly to the campaign to create a much safer, healthier system for children and families. It will help save lives.
Rylan, Taye, Arye & Kadyn: Aaron & Kat's four children.
A master carpenter by trade, born and raised in Australia's south-west, Aaron explains how his own family tragedy unfolded and why this new foundation is so important: “When my wife Kat and I split up, we needed help and support. We still used to go to the movies as a family or down to the beach at Margs after we separated. But it was a really difficult and vulnerable time and what we needed was a strong system of counselling, coaching, mediation and community support. What we got instead was lawyers and a frightening, unaffordable family court system. The moment Kat and her parents got a lawyer involved, everything changed. It was the lawyer system that drove events in our family and the terrible financial cost and long timescale of the family court made it so much more stressful for Kat's family.”
“Our kids need our help. So, please help me change a system that is putting Australian kids and families at risk every day. I’m working with experts at For Kids Sake to produce a nationwide awareness campaign and create the most comprehensive policies and strategies for a safer, healthier approach when families break up. We're also coordinating with experienced lobbyists from Australia’s Family Law Reform Coalition and have already met with a third of Australia’s national politicians to share our vision and solutions for keeping Australia's children safer and healthier. If we all work together, we can move mountains.”
- Emily F
- Gwen Cooper
- Louise Pratt
- Stu Verrier