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Ashton’s story

Ashton’s story

Ashton and Grant lost their mum through a shocking act of violence

Ashton and his brother, Grant, suffered a horrendous childhood at the hands of their violent and controlling father. And then their lives changed forever with the most shocking act of all.

Ashton was 15 and his little brother was just 6 years old when their father doused their mother in petrol and set her alight. He then locked her in the family caravan and left her to die from the burns to 99% of her body.

He just locked her in and drove away. She died a few hours later. And we never saw her again

Can you imagine the grief the brothers felt over the cruel and callous murder of their mother?

This experience for Ashton and Grant, the brutal murder of their mother, would be so horrific, painful and heart wrenching for many adults to endure let alone children.

Ashton and Grant had no family to care for them. They were immediately placed in foster care. As if the murder of their mum was not bad enough. In the midst of their grief, they were uprooted from their family home as well. That came as a second trauma.

Now in his early thirties, Ashton reflects,


The positive side is based largely around the help given to my young brother and myself by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation people.

When we were at our lowest point, with me 15 and my brother just 6, it was the professional Alannah & Madeline people who reached out.

I will never forget the generous, compassionate, thoughtful professionals at Alannah & Madeline Foundation who turned things around for me. Today it seems quite ironic to me that Alannah & Madeline Foundation was only started because of an act of horrific and senseless violence and it was after an act of unbelievable, criminal violence, that Alannah & Madeline Foundation gave my brother and me so much.


Ashton looks back on a childhood that would send most of us into an instant shiver. You could say, his was equal to the worst possible start in life. Yet, as a university lecturer in Melbourne today, Ashton can also look back on major positives.

Obviously, the two innocent boys were going to require a miracle if they were to come out of such horrific grief and trauma. And as it happened it was the program we now call Children Ahead that supported these boys and helped guide them into calmer waters.

Please show you really care for children experiencing violence by sending your donation now.

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