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StandbyU Foundation exists to foster the Connections that link people in need to those who care.


We all go through hard times, but when we experience abuse or isolation, life can be rough. This is when we need our close connections, our friends and family, the most.


But, asking for help is tough. Especially when we feel conflicted or alone. That’s why it’s important we all stay connected to those we care about, so we can spot the signs and help each other find brighter days ahead without fear or judgement.


This is the world we want to live in.

And we can’t build it alone.

Together, with some very special community partners, we create Connected Communities that fight isolation with Connection.

Thank you for joining our movement to Spark a Connection - 

Because Connections Changes Lives.

Chris Boyle

Founder and Executive Director

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We work alongside those who share our four key values. Living these every day helps us to passionately stay on course in our aim to spark Connections.

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The StandbyU Ambassadors

Whether they are raising critical funds, spreading the message of Connections and Hope or sharing their stories, the SBU Ambassadors are at the centre of everything we do. 


When he's not being the co-founder and driving force of the Scentre Group and SBU partnership that led to Magnolia Place, Isaac likes to hit fundraising records as a TV Star on Adventure All Stars (Catch it on 7/7Plus)!

"I grew up in a household with a fair share of violence, isolation and abuse. Watching this as a child was heartbreaking and drove me to ensure I would never repeat the behaviours I witnessed."  [Hover to continue]

"Having meaningful connections lifts our mood, mental health & wellbeing while providing comfort to have key people by your side through good times and bad.

As a male, I found importance and relief in sharing my personal story dealing and growing up with family & domestic violence. My hope is that every generation learns from the previous and gets better for the next; the spark a connection movement presents an amazing platform to share our stories and learnings to make a better tomorrow."

Not only were they instrumental in the Ball becoming a reality, Paula and Elly are also stars of Adventure All Stars, supporting SBU!

"I was first introduced to StandbyU after working with some of my colleagues to create change within my workplace in the way family & domestic violence was addressed amongst our own staff as well as in the community by leveraging the technology we live and breathe." 





The weight that was lifted off my shoulders when I finally took a stand  gave me the encouragement to help empower other women to speak out and spark a connection with loved ones.

Having connections and relationships are important to me because it gives me and my family a sense of support , knowing that I have people in my corner who were not only willing to listen with empathy but act when needed.  The leap of faith feels scarier then the situation your in but when you take it, new doors open and you will be set free".

It was Tayla's lived experience of violence and reach in to the Magnolia Place team that fueled her desire to be a SBU Ambassador.

"I was inspired by the compassionate environment that SBU created from the moment I walked through the doors of magnolia place in Helensvale from that moment on with the support from SBU and Amanda from Gold coast youth Service. I felt like I was finally taking control of our lives back." [Hover to continue]

"There is nothing more powerful than having a strong support network around you. 

My story is one of growth and acknowledging that your past experiences don't define you, but they can help shape you in a positive way and hopefully sharing your story will help someone else in the future or lead you on a journey that will forever be the best experience of your life. This is exactly what StandbyU has done for me. "

It is thanks to Paula and Elly (and amazing supporter Kerry) that the SBU Ambassador's Ball sprung to life.

"The first time I heard the inspiring story of StandbyU and how they are working so hard to build an inclusive and welcoming environment for anyone who is experiencing domestic or family violence was a life changing conversation for me. Connections and  relationships are so important to me as they have helped me get through some tough times in my life." [Hover to continue]



Michael DeVere represented Brisbane, New South Wales and Australia as a former professional rugby league footballer. Now, he finds strength, courage and determination as someone who shares his experience growing up in a household with violence to instil hope in others.



Lily is a Miss Universe Finalist, Marketer extraordinaire, community activist and has experienced family violence.

"Coming from personal experience from a DV situation as a child, I know how important it is to have people around you to support you. When I found SBU, I felt safe, and wished there was resources like SBU at that time when I had those experiences. I realised how unique this foundation was and wanted to become a voice for others." [Hover to continue]

"Without connections and strong relationships, you are on your own more than ever. It is so important at those times of isolation to feel supported and loved, and to feel like there is a way out and better life for you out there. 

My story, and it’s outcome would have changed if I had access to a foundation such as SBU. I hope to inspire others to speak up, connect with family and give themselves the freedom and life they deserve."



Isobel has spent a tireless 12 months raising critical funds for SBU, starring on Adventure All Stars and championing our critical cause as a valued Optus staff member.

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The StandbyU Executive Team

Our board is instrumental in guiding and supporting the work SBU does within our communities and with our critical partners.


Chris Boyle

Chris is our Founder and Executive Director. He has been protecting children and helping families in need for over 25 years. Chris has been internationally recognised for his passion and expertise. 


Ian Smith

Ian is a purposeful business leader who knows how to get results. A seasoned CEO and connections guru, he is highly experienced in customer-centred digital delivery and people leadership.


Charlie Marie Shanks

Charlie is a rare industry technologist who is able to see through the maze and clutter of enterprise, government and business environments to deliver the most ambitious vision.

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Nunzia Confessore

A Senior Executive with over 10 years’ experience on NFB Boards, Nunzia brings significant expertise in both the profit and not for profit sectors across various service-based industries, and combines strong leadership skills with sales, marketing, human resources and communication experience to achieve successful outcomes.

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Rona McLean-Carmody

Rona is the Executive Strategic People & Culture Manager for Brisbane City Council and brings a human and innovative approach to tackling the future of work and organisational change.

Phil Ahmat

Phil has worked within Indigenous affairs across the Government and corporate sector for 15 years. He is the Director and CEO of MURAconnect, an innovative Indigenous-owned business. 


Anthony Vedelago

Anthony is an accomplished Civil Engineer turned Property Management, Finance and Investment Portfolio expert. He is passionate about creating community-driven social change.


Brett Lightfoot

​​As the National Director for Industry - Public Sector,  Brett works with a wide range of government agencies, digital platform companies and start-ups  in planning and implementing innovative technology solutions that improve the quality and efficiency of citizen digital services.


Kyla Brose

Kyla is a Senior Associate Lawyer and passionate advocate for children and women. This combination makes her a powerful force when it comes to solving complex social issues.

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