Robbie to walk a hundred miles in women's shoes

In 2015 Robbie Carroll plans to walk from Toowomba to Brisbane wearing women's shoes in order to raise awareness of domestic violence issues.
In 2015 Robbie Carroll plans to walk from Toowomba to Brisbane wearing women's shoes in order to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. Derek Barry

ROBBIE Carroll remembers to the minute receiving a phone call four years ago, down to the minute.  

"It was 7pm on June 16. We got a call up here that changed my whole family's life forever," Robbie said.  

"My son's mother, my ex-wife, was brutally murdered by her partner down in Sydney."  

Robbie said it turned his world upside down in a moment.

 "One minute I'm sitting up in Queensland, next minute I'm going through a murder scene, wondering if I'm dreaming," he said.  

The effect it had on the family was profound with the dead woman leaving behind a six-week-old baby and her and Robbie's then-16-year-old son who discovered the body.  

"I was in the wilderness for a number of years. I wasn't very good at counselling, or one on one, until my current wife found out about the homicide group," Robbie said.  

The group supports families of homicide victims and meets once a month and helps them through the process.  

"Now that I've come out the other side I've been wanting to help other people deal with the reality of it all."  

Robbie set up a Facebook page called No More Black and Blue against domestic violence.  

"Through that I met a lady who suffered from domestic violence and it snowballed from that," he said.  

"She introduced me to another group where I was the only male on it."  

These discussions with female victims made Robbie realise something.

"I hadn't walked in their shoes," he said.  

"Some of these people I've spoken to have walked away from everything.  

"The abuser is left with the house, while they worry if the abuser will find them."  

Robbie said he wanted to know why they stayed with violent partners.  

"It's easy to blame everyone but at the end of the day, joining the group - it gave me the knowledge to meet others," he said.  

"Through that I met Lynell (Crowther) who suffered child abuse."

Lynell runs Small Rights, Big Changes, a domestic violence and child abuse support group in Laidley.  

"We both were in the same focus of what was needed and I came up with an idea and she fine-tuned it," he said.  

That idea was to walk in women's shoes from Toowoomba to Brisbane and stop along the way in Gatton, Laidley and Ipswich. 

Robbie began his campaign by walking in the street parade at the Laidley Spring Festival wearing bright red women's shoes.

"I'm not raising money, I'm raising awareness. I'll be sort of like a walking mailbox in high heels," he said.  

"We're calling it 'stories from behind the door', combining domestic violence and child abuse.  

"We hope to gather letters along the journey from victims of child abuse and domestic violence."  

Robbie said he didn't believe he could change the world but did believe people could work together to at least help people who have suffered domestic violence or child abuse back into the community.   

"We're going to have open forums along the way at Toowoomba, Gatton University, Ipswich and Browns Plains," he said.  

"What we want to do is finish up at parliament steps.  

"It's something that all sides of parliament have got to work together on.   

"We've all got to be participants. We'd like to present the letters to everyone at parliament and we'd like them to read the ones that have touched them in parliament.  

"These women that survive domestic violence, they are like warriors."

Robbie is planning to his walk in July 2015.  

"It will be hard work so I'm doing it in the cooler months," he said.  

But he won't be wearing the same red shoes he wore at Laidley last month.

"They are size 9 and I've got size 11 feet, I'll need a new pair!" he said.

Topics:  domestic violence

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Motoring show to rev up support for hospital

FAMILY FUN: Three of the sensational cars that will be on display at the Gatton Auxiliary Show and Shine.

Car, Ute and Bike Show and Shine is coming to town for a good cause.

Student wins half price fees

FUTURE VET: Brook Cridland, winner of the Country Challenge on Campus.

Year 11 runner wins $4500 university prize.

Gatton and Forest Hill make it two from two

PACE: Gatton Fordsdale bowler Chris O'Brien sends a speedy delivery to Southern Lockyer's Shaun Ashley during the A-grade fixture at Ropehill on Saturday.

Gatton and Forest Hill both won their round two fixtures.

Local Partners

Do you recognise this distinctive blue and white ute?

IF you've seen a distinctive white tray-back ute with a blue bonnet around the region, the Gatton Police want you to contact them.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.