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    [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse


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    [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

    Post by Ataahua on Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:26 am

    source credit:

    Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

    Stan Walker brought the audience to tears with his emotionally-charged version of Amazing Grace, on his way to winning Australian Idol.

    Just like the lyrics from the song, "I once was lost but now am found," Stan endured domestic violence, heartache and betrayal before finding salvation through God and music.

    The New Zealand-raised teen's parents have revealed how their household was like a scene from the movie Once Were Warriors before they embraced Christianity when Stan was a child.

    "The first time I saw it [the film]... I bawled my eyes out, because I knew it was me," mum April Walker told Sunday News from Coolangatta, Australia, where the family now lives.

    April, 44, said her powerfully-built husband Ross Walker was like a real-life Jake the Muss, whose drug use was a catalyst to violence towards her, Stan and his older two brothers.

    If Ross wasn't able to get his fix, "he'd give me a hiding for nothing, give the kids hidings... behind my back as well where I didn't know".

    "I sort of had to jump on [her sons to protect them from the blows] so they wouldn't get hurt, but it never worked," she said.

    Ross, now a devoted dad and husband, agreed he was "very violent" before finding God. The violence was fuelled by "a lot of drugs" and a past which included being a member of Bay of Plenty-based gang the Greasy Dogs.

    At 20, he was sentenced to nine months' jail for arson. "I threw some firebombs on a person's house just for a payback because they done something wrong to me," he said.

    Realising he had to change, Ross abandoned gang life and moved his young family across the Tasman and Stan was born in Melbourne 19 years ago.

    But still the violence continued as the family moved back to Ross's home town of Mt Maunganui and then to Byron Bay in northern New South Wales.

    The breaking point came 14 years ago. "I beat my wife up for the last time, and I knew that was it," Ross said. "And that's when the big change come. It was sudden... like when Jake the Muss ... on the second film [What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? – the sequel to Once Were Warriors] when he knew it was over – that's exactly the same." Ross then accepted the Christian faith which his wife had embraced a year earlier.

    "I had to learn how to be a father, how to control emotions," he said. "[But] everything just became easy. I had a good wife to tell me [how]."

    Despite what she endured, April has retained a sense of humour about the past. She said she had kicked Ross out of the home for the last time, before he changed and she took him back.

    "I asked God for a new husband – rich, handsome and treat me like a queen...but I got my husband back," she joked.

    The couple had two more children, who have grown up without brutality in their home.

    Ross has channelled his physical power into sport. At 43, the 104kg prop has just finished his last year of premier rugby for the Coolangatta club.

    But he acknowledges his legacy. "She's [April] got a lot of scars to show what I've done to her, and the kids have got scars too."

    Stan still remembers the ugliness, even though it ended before he started school, Ross says. He says he was moved to tears when his son, at 16, "told me that he forgave me...for all the stuff I'd done".

    While Stan's home life became one of peace, he was later badly affected by the betrayal of someone close to the family who he should have been able to trust, April said.

    "We just found out three years ago... we were freaking out. When Stan told us... I said to him, `Why didn't you tell us when it happened?' But he thought... we wouldn't believe him," April said.

    They confronted the person and will take further action.

    When Stan committed himself to God two years ago, however, it unlocked his ability to use his heavenly voice, April said.

    "[Stan gained] a sense of peace I think, that he can move on. He's had a real sense of knowing who he is. And that's why he did Australian Idol," she said.

    When Stan made it into the hit TV singing show, he had the word Ataahua, Maori for beautiful, tattooed on his neck.

    It would have been the name of his first daughter. When he was 17, his then girlfriend became pregnant but miscarried. They are no longer together. April said her son had been "really convicted" by the relationship because after accepting Christianity, "he knew he was doing the wrong thing by having sex... before marriage".

    April and Ross are sure Stan's faith and his ability to bravely rise above the trials of his past, plus the love of good family and friends, will keep his feet on the ground following his crowning as the seventh Australian Idol last Sunday.

    He has said he wants to be "an ambassador for broken people who come from the dark into the light".

    The announcement of his win, which earned Stan a AUS$200,000 development fund and a Sony recording contract, was celebrated with a fireworks spectacular around the Sydney Opera House and an impromptu haka from his whanau who had travelled there from both sides of the Tasman. The family moved back to Mt Maunganui for two years when Stan was nine, then to Hamilton for three years before returning to Byron Bay, and on to Coolangatta two years ago.

    Stan's single, Black Box, sold out in one day on Wednesday.

    His album is out on December 13, and he will be back in New Zealand on Saturday for the annual Maori Sports Awards, at Manukau's TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre.

    Office manager April said her son has "big plans" for his $200,000 win. The most he won before that was $500 for coming third in a talent quest at Lismore, NSW, last year while preparing for Idol.

    "And he giggled and cracked up in that one as well," she laughed.

    White Ribbon Day, the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show they do not condone violence towards women, took place on Wednesday. Ross said: "Men need to take responsibility. They've got to stop being proud. It's okay to cry. A real man cries."

    credit needs to be given to Mrs. Walker. I think the reason how Stan was able to endure and survive those hard days was mostly due to the strength of his mother. ❤

    avatar credit: me. please do not take without permission.

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    Re: [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

    Post by sarahbunny on Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:37 am

    That's beautiful....his mum is a saviour, she tried to protect her sons copping a bad beating from her husband.She is beautiful she forgives her husband which must have been extremely hard for her to do because he not only hurt her but her sons too. Stan is also very brave for forgiving his father for what he did,poor stan took him like 6 years to tell his parents of his sexual abuse, and hopefully they do take further action. Stan is a brave person and hopefully he continues to make his beautiful music and I can't wait for his album :)
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    Re: [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

    Post by Simona on Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:52 am

    Thanks Tes for posting

    This family is inspirational. A true testament that with faith, courage and strong will you can come out at the other end of the tunnel... no matter how difficult and long the way out is ... Young Stan had to endure so much already but, as he says, that ordeal made him who is today and HE IS indeed a wonderful human being.

    Thanks to April and Ross for sharing their story. Hopefully other people living similar circumstances will found in this testimony the strength to turn their life around as this loving family did.

    Much love simo xx


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    Re: [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

    Post by fynesthorse on Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:00 am

    omgg , this nearly brought me to tears =( just shows what a mother would do for her children .. just imagining the ' once were warriors ' movie just gives me the shivers as that is one sad movie . i wish them all the best xo

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    Re: [29.11.09] Aussie Idol Stan's mum tells of abuse

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