Newlands Arm’s Brendan Mounsey has seen first-hand the destructive path drug addiction can take, and now he is trying to make a stand and educate others. Brendan has helped to organise a fundraising forum to table the issues facing people of all kinds affected by drugs – from users to concerned parents – and he is doing it with the help of superstar skateboarder Tas Pappas.

An icon of Australian skateboarding, ranked number one in the world alongside his brother Ben, Tas was magical on the board. However, that talent and success was overshadowed by his drug exploits.

This celebrity, sport-star lifestyle took over Tas’ life, landing him in hot water on numerous occasions for his escapades, eventually resulting in a stint in jail following a drug-smuggling attempt from Argentina. Along the way, Tas lost his brother Ben to suicide, and saw his own life spiral out of control.

Tas’ story is told in a breath-taking biographical documentary, All This Mayhem, detailing all his trials and tribulations and just how it has taken a toll on his life and the people around him. The film has acted as a positive story in overcoming the odds, seeing the light and creating an improved life. But, more importantly, it has been able to play a role in helping people understand the effects of drug addiction and how to overcome.

Brendan said the forum is all about changing people’s lives – “To show first-hand the destruction of drug use. It gets glorified a lot, and you don’t see the dark side so much’, he said. “Tas coming out of the other side of drug use and going to jail, he has a message to [send].”

Brendan is hoping to invite anyone interested along to the forum tomorrow evening, although he is specifically interested in parents bringing their children along to start the conversation about drug use and addiction. Entry to the film is by gold coin donation and is a fundraiser for children with cancer and homeless youths.

The film, All This Mayhem, will be featured at the Bairnsdale RSL on Friday, February 24 at 7pm.
Tas himself will be making an appearance and the film will by followed by a question and answer session.