With kind eyes and still chubby cheeks, this is Jason Galleghan – the boy, 16, who was allegedly beaten to death by a pack of teenagers in Sydney’s west four weeks ago.
Four boys and two girls – aged between 13 and 19 – have been charged with Jason’s murder after he was allegedly bashed at a Doonside housing commission home.
Jason’s mother gave permission for his identity to be published, as his best mate launches an effort to stamp out senseless youth violence.
Jason was a caring, kind and empathetic person who loved helping people and ‘never hurt a soul’, grieving friend Ouwais Menzel told Daily Mail Australia.
Growing up in South Coogee, they liked going to the beach together and bodysurfing. Jason even had dreams of becoming a lifeguard.
‘But those goals and dreams have been snatched away from him,’ Mr Menzel said.
Jason Galleghan, 16, was beaten to death, allegedly by a pack of teenagers, at a home in Doonside, in Sydney’s west, earlier this month. Jason’s identity can be revealed after the boy’s mother gave permission, as his friends launch an effort to stamp out youth violence in his name
Best mates Ouwais Menzel (left) and Jason (right). Ouwais and a band of volunteers are spearheading a new effort called Youth Against Violence to commemorate Jason and say ‘enough is enough’ to youth violence
Mr Menzel and a band of volunteers are spearheading a new effort called Youth Against Violence to say ‘enough is enough’.
The group is backing a commemorative mural for Jason in Blacktown, expected to be painted next month.
In the longer term, they are planning memorials in Coogee and Doonside. They also hope to one day open youth centres to steer children across the country away from violence.
‘All I am doing now is because I lost my close friend,’ Mr Menzel said as the effort launched on Monday.
‘It’s time for all this to stop being swept under the carpet and ignored and we ask for community and services to support us.
‘We are trying to create a long lasting change nationwide, enough is enough.’
The noble effort by Jason’s friends will just be part of the young man’s legacy.
After doctors at Westmead Hospital broke the news that Jason couldn’t be saved, his mother agreed to donate his organs to others in need.
That wrenching decision has saved five further lives, his aunt said in a post to a community fundraising page.
Bouquets of flowers, balloons and candles have piled up outside the Doonside housing commission home where Jason Galleghan was allegedly beaten to death
An emotionally charged poem was pinned to the front fence of the Doonside home, titled ‘You Never Said Goodbye’
A boy leaves a bouquet of flowers for Jason. Daily Mail Australia understands his family have been touched by the community’s outpouring of support
About a fortnight ago, dozens of supporters held a candlelit vigil outside the property where Jason was allegedly attacked.
Hundreds of balloons, floral bouquets and messages of support were attached to the front fence.
One placard was a plea to ‘stop the violence’, while another called for justice for the dead boy.
Another person left a heart-wrenching poem titled ‘You Never Said Goodbye’. ‘If love alone could have saved you, you would have never died,’ it read.
‘In life your mum loved you dearly, in death she loves you still. In her heart you hold a place that no-one could ever fill.
‘It broke her heart to lose you, but you didn’t go alone. For part of her went with you, the day you grew your wings.’
It was a powerful and moving counterpoint to the gruesome scenes police allege occurred inside the property.
Police will allege Jason was lured there over a dispute involving a pair of AirPods and amid ‘postcode wars’ between youths from different areas of western Sydney.
Kayla Dawson – the 19-year-old occupant of the Doonside home where Jason was allegedly beaten – has been charged with his murder
If Ms Dawson does not return to the housing commission property (above) it will eventually be made available to another family , government sources confirmed
The alleged bashing on the afternoon of August 4 left Jason brain dead, suffering collapsed lungs and trauma to his face and body.
In court, police will allege Kayla Dawson, the home’s 19-year-old occupant, called the ambulance after several other alleged offenders left.
Parramatta Children’s Court has previously heard another of the teenagers accused with murdering Jason is accused of striking him 52 times.
Video of the alleged gruesome assault will serve as police evidence against the teenagers.
Government sources confirmed the property where the offending allegedly occurred is likely to one day be home to another family.
That day will not happen anytime soon, given court proceedings against Dawson remain on foot.
If or when the home becomes available, authorities are required to disclose the property’s history.
Jason’s mother has requested privacy while she grieves. Members of the community have raised $50,000 to help the family.