Paul Stewart is best known as the flamboyant frontman of the rock band Painters and Dockers, but a near-death experience inspired him to dedicate his life to helping young people at risk.
After decades of embracing the rock and roll lifestyle, Stewart suddenly found himself in desperate need of a new liver. After 18 months of waiting for a compatible liver, a priest came and read his last rites.
Not long after, Paul said a miracle happened that stemmed from his long connection with East Timor. Stewart's older brother Tony was a 21-year-old sound recordist on assignment in East Timor when he was gunned down by Indonesian forces, along with four other newsmen in 1975 – the Balibo Five.
It inspired Stewart's countless benefit concerts in East Timor with the Painters and Dockers and later, the Dili Allstars, and while on his deathbed in Melbourne, he was cared for by a Timorese nun.
Paul now works for Jesuit Social Services and dedicates his life to helping young people at risk as well as disabled children and refugees.
He has become a mentor for Fablice Manirakiza and Frolent Irakiza, two former child soldiers from Burundi in East Africa.
The duo share their experiences through rap music, under the name Flybz, and visit schools to help young Australians learn what life is like in a third-world country.