Vale Steve Brabeck

Crimsafe have been a fantastic sponsor of NSWPRL as well as the APRL, QPRL and the Affiliated States Police Rugby league for many years.  It was a sad occasion when the founder Steve Brabeck sadly passed away recently.  NSWPRL thanks Steve for his generosity over the years.  NSWPRL president Steve McDonald and official Peter Nissen attended the service for Steve on the Gold Coast.  Below is a photograph of Steve and a vale from the heart, written by the Crimsafe CEO and our great friend Derek Tidey. RIP Steve.

It is with great sorrow and sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of a man that we all
carry a great deal of respect and care for, the founder of Crimsafe, Steve Brabeck.
On Sunday 28th January, 2018 Steve passed away quietly and peacefully with his family by his side,
succumbing to the effects of a life time fighting the wretched illness that is cancer.
Steve had been battling with various cancers since he began the Crimsafe business in 1996 and as he
fought down the disease time and time again, he continued to build up Crimsafe to be accepted in
the market as the strongest stainless steel security screen product available. It was his true grit and
bullish determination that got him through the early years, when he worked nights in shopping
centres selling roof guttering to pay the bills and support his young family. It was his dogged
determination that saw him take a second mortgage on his home to buy another load of mesh when
his first stainless steel mesh order from China arrived in a rusting heap. It was his vision, passion and
belief in the product that caught the imagination and attention of those early Licensees who signed
on to join Steve and Peter Bouma (his business partner) on a 20 year journey to developing one of
Australia’s most recognisable brands in the home improvements, building and construction markets.
Never did he concede defeat, never did he give up, never did he stop fighting.
On the outer Steve was a tough, savvy and insightful businessman, but this facade guarded a
sensitive, caring and generous inner soul. His charisma and charm endeared him to all and his kind
and genuine approach allowed him to engage with people from all walks of life. He had a cheeky
mischievous side that came out around high performance vehicles, as this was a passion that fuelled
him with an immense amount of enjoyment. At times his fuse burnt short, but then he could be
patient as a saint. He inherited his father’s intellect and embodied his mother’s compassion. Steve
was many things to many people, but one thing common to all, was his generosity with time,
guidance, support and direction. You can tell a lot about a person from the people with whom they
associate and the connection they enjoy with their family. Steve has a deep and rich network of
friends and associates that genuinely love and care for him and regarding his family, there are few
that would share the bonds that tie Steve to his three sons, Matthew, Ben and Bradley and of course
his loving mother, Pam. Family was everything to Steve and this was proven by the pride swollen
chest and light in his eyes as he spoke of his family and their achievements.
Steve Brabeck has set an example for us all on how to live a full and rich life, even when you get
dealt a bad hand. His spirit, passion and drive got him up and into the office every day, even when it
was obvious that his illness was beating him down and tempting him to fail. Many thought that the
business kept him alive, but it was Steve giving us the message to keep fighting that kept the
business alive. His enthusiasm was contagious and infectious, so much so he recruited Crimsafe
ambassadors in the many service providers, suppliers and associates that dealt with him. Steve’s
loyalty and commitment to the partnerships he created, lead to an extended sales force of Crimsafe
devotees, who vehemently promoted the brand and business to others with a level of passion and
excitement that only Steve could evoke. The long term relationship with Dick Johnson Racing is an
example of his loyalty and dedication, as he supported and guided this business through some of its
darkest and toughest times. Many would have thrown in the towel, called it unwinnable, excused
themselves of responsibility, but not Steve. Under the gaze of judgement and disenchantment with
his persistence, he forged a way through and was there to witness the DJR/TP team emerge from
the shadows of pit lane into the light of the #1 podium time and time again, only to fall desperately
short of the 2017 Championship title. Never did he concede defeat, never did he give up, never did
he stop fighting.
For many of the early adopters, Crimsafe was an opportunity to be a part of something unique,
something different. It challenged the status quo, it disrupted the mediocrity of the industry at the
time and it awakened an army of good people who wanted to do better. Crimsafe provided
protection; in the physical sense of securing people in their homes; in the financial realm, as the
model allowed the industry to be profitable again; and in the metaphorical meaning of defining a
future path. Those Licensees that came on board in the early days were united in the belief that
there should be excellence in this industry, that people deserve quality, performance and service
and it was this group of people that Steve and Peter attracted that were the heart & soul in the birth
of the brand’s defining elements. The Crimsafe business evolved as a family would. The shared
knowledge & wisdom of the group, honed and refined the product and a consistent, continual
message was released into the minds and thoughts of all who listened to Kimmy’s Dad tell stories of
his daughter’s life experiences. After more than a decade of pushing and struggling against the tide,
Crimsafe was an overnight success. Soon the product was flooding into new markets, the
competitors rushed to make look-a-like models and the brand rose above all to attain a level of
recognition that many companies could only aspire to reach. It was a collective effort of all the great
people that are now reading this message and those before them that has made this possible. Steve
and Peter are forever grateful of your efforts.
In 2014 under the experienced guidance of the Crimsafe CEO, Ken Millard, a course was charted for
Steve & Peter to exit the business. After nearly 12 months of negotiating with various parties, a
successful outcome was brokered and on March 20th 2015, Oceania Capital Partners became the
proud new owners of Crimsafe. This released Steve to start his life again and to spend much
cherished time with family, friends and of course car racing. In the years following his exit from
Crimsafe, Steve kept in touch with the staff and customers that had served him over the years and
was always keen to catch up for a coffee and a chat. Although it was somewhat difficult to lock him
down for a time, as his diary was usually booked out two months ahead. Steve started to travel in his
Winnebago, bought and sold numerous houses and settled on a great home in Helensvale where he
planned to base himself close to all those who mattered to him dearly. When it came to his health,
Steve was reticent to tell the truth and forever thinking of others, he omitted the details of how
seriously ill he really was. In his final days, true to form, Steve fought with every ounce of strength
he could muster and after five days fighting his ultimate battle, he finally passed with those who
loved him and whom he loved.
Never did he concede defeat, never did he give up, never did he stop fighting.
Rest in peace.
Derek Tidey

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