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A year of challenges and opportunities: AMHF president Gillian Hunt reflects

AMHF president Gillian Hunt was re-elected by the Board following the organisation's AGM on 12 December, 2023. Here is her President's report. 

By Gillian Hunt

AMHF has faced the challenges and opportunities of the past year with vigour and determination. As many organisations across our sector will testify, the need for organisations focussing on men and boys’ health has never been greater as we all move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and deal with new social challenges such as the growing cost of living crisis.

Strategy Delivery

As the peak body for men and boys’ health in Australia, our focus has been solidly on delivering against our strategic objectives of raising awareness of men’s health issues, promoting best practice approaches to working with men and boys, connecting and growing the men’s health sector, advocating for Government action to improve the lives and health of men and boys and, internally, on organisational governance including risk management, funding, and fundraising.
The past 12 months have seen AMHF continue on our trajectory of increasing our influence, our membership, and our impact. We have more than 100 organisational and individual members and over the year our ranks have swelled with a 40% increase in organisational members.
The support from the sector is heartening as we exist to advocate on behalf of all of our members. In the New Year our focus will be on ensuring that we continue to provide peak body support to all organisations supporting men and boys’ health across Australia.

Board and Governance

Our Board changes over the past 12 months have included retaining our past president Greg Millan as a Board Member, as well as the re-appointment of Uliana Ross as our Treasurer, David Pointon in the position of Secretary, and Chris Lytas as Vice-President. I would like to thank all the Board Members for their unwavering support, commitment and focus on the mission and vision of AMHF.

View the newly elected 2024 AMHF Board

Team and Members Impact

This year Chris Lytas and I wanted to focus on the success and achievements of our members and team. As a peak body, we punch well above our weight – our CEO Glen Poole and his team of Kim Trengove (Content Manager) and Sharon Philp (Administrator) have made massive inroads into policy and awareness across multiple states. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a team who have worked together tirelessly with a single focus for the past 5 years.

Our friends and members include a broad and diverse range of individuals and member organisations all working together for the common purpose of improving the lives and health of men and boys. It is the work being done on the ground by these individuals and organisations, often without any fanfare and with limited funds, that is truly shifting the narrative when it comes to men’s health, providing support across all areas of need, and we are both honoured and grateful to be associated with every one of them.

Over the past year we have made significant inroads into men and boys’ health and also most importantly into collaborating with other key men’s health organisations.

Some snapshots include:

Australian Men and Boys’ Health Alliance (AMBHA)
AMHF has been working closely with other federally funded men's health organisations to advise the Commonwealth Government on the funding and implementation of the National Men's Health Strategy 2020-2023 through a new initiative called the Australian Men and Boys’ Health Alliance (AMBHA).
The organisations working on the AMBHA initiative include:

  • Australian Men’s Health Forum
  • Australian Men’s Shed Association
  • Centre for Male Health
  • Healthy Male
  • Movember
  • Ten to Men Study
  • The Men’s Table
  • Australian Fatherhood Research Consortium
  • OzHelp
  • Parents Beyond Breakup

Additional academic input has been provided by Professor James Smith (Flinders University) and Associate Professor Jacqui Macdonald (Deakin University).

With collaboration at its core, we believe this initiative is a highlight across the sector and augurs well for all organisations focused on improving health and life outcomes for our men and boys.

Men's Health Connected
Many of our members highlighted their work at this year's Men's Health Connected online event including The Men's Table, Mentoring Men, Inner Man Adventures, SOLiD Men, Tough Guy Book Club, Men’s Talk, The Man Walk, Men's Sheds WA and TOMNET (The Older Men's Network).

SPA Partnership
Our partnership work with Suicide Prevention Australia continues with the Doing It Tough campaign, which featured on national TV in the run-up to International Men's Day.

We continued to work closely with Men's Resources Tasmania and its members across the state where the Department of Health launched a working group focused on men's mental health and suicide prevention.

Western Australia
During Men's Health Week we took part in the inaugural Men's Wellbeing Conference WA alongside a number of our members including Men’s Talk, Men's Health and Wellbeing WA, Regional Men's Health Initiative, Men’s Sheds WA, and Man Up WA.

Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH)
AMHF continues to support the ongoing work of Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH). We are delighted to announce that our Board Member Rae Bonney, since being elected to represent AMHF on the board of GAMH, is a speaker in Malaysia at the Men’s Health World Congress, taking place on the same day as our AGM. This is a significant milestone for AMHF, and speaks to the depth of leadership we have on our Board.

Future Focus
During our annual Strategy Session held earlier this year, a key focus coming out of COVID-19 was to re-establish the National Men’s Gathering in 2025. We look forward to announcing further details over the year in again holding an event to connect all organisations across the sector. In closing, we extend our deepest gratitude to the remarkable individuals and members who have fuelled and supported AMHF’s mission over the past year.

To our small yet formidable team, your passion, resilience, and tireless efforts have been the driving force behind our accomplishments. Your dedication to advancing men's health in Australia is nothing short of inspiring, and we are immensely grateful for the unwavering commitment each of you brings to our shared cause. To our Board, your guidance, strategic vision, and unwavering support continue to ensure a healthy and well-governed organisation.

Your collective wisdom and commitment to the betterment of men and boys’ health have steered our organisation toward success. As we navigate the future, let us carry forward the spirit of collaboration and determination that defines our organisation – our team, our members and our Board – we stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before us in serving the men and boys of Australia.
Together, as a united force, we will continue to make meaningful strides in the journey towards a healthier, more resilient Australia for all men and boys.
Thank you for your extraordinary contributions, and here's to another year of progress, innovation, and positive change.

Gillian Hunt, President
Chris Lytas, Vice-President

Read current and past AMHF President's reports
Who we are: AMHF Governance


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