A glittering line-up of men’s health experts will headline the opening plenary of the Men’s Health Conference in May to explore whether Australia really is leading the world in men’s health.
Dr Anthony Brown, chair of Global Action on Men’s Health, and a former secretary of the Australian Men’s Health Forum has dedicated his life to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for men and boys ‘wherever they live and whatever their backgrounds.’
Joining Dr Brown on stage will be Associate Professor of Sports and Exercise Science at Sydney’s University of Technology, Cristina Caperchio, who has been been conducting research to understand what men want when it comes to supporting their health.
This program of research has led to the design and development of the international award winning HAT TRICK program, a male-friendly health promotion program aimed at improving physical activity, healthy eating, and mental fitness.
Professor Gary Wittert, Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health and Head of the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, will also take part in the discussion alongside Brendan Maher, who oversees Movember’s global suite of mental health and suicide prevention programs.
The Men’s Health Conference and the 10th Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention are both part of the 2020 National Men’s Health Gathering, celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Concurrent sessions across social, mental, Indigenous and physical health feature some notable speakers. Arne Rubenstein from the Rites of Passage Institute, will lead a session titled, ‘From Boys to Men: the role of male Rites of Passage in 2020.’ Arne is author of The Making of Men Raising Boys to be Happy, Healthy and Successful and highly regarded as an expert on adolescent development.
Over in the health research stream, Anthony Merlino, from the Menzies School Of Health Research will take a look at ‘Bottled Masculinities: How Masculine Norms Influence Alcohol Consumption Patterns.’
Dr Joseph Fleming from Edith Cowan University will take part in a session on fathering, ‘Working with at risk fathers: Beyond the Rhetoric’ followed by a presentation from Simon Santosha, Men & Family Counselling, on good practice approaches to preventing separated-instigated violence by newly separated men.
The afternoon program will explore the subject of hard-to-reach men, with a presentation from Mary O’Brien (Are You Bogged, Mate?), Owen Catto, from the Regional Men’s Health Initiative and Adrienne Moss (OzHelp Foundation) sharing lessons from working with men in rural and remote locations.
Several presentations will focus on the work being done to leverage men’s love of sport to provide effective mental health programs. Mr Perfect’s Terry Cornick, winner of the NSW Men’s Health Award in 2019, kicks things off with a session on mentally healthy footy.
Catherine Dell'Aquila will share insights from the Western Bulldogs’ Sons of the West program while Cristina Caperchione returns to provide more learnings from The Hat Trick Men’s Health program.
Under the banner of working with men in group settings, Richard Kaser from Men’s Wellbeing will share how The Hero’s Journey – is a template for men’s group programs and Steve Freeman, Centre for Men Australia, will lead ‘A wholeness approach to mental health in a world (pathologically?) obsessed with pathology.’
The closing plenary for day two sees Jeremy McVean, founder, The Fatherhood paired with OzHelp Foundation CEO Darren Black to examine How men and men’s health are changing, from cradle to grave.
Preventing male suicide is a key topic on the final day. Speakers under this stream include Deborah Mulligan, University of South Queensland, Tess Colliver, SOS Yorkes Suicide Prevention Network, Shravankumar Guntuku, Men’s Health Information & Resource Centre, Barry Taylor, TaylorMade Training and Kylie King, Monash University, looking at men aged over 80 and suicide.
There is a growing number of male-friendly services in the men’s health sector and the Gathering will highlight the work of Margaret Hegarty, Diabetes Queensland (Engaging men in chronic disease prevention), Simon Santosha, Men & Family Counselling (Insights into engaging men/fathers), Michael Whitehead, NSW Health (Observational study of male specific health promotional material in health facility waiting rooms in the Blue Mountains district), Ken McKenzie, Hunter New England, LHD (Positive Strategies for Engaging Males) and regional GP Rebecca McGowan, the driving force behind the successful Prick ‘n a Pint program.
The full program for the 2020 National Men’s Health Gathering will be released in early March with early bird prices closing on February 28.