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Leading Men's Health in Victoria

In Victoria, the 2022 Men's Health Awards highlighted individuals and organisations who are committed to taking action in the men’s health sector.

This year the Awards focused on five categories: Indigenous Men’s Health, Men’s Mental Health Project, Getting Men Moving, Contribution to Men’s Work, and Men’s Health Leaders.

Presented by the Australian Men’s Health Forum, close to 3000 people voted on shortlisted nominees, while specialist judging panels determined winners of each category.

“We were thrilled to see such a strong and widespread list of people nominated for the Awards this year, including many great projects in Victoria,” said AMHF CEO Glen Poole.

“The work of everyone nominated affirms how passionate people are about helping men with the support and services they provide, and how important it is for them to be acknowledged.”

2022 Award winners Victoria

Victoria performed strongly across all categories in the 2022 Men’s Health Awards.

Beyond the Barbell won the National Getting Men Moving Award and Tomorrow Man topped the field for the Men’s Health Leaders Award, voted by AMHF’s  organisational members. IncoLink – Bluehats took out the People’s Choice Award for Victoria.

 A growing number of projects in men’s health have recognised the power of reaching men through sport and exercise. Not only do they improve men’s physical health, but there are clear benefits to men’s mental and social health. Michael Murphy launched the Beyond The Barbell men's mental health program in 2019 because he saw a gap in a place for men to gather in a safe and friendly environment. The program is gym-based and focused on "lifting the stigma of mental health". One of its programs called Move for Men's Health runs twice a week and is delivered free to men of all backgrounds and abilities, who are given an opportunity to link with peer-supports, discuss their mental health and benefit from the connection of others.

The Men’s Health Leaders Award celebrates those groups and individuals taking a lead in the men’s health sector and making a difference through their commitment, passion and approach to building a better future for men and boys. Tomorrow Man facilitates workshops for boys, teachers and parents in schools, and men in sporting clubs, workplaces and communities. The organisation explores how men can look after themselves, their mates and their families better while "carving out our own version of the Aussie man". Tomorrow Man aims to disrupt old-school male stereotypes; build and practice using emotional muscle and define a healthier version of masculinity to live by.

IncoLink – Bluehats launched a Suicide Prevention Program in 2018, developed in partnership with unions and employers. Incolink delivers mental health education via onsite seminars and training of a peer support network. Incolink has trained over 300 Bluehats who know what signs to look for that someone might be thinking about suicide, and how to ask the right questions.

Shortlisted nominations

The following individuals from Victoria were shortlisted for a 2022 Men’s Health Award:

James Grima [Contribution to Men’s Work] has established a network of online men's groups called MANonline. The groups give men an opportunity to gather, to experience mateship, to develop resilient habits, to break down stigma and to talk about men’s stuff with other men. 

Alan Thorpe [Indigenous Men’s Health] is Director and Facilitator at the Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal family violence service. He has 25 years’ experience of working with the Aboriginal community in Victoria. Dardi Munwurro was established in 2000 to provide group leadership training programs tailored to Aboriginal men and youth. The programs are designed to assist Aboriginal men and youth to identify their emotions and personal strengths, and in doing so, discover their own responsibility. They support the men to express purpose and develop a vision for their future. Alan was shortlisted for the Indigenous Men’s Health Award.

AMHF congratulates the great work being done by the following groups, projects and individuals from Victoria nominated in the 2022 Men’s Health Awards.

Jeremy Forbes is the force behind Help Assistance Local Tradies (HALT) – a national grassroots suicide prevention charity who want to help every tradie in Australia look after their mental health and wellbeing. HALT does this by running Save Your Bacon Brekkies and SafeTalks at workplaces, hardware stories, sporting clubs and TAFEs across Australia. They provide tradies and apprentices with tools to start having conversations about mental health and encourage tradies to support their mates when they’re going through tough times.

The Victorian Brotherhood helps vulnerable men in need, offering an online group where men can discuss their issues judgement-free. They also provide food gift cards for those who are struggling financially to meet basic needs.

Gathering Men run camps to help men become better listeners and to connect them to better versions of themselves through on-country and on-line gatherings and retreats. Their purpose is to redefine what it means to be a healthy man and challenge the stereotypes around men’s health and wellbeing.

Driving Health Allocator Training Program is a free resource developed by the Driving Health team at Monash University for allocators, supervisors and line managers of truck drivers in Australia. This is a short 20-minute free resource that has been developed to help truck drivers' employers deal with these issues and normalise conversations in an otherwise ‘blokey’ industry.

Power, Strength and Vulnerability is an online resource devoted to reducing the stigma around mental health and providing help for anyone who needs it. Founder Shane Kelton has lived experience with addiction and from his own personal triumph created an organisation which helps many males work through their own challenges.

The Tough Guy Book Club won the Victoria 2020 Men’s Health Award (People’s Choice) and was also shortlisted for the National Best Men’s Group or Program. This is a network of men’s book clubs who have a #1 rule: No Work Talk. They can talk about the latest book, and also other matters that they might be struggling with. Said one member: The TGBC “Got me back into reading and also taught me the importance of taking care of myself and others around me.” Tough Guy Book Club breaks the mold on traditional and outdated views on masculinity and reaffirms that it is ok not to be ok.

Nick Sutherland started State of Mind in 2009 and evolved his program to Myndfit in 2018. Myndfit empowers men to change their own lives, which has a ripple effect through their jobs, families and friendships.

Man: Restarted is the passion of Steve Pinner and is directed at middle-aged men “living lives of quiet desperation”. His platform offers up tools and a framework to help other men to become more resilient, grateful and emotionally intelligent.

Fitness 4 Blokes is a volunteer-led men's fitness group that runs free fitness activities including Saturday morning boxing fitness sessions, Sunday bike rides, and midweek strength and cardio workouts. The group also regularly spend time together after workouts enjoying each other's companionship and helping forge strong connections.

Paul Kefford provides an extensive Men’s Health Event Calendar under the moniker ‘Cecil’s Men’s Hub’ - listing key events for each month in a 40-page newsletter. Proceeds from his subscription are diverted to leading charities that support men.

There are many more great organisations working with men and boys across Victoria including: 

Right Mate, The Man Cave, The Male Hug, 100 Words, Understanding Boys, Ballarat Men’s Mental Health, the Australian Fatherhood Research Consortium, the Victorian Men's Sheds Association, SALT Sport and Life Training, Blokes United, Blokes Psychology, The Modern Bloke, For Men and Sons of the West.

There’s a long tradition of men’s work in Victoria with events like Menergy and Island of Men, and men’s groups the Melbourne Men’s Group and Mountain Men. 

Victoria is also home to national initiatives such as MensLine Australia, Healthy Male, and the global men’s health giant Movember.


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