Leading Men's Health in Western Australia
In Western Australia, 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 WA,” 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 WA Awards winners
Men’s Talk AU [Men’s Health Leaders] won the WA People’s Choice vote. Men’s Talk burst onto the men's health scene in WA last year with a passion to "collaborate with the community to mainstream conversation around wellness and masculinity for all who identify as male". In November 2021, the group hosted the Men’s’ Talk Life Expo in Scarborough, featuring a variety of exhibitors and displays to provide advice, assistance, and information on a range of topics for men of all ages.
The following individuals from Western Australia were shortlisted for a 2022 Men’s Health Award.
M8D8 Youth Focus [Best Men’s Mental Health Project] aims to tackle isolation and loneliness with young males by taking a mate on a date on May 8 and having a meaningful conversation. M8D8 is about helping young people change each other’s lives by creating a generation of better listeners.
M8D8 launched in 2021 and has quickly captivated an engaged audience of young guys on Instagram, where the campaign is predominately promoted (@M8D8_WA) and support resources are shared with young people to help guide their conversations. The initiative also helps young men connect with Youth Focus’s free counselling services.
AussieFit [Getting Men Moving] supports men to make small but sustainable changes to their physical activity using evidence-based behaviour change and motivation techniques. The program is free to access and specifically designed to appeal to guys and has a footy theme that guys find appealing. Following an initial pilot, the program has since been rolled out in regional areas of WA.
Len Yarran [Indigenous Men’s Health] is a Wadjak Noongar elder who has worked extensively in education and devoted much of his life in assisting the local aboriginal men's community in Balga WA. He has gained outstanding recognition for his work in improving the health and wellbeing of local Aboriginal boys and men. Len is part of the team that founded Wadjak Northside, a resource centre and community group dedicated to improving indigenous lives in the northern suburbs of Perth.
AMHF congratulates the great work being done by the following groups, projects and individuals from Western Australia nominated in the 2022 Men’s Health Awards.
In 2018, Soa “The Hulk” Palelei partnered with Macmahon Holdings Ltd to launch Strong Minds, Strong Mines for more than 800 fly-in fly-out (FIFO) employees working in some of Australia’s remotest mines. As the organisation’s wellness ambassador, Soa has devised several programs and innovations that not only help spread awareness within the mining community, but also give solutions for early suicide prevention and mental health sustenance. Palelei retired from mixed martial arts in 2015 after 27 fights and 22 wins, and experienced homelessness and physical abuse as a child. Battling depression throughout his fighting career, he is now a regular sight at mining operations, giving talks and workshops. In 2021, he won the AMHF Men’s Health People’s Choice Award for WA.
Melissa Hadley-Barrett, who with Jo Millios was shortlisted for the AMHF Best Content Creator/Community Award in 2021, is a sexologist and nurse, and co-presenter of the popular Penis Project Podcast. Melissa was this year nominated for her services, friendship and advice on men’s mental and physical health. Jo, winner of the 2020 WA Men’s Health Award, was also nominated for the fantastic support she provides men on their prostate cancer journey.
Liam Sorrell continues to receive recognition for the work he does as head of the Australian Dads Network, which won the 2021 Best Content Creator/Community Award. The organisation is volunteer-run and supports, mentors and coach’s dads in all aspects of life. ADN was granted charity status in 2021 and now has more than 2500 members on its Dads Only Facebook community.
Jon Marginis is a psychologist and leader in men’s health and has done a lot of work around reducing the stigma that boys and men experience around speaking about their mental health. He presents at forums, contributes a range of articles on how we can create a better future for boys/men to express themselves, teaches other psychologists on how to make their therapeutic approach male-friendly, and contributed to the WA Men’s Health Initiative. He has also volunteered his time with at-risk youth who would not otherwise be able to afford therapy.
Bradley Millsteed, a farmer at Watheroo in WA, is the force behind the #6Bs, which stands for Blokes, BBQ, Bonfire, Beers, Bonding and Bullshit. #6Bs gives blokes a safe place to offload. The informal, relaxed approach of #6Bs is a huge hit with the rural blokes who come from miles around to gather with other men and find out how each other is truly going.
Cameron Watkins conducts a Movement and Breath session with Men’s Talk AU on the final Saturday of the month at the iconic Scarborough Beach. Cam is a sports physiotherapist who, through his program, has created a supportive men's community to learn more about their bodies and nervous systems, to feel stronger, more mobile and comfortable building resilience, stamina for physical health and greater calmness, clarity and peace for overall wellbeing. The success of this program is also its connection to the ocean.
Owen Catto is the driving force at The Regional Men’s Health Initiative and presents a range of educational programs and strategies for men, their families, and communities. He wants to empower men to move forward and embrace progressive changes in their family relationships and their wellbeing and health.
WA is also home to range of organisations working with men and boys, many of which have featured in previous Men's Health Awards. They include Lachie Samuel, FIFO Mental Health Guy (winner of the 2021 Local Men's Champion Award), Men's Sheds of WA,The Regional Men's Health Initiative, Men's Health and Wellbeing WA, The Fathering Project (winner of the 2019 WA Men's Health Award), the Men's Work Project, Good Blokes Co and the Men's Outreach Service.
In 2019 WA became the second state after NSW (2018) to develop a Men's Health Policy following successful lobbying by the men's health sector in WA.