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Men's Health Awards 2021: Men's Health Equity Award

We are announcing the shortlists for the 2021 National Men’s Health Awards throughout Men's Health Week, starting June 14, 2021. Today we announce the 10 nominees in the Men's Health Equity category. Work to improve the lives and health of men and boys in Australia doesn’t just focus on the gaps between men and women, it also focuses on the many gaps between different populations of men.

This year we want to highlight some of the great work that focuses on disadvantaged populations of men. This includes, but isn’t limited to: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; culturally and linguistically diverse; rural and remote; LGBTIQ+, veterans, socio-economically disadvantaged, socially isolated, the homeless, men and boys in the criminal justice system, men and boys with disabilities, male carers and fathers facing adversity.

This category also includes work with males populations of males of different ages and at different life stages. VOTE HERE

Autism Awareness Australia (NSW)

Autism Awareness Australia are all about empowering autism families across the country. They ensure autistic individuals and their parents/carers have access to the best possible free information, resources and tools to empower them to support themselves or their loved ones on the spectrum.

Autism Awareness Australia is nominated in this category for producing "DAD", a film about autism and fatherhood.

Sharing their stories with honesty, humour, and humility, DAD follows the lives of twelve Aussie fathers as they navigate parenthood with children on the autism spectrum.

Autism Australia says: “Sharing stories and experiences is how we learn and support one another. Over the years, the voices of mums in our community have been amazingly loud and fierce. But it was time to share the stage, it was time to hear from the dads.”

Find out more at:


The Atherton Men’s Shed Physical Activity Program (AMSPAP) has also been nominated in the Best New Initiative category. It is nominated for a Men’s Health Equity award in recognition of its work promoting the health of older men in a rural location.

AMSPA is a new joint initiative between local government, Atherton Men’s Shed and Atherton Community Health.

AMSPAP provides a safe, male-friendly space for men to exercise. The program provided individualised exercise programs to 25 men, over 16 weeks in a 2021 pilot.

The program assisted the men to set goals, take pre, during and post measurements as well as weekly vital monitoring. The program has been a huge success and plans are underway to roll it out to many more Men's Sheds around the country.

Read more about the program here:

Dr Tess Bartlett (New Zealand)

Dr Tess Bartlett’s has also been nominated in our Contribution to Men's Health Research category. She has received this nomination for her research focus on men in the judicial prison and in particular, fathers in prison.

Tess is the joint editor of the new book series ‘Emerald Advances in Masculinities’ (Emerald Publishing) and is editor of the forthcoming edited collection ‘Prison Masculinities’ and works on a global collaborative project funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, exploring the role of prison work and prisons in shaping correctional staff health and self over time’. She will bring her expertise on fatherhood and masculinities to this project.

Tess has been interviewed for The Sociology Show Podcast, Radio New Zealand, ABC Darwin, and Monash Lens about her research on primary carer fathers in prison.

She has also won a number of awards for her research on imprisoned primary carer fathers and conducted numerous media interviews on this topic.

Read Dr Bartlett’s article on jailed fathers here:

Brother To Brother (VIC)

Dardi Munwurro (Strong Spirit) is a specialist Aboriginal family violence service. In March, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dardi Munwurro launched a

24-hour crisis line for Aboriginal men (Brother to Brother). The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Brother to Brother crisis line provides phone support for Aboriginal men who need someone to talk to about relationship problems, family violence, parenting,

drug and alcohol issues or who are struggling to cope for other reasons.The Brother to Brother crisis line is staffed by Aboriginal men, including Elders, who have a lived experience in the issues that the line offers support for.

All Dardi Munwurro’s programs are specifically tailored for Aboriginal men and aim to break the cycle of inter-generational trauma by empowering and inspiring individuals to

heal the past, acknowledge the present and create a positive vision for the future.

Read about the Brother to Brother helpline here:

Dr Kootsy Canuto, SAHMR (SA)

 Dr Kootsy Canuto has also been nominated in our Contribution to Men's Health Research category. Currently, limited evidence is available to inform health services and policy makers regarding enhancing and re-orientating their services to meet the wants and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

SA Health are approaching their engagement with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male clients according to many of the recommendations resulting from Dr Canuto’s PhD research, along with evidence from the Strong Dads Strong Futures research led by Dr Canuto.

Dr Canuto is currently involved with bringing health services and the men of the community together to co-design, implement, evaluate and translate social and emotional wellbeing programs.

Through Dr Canuto’s research and ability to listen and learn, he has developed ongoing meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Traditional Owners, and leaders of South Australian Aboriginal communities and community organisations.

See Dr Canuto speaking about his research:

Shayne Connell (NSW)

Shayne is CEO of LivingWorks Australia, known for its world-leading 2-day ASIST suicide 1st aid program.

Shayne has a passion for men’s health and suicide prevention, and has been building capacity within high male industries such as defence, first responders, veterans communities and recently with professional sporting codes such as AFL, as well as supporting LivingWorks programs in trade industry via Mates in Construction.

He is nominated in this category for his work with veterans. Shayne has brought online and face-to-face training for 7000 veterans and people in veterans' lives. He has also run train the trainer courses for dozens of veterans to be safeTALK and ASIST trainers post Covid and worked on a new customised version of safeTALK for veterans.

Shayne, who lost his first responder uncle to suicide, has committed LivingWorks to support advocacy for a male suicide prevention strategy. Find out more about LivingWorks Australia here.

Darwin Indigenous Men's Service (NT)

Darwin Indigenous Men's Service (DIMS) is run by and for Indigenous men living in the Darwin Region.

DIMS' focus is on education and healing to build stronger men in mind, body and spirit healing. They have a small team of eight running a range of weekly groups and providing counselling for men that request support.

DIMS' current programs includes: a weekly Indigenous Men’s Healing Group; the Strong Indigenous Young Fathers program helping young men transition to the roles and responsibility of being a dad; and the Indigenous Men and Partners group providing relationships and parenting education and healing to Indigenous men and their partners at risk or experiencing violence.

DIMS also runs the Indigenous Gay Men and Indigenous Sistergirls group providing general support and healthy relationships education and yarning circles to build stronger men and Sistergirls in mind, body and spirit, reaffirming their roles as community leaders and role models.

For more information see:


The Man Cave is an emotional intelligence and preventative mental health charity empowering boys to become great men by providing them and their communities with impactful programs, role models and resources.

It is nominated in our Equity category for its work with a specific age-group of males (boys aged 12 to 18) and for its commitment to gender equity.

In lockdown last year, Man Cave created an online platform for the boys - Man Cave TV. They say: “Think of it as the ‘Conscious Trojan Horse’ that entertains while educating young men, kind of like The School of Life meets Vice Media”.

MCTV uses language, influencers and diverse role models that boys are already familiar with. It covers topics like sex, philosophy, wellbeing, drugs, relationships (to name a few) and is shared through digital platforms young men are already on like Instagram, TikTok and Youtube.

The aim is to provide teenage boys with tools to build their emotional intelligence, social connectedness and improve their relationships.

For more information see:

Multicultural Men’s Group of SA (SA)

The Multicultural Men’s Group of SA advocates for and provides ongoing support to men from Australia’s diverse community group. Under the auspices of the Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA) and liaisons with other service providers, the group provides strategic direction and leadership to help improve health and socio-economic wellbeing of South Australian men from CALD communities.

MCCSA’s men’s group works with CALD communities in SA by encouraging and supporting men to form social men’s groups for their respective communities and link them to reputable service providers that are culturally sensitive to the needs of men of CALD background.

The group hosts events and activities for men that promote respectful behaviours whilst also normalising discussions around men’s health, mental wellbeing and DV related issues.

The monthly ‘Multicultural Men’s Walk’ initiative by the men’s group has helped to bring men from different cultural backgrounds in SA to meet, walk, talk and support each other. Find out more here:

You Got This Mate (QLD)

You Got This Mate has also been nominated in the Best New Initiative category. It is nominated here for its focus on rural men.

It was developed by The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health’s Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) in consultation with rural men.

Launched in in April 2020, RAMHP believes that improving rural men’s mental health needs goes well beyond getting men to talk - they need simple, actionable advice to keep themselves well and to know how to get help when they need it.

You Got This Mate provides men with practical tips and information about how and when to take action when it comes to their mental health. You Got This Mate showcases videos of men sharing their stories about their own journey and struggles with mental health and what they do now to keep well.

It connects men to local services, men’s mental health resources and includes a self-help quiz to track how you’re feeling and provide simple steps to take if needed.

Find out more at:



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