Shortlisted nominations for Local Men's Health Hero Award

View the shortlisted nominations for the Local Men's Hero Award in the 2020 Men's Health Awards. 

The Local Men's Hero Health Award celebrates  an individual, male or female, who has made a significant difference by taking action to improve the lives and health of men and boys at a local level. 

Cast your vote. 

Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday 14 June AEST.

Joshua Tree is an Exercise Physiologist and Men's Health Advocate who founded the annual 'It’s a Blokes Lunch’ fundraising event in 2017 to focus on men’s health issues, mental health, cancer and preventative health. Josh's work has helped develop a range of men's health initiatives including a Junior Blokes mentoring program, Blokes Move health programs, a Blokes Chat podcast, The Barstool Blokes social group and the Blokes Health Australia digital health services. Josh says: "We want to create more opportunities and safe environments for blokes to be able to have shoulder-to-shoulder conversations and feel comfortable in being able to talk to a mate."

Ian Westmoreland worked for 40 years in the Australian and New Zealand utilities industries in various IT roles mostly as an IT development and support manager. At 59, he quit his job and became a volunteer mentor in high schools and primary schools through the Kids Hope program and the youth mentoring foundation, RAISE. During his involvement in the various mentoring programs Ian identified that there currently was no free “life” mentoring readily available for Australian adult men, a group that needs mentoring as much as any other group, so in June 2018 Ian commenced development of the Mentoring Men program. Mentoring Men has now trained an army of male mentors who provide support to men over 18 in his local area.

Lindsay Oates is a leading figure in the men's sheds movement in Victoria, where he has served as President of the Victorian Men’s Shed Association (VMSA). VMSA supports and promotes around 350 sheds across Victoria. Lindsay worked for 20 years as a CEO of small and large residential care facilities and retirement villages, as well as having experience as a Senior Banker, Staff Counsellor and working with Australian Indigenous Communities. He brings his wealth of experience to his work to help men's sheds in Victoria to thrive and grow. 

Lachie Stuart is a "man's breakthrough coach" based in Toowoomba where he founded The Man That Can Project  He specialises in empowering men to overcome their mental and emotional challenges and take ownership for their lives. Lachlan supports men through coaching, workshops and events and runs a monthly men's circle open to all men, and providing open forums for men. He is on a mission to transform the lives of more than 20,000 men by 2025. One nominator told us: "Lachie Stuart is the man that saved my life, he took me from a world of negativity and showed me how to embrace myself”.

Josh Quarmby launched Blokepedia has a blog site in January 2017, with the aim of providing a platform for men to talk about issues and topics that impact their lives, from mental and physical health through to relationships. Over the past three years Blokepedia has grown and evolved into  a unique mix of online and face-to-face resources for men, including the popular Conversations that Matter events. Josh has also developed a range of workshops and online resources that support men's emotional health and wellbeing. One nominator told us that Josh is "tireless in his pursuit for quality, deeper conversation and support for men, backed up by clinical experts.”

Dr Mick Adams (Uncle Mick to most) is a long-serving champion of men's health and Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. Mick is well-known for his work to ensure that male health issues are promoted and placed on the national and international agenda through advocacy, research, publication and health management. Mick has been working in the health industry for over 30 years. He has worked in both government and the community-controlled health service sector, and has been nominated as a representative to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues on national and international boards and national and international conferences.

Grant Westthorp has managed the Men's Resource Centre in Albany for over a decade and is CEO of Well Man Inc. He has published six editions of the Men's Survival Handbook, distributing over 20,000 copies in Australia and developed this resource into the free Well Man app, which is now available in 28 countries. Grant says "For the past 12 years I have nudged thousands of men towards better wellbeing. Providing preventative physical, mental, social strategies, information, practical tips and skills to men globally."

Callum  MacPherson is a professional journalist and creator and host of Young Blood - Men's Health Matters, a platform for young men  under 35 to share stories and gain valuable insight about mental health. The podcast has reached the Top 30 Mental Health podcasts in Australia and the vodcast (video version) has received more than 250,000 views on Facebook, with episodes averaging 20,000 views in 2020. One regular listener told us:  "Young Blood covers so much important ground about men's mental health issues. Callum gets his guests to completely open up and talk about their struggles and successes candidly. I've had my own share of mental health issues and the show has encouraged me to open up to those close me and take action to overcome them.”

When his younger brother Ty took his own life in 2013, Mitch McPherson, a glazier by trade, turned his family's loss into the successful suicide prevention charity SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY. Mitch, has spoken at over 600 events which include school groups, workplaces and sporting clubs and is dedicated to spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it. Mitch has partnered with Relationships Australia Tasmania to support the growth of the organisation, which now has a team of five staff delivering programs in schools and sporting clubs. Mitch was voted the 2017 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year.

Martin Fisk is CEO of Menslink, a charity that supports young men across the ACT by: encouraging them to speak up and get help; providing intensive short-term counselling and longer term mentoring support from positive male role models. Martin joined Menslink in March and has significantly expanded the reach of Menslink’s support programs, with nearly 10 times the number of young men now accessing their services. In 2012, Martin designed the award-winning Silence is Deadly campaign which has reached tens of thousands of students across Canberra. 

Jason Bonson has been a champion of men's health for many years, with a particular focus on the health of Indigenous men in the NT, where he previously worked for the Government's Men's Health Policy Unit. Jason has also been a driving force in establishing the Darwin Indigenous Men's Shed. One nominator told us: "Jason has an amazing ability to turn ideas into reality. He has been instrumental in establishing the DIMS and also has an uncanny knack to engage at a strategic level.  Without Jason, the Top End men’s health and wellbeing sector would still be many years behind the rest of the country."

Sam Parker is the founder of Grab Life By The Balls an organisation that creates events for blokes, from all walks of life to connect, hang out and be themselves. Grab Life By The Balls champions the value of mateship for its proactive and positive benefits for men's mental health. Sam began Grab Life By The Balls as an informal catch up in Mooloolaba in 2016 and has expanded the project into 11 communities across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (with plans to open groups in WA and NT post). One nominator said: "His dedication and passion to having a proactive approach is amazing. He genuinely cares about blokes"

Ira Racines is Team Leader for Community Engagement at Headspace Darwin who previously won Mental Health Worker of the Year at the 2017 NT Mental Health Week awards. One nominator told us: "Ira is a super hero when it comes to youth mental health and looking after our LGBTQ+ Community. I believe he is very deserving on an award like this, based on the work that he does and the relationships and support he has with the young men in our community".

The winners of the 2020 National Men's Health Awards will be announced during Men's Health Week (from Monday 15 June) starting with the regional winners in every State and Territory.

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