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Shortlisted nominations for Women Working in Men's Health Award

Find out more about the women who were shortlisted for a Men's Health Award 2020 in the category of Women Working in Men's Health Award. 

The award is open to women (or groups of women) working in the men’s health sector, who have made a signification contribution to improving the lives and health of men and boys.

Cast your vote 

Voting is open until Sunday 14 June at 5pm AEST. 

Bianca Elmir, Amanda Barnes, Lana Hilton and Grace Jennings are female mentors who provide support and guidance to young men through the Top Blokes Foundation. Top Blokes Foundation believes in the power of females in the Young Men's Health Space. Top Blokes was founded by a female and is managed by a female executive team. The female mentors in this organisation work at a grassroots level with young males. One of the many aspects they bring to the programs is a diverse perspective. By virtue of living a different experience, TB female mentors bring a level of credibility to the conversations around how a young man’s health can impact those around him. The safety and openness of the Top Blokes space allows young men to be curious and ask questions they oftentimes are afraid to ask. “It’s mostly boys with a male mentor, but having that one female in the room to talk to about what my girlfriend might be thinking and feeling has really helped me and my relationship, especially our communication. I hadn’t considered some things before we talked [in the program] about healthy relationships, but now I think that step further when it comes to my girlfriend.” – Top Blokes program participant.

Peta Bobbine lost her brother Luke to suicide in 2018. He served in the Afghanistan war and “never came back the same”. She launched the foundation, Build a Brotherhood, to support men living with mental illnesses share their struggles. She founded Build a Brotherhood with her mum, a drug/alcohol counsellor and family therapist. One of the men they work with provided this recommendation: “An amazing movement ran by an amazing lady in Peta, has helped me and other men in so many ways!” “absolutely amazing group. They really know their stuff and have helped me through a lot, as well as all the men I have met through being involved in the meetings, camp trips and more. Thanks Peta and Leah! The world needs more of this!"

Gay Corbett is a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse with Ballarat Health Services who has developed a project for men and their partners called “when prostate cancer joins you in the bedroom”. While it is well established that sexual dysfunction significantly impacts the quality of life of men after prostate cancer treatment, clinicians say they have difficulty in accessing sexual health interventions for their patients. With this in mind, Gay developed a 90-minute group intervention to help men and their partners cope with the lasting impacts of prostate cancer.The program content aims to address patients’ needs through examining sex/sexuality definitions, anatomy, sexual renegotiation strategies, myth busting, normalising the experience and improving sexual communication between partners.

Mary O’Brien is a rural women living in the Darling Downs area of Queensland. Her career in the rural sector has given her a deep respect for country blokes, and more importantly, the ability to effectively communicate and engage with them. Rural men are a unique demographic, they face complex issues and they require a tailored approach. Mary founded ‘Are you bogged mate?’ to bridge the gap between mental health/suicide prevention services and men. The purpose of ‘Are You Bogged Mate?’ is to reach rural men in their comfort zone (usually in their sheds) and speak to them in a language they understand. Mary travels to all parts of Australia talking to groups of rural men about mental health in a new, distinctive, and direct way. Men have frequently told her that she ‘speaks bloke’.

Jo Milios is a Perth-based musculo-skeletal physiotherapist with over 25 year's clinical experience who focuses on Prostate Cancer, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Incontinence , Erectile Dysfunction, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Pudendal Neuralgia, Yoga and Exercise Prescription. Jo runs Men's Health Physiotherapy workshops in WA and has taught internationally in Ireland, Portugal, United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan 2018.  In 2012 she formed PROST! Exercise 4 Prostate Cancer, an exercise program for men with Prostate Cancer that continues to run out of Subiaco Football Club and other venues. She works in tandem with Urologists, GPs, Sexual Health Physicians, Psychologists and Exercise Physiologists to help men in their recovery.

Megan Davidson is Director of Buddy Up Australia, a Perth-based program that connects Australian serving and ex-service personnel to their community through purposeful volunteering, social and physical activities. The team at Buddy Up Australia believe that every person who has provided service in the military or emergency services has the right to feel valued and connected in their local community. Buddy Up Australia offers a way for people who have served their country, either domestically or overseas, to connect with like-minded people and feel that sense of purpose again, through physical fitness and volunteering for worthwhile projects.

Jane Higgins is CEO of the The Odyssey Program for school-age boys. She is a counsellor and a mother of two boys.  She believes boys' education is primarily directed towards their academic and sporting capabilities, and little attention is paid to their emotional domain. The Odyssey Program program was developed to fill this gap using contemporary topics, delivery style, student involvement, and its focus on teaching transferable life skills. Jane says: “My goal is to offer engaging, informative and empowering workshops that assist boys to challenge the social construction of masculinity and transform it into a new, positive definition of who they really are and who they want to be. I believe it is paramount that we offer boys an alternative and assist them in being responsible and healthy world citizens.”

Rosalie has been a clinical speech pathologist for more than 30 years and founder of the charity Chatter Matters. She is particularly well-known for her work with men in prison. Rosalie began working at Risdon Prison in Tasmania with her Just Sentences pilot literacy project in 2013, to help improve the life chances of imprisoned men on their release.  She also ran weekly training on parenting, becoming the first person to deliver the global Circle of Security parent-child attachment program to men in prison. Rosalie's work also focuses on the benefits of building literacy in homeless adults, an at-risk population that is predominantly male. In 2017 she was Tasmania's Australian of the Year.

Pip Seldon is founder of The Healthy Tradie Project takes a different approach to health and wellbeing in the construction industry, focusing on physical, mental and emotional health through movement, mindfulness and nutrition. It’s well-known for getting tradies doing yoga. The Healthy Tradie Project says they are taking on the macho culture of the construction industry and making Tradies feel OK with showing vulnerability and opening up to their mates.  Feedback from employers and individuals suggests the Health Tradie Project is helping with a reduction in on-site incidents, a shift in workplace culture; healthier meal options, eliminating sugar filled drink / vending machines from the workplace and a general feeling of wellbeing amongst teams. As a result, men have made changes to their own life, incorporating regular exercise, a mindfulness or breath practice or making changes to their diet.

Katie Woolf founded the Father's Day "Run With Dad" Fun Run to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men's health following the death of her father Rod in March 2014. Katie and her Dad had talked about creating the event after his diagnosis but he sadly became too ill to see the event come to fruition. Since the first event in 2014, Run with Dad has raised $100,000 with more than 4,000 people taking part. The money raised is invested back into the Northern Territory for the ongoing costs for a full-time prostate cancer nurse. Katie says her aim, and the volunteers who support her cause, is “is to encourage men to take part in the event by running or walking with their children. It isn’t just a fun run, it’s a celebration of the men in our lives and the important role they play within the community. It is also an opportunity to start the conversation about men’s health and the importance of regular health checks.”

Laci Christiaen is a youth and community worker based in Darwin who is passionate about gender equality, youth justice, crisis housing and youth development programs. She champions many programs working with men across the Northern Territory and has a particular interest in men's health. Laci was part of the leadership team that created the national MANIFEST Men's Health Symposium in Sydney, in November 2019 which aimed to foster debate and create networking opportunities, while showcasing ways to support men in healing their pasts and creating their future. Laci says, "I believe in order for men to show up and own their story they need to feel safe, supported and loved.”

ConnectGroups is the peak body for peer support groups in WA. As a NFP working in community services and staffed entirely by nine women, the ConnectGroups team has worked extensively in the field of men’s health and wellbeing.  It contributed to the WA State Men’s Health and Wellbeing Policy (launched in 2019, has worked state-wide with a broad range of groups working with men. This includes men’s sheds, men’s peer support groups, first responder support groups, prostate cancer support groups, other chronic condition groups focused on men’s health, LGBTI Groups and services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Groups. ConnectGroups has created a guide to "Effectively Engaging with Men" with the help of an "All About The Blokes" working group. The resource has now been dowloaded nearly 100,000 times.

Sally McDonnell a registered nurse and a mother of four children, who works for OzHelp in the Northern Territory. Sally delivers OzHelps work-based health program, the Tradie Tune Up, to a wide range of mostly male workers across the NT including to tradies, truckies, cattlemen, automotive workers and apprentices; a whole range of workers. One of the people who recommended Sally for this award said: "Sally has a lovely calm and friendly manner and will support someone for as long as they require. She keeps up to date and current with her amazing research skills and is always studying."

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.



Two men’s mental health hubs open in WA
In an exciting collaboration between Mens Talk Au and the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia, two Katitjin Blue Mind Hubs have opened in Busselton and Scarborough, tailored to meet the unique needs of men living in the community. 
11 June 2024

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