Since losing her father in 2007, Dr Emma George has dedicated her research to improving men’s physical and mental health. As a Senior Lecturer and researcher at Western Sydney University, Emma has combined her passion for research and her love of Rugby League to develop Active Breed – a 12-week men’s health program that empowers male football fans to improve their health. The program was co-created with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and South Western Sydney Primary Health Network and is the first of its kind to be delivered through the National Rugby League. For 12 weeks, men aged 35-64 years attend a weekly 90-minute education and physical activity session at the Bulldogs inner sanctum – Belmore Sports Ground. The program focuses on small, sustainable changes to health behaviours and provides practical skills to ensure positive changes can be maintained beyond the 12-week program. Education sessions are delivered by Active Breed coaches and local health experts and focus on men’s health, health service engagement and having a regular GP, physical activity, nutritional fitness, positive mental health and healthy relationships. These sessions are followed up with a game of touch footy on the hallowed turf of Belmore or a workout in the first-grade gym, under the watchful eye of accredited exercise scientists and Bulldogs club legends, Hazem El Masri or Terry Lamb. Along with her incredible team, Emma has been working tirelessly since 2016 to develop the Active Breed program, and over 100 men have participated in the program since its launch in 2018. Graduates have lost weight and reduced their waist circumference (both important indicators of chronic disease risk), are engaging in more individual and family physical activity, and are making more healthful decisions about their dietary intake, positively influencing their family’s dietary choices. Importantly, men who have participated in the program have also started open and honest conversations about their physical and mental health with health professionals, their partners, children and mates. The program’s success stems from the strong sense of camaraderie and belonging it offers, and graduates are invited back as mentors for new recruits. Once men join the Active Breed family, they are truly part of that for life. Links: https://www.bulldogs.com.au/community/programs/active-breed2/ https://activebreed.thebulldogs.com.au/home https://twitter.com/active_breed https://www.swsphn.com.au/index.cfm?module=news&pagemode=indiv&page_id=742533 Photo Repository: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5zog4gx6cqw2963/AAAhiHIvi4YLwOuHwsTM75p9a?dl=0
This innovative men's mental health program has been supporting the health and wellbeing of men for over 6 years through the vibrant and genuine sense of community connectedness and belonging it cultivates among the many hundreds of men who are TGBC members. As a woman who has been watching from the sidelines, I am hugely grateful for the supportive culture this program provides men in my life and in the wider community. I have seen first-hand men reaching out to each other to support and be supported during tough times, pitching in to help a member move house, dropping off a care package to a member in hospital who might not have otherwise had visitors, checking in someone who hasn't turned up to club after a divorce. There are also the preventative interventions the program runs such as reminding and encouraging members to get health check-ups in ways that are engaging and get guys to actually go to see their GP - not an easy task!
Ian has developed a wonderful mentoring program for men called Mentoring Men, and has freely dedicated his time since leaving a well paid role in IT.
Penrith-Walk and Talk is for MEN ONLY Thursday evening for a walk and talk. They are followed by 7500 people on social media. The walk is attended by over 150 blokes every week. You can find the details of the group here: https://www.facebook.com/PenrithMensWalkAndTalk/
It has been 50 years since the closure of the infamous Kinchela Boys Home, but former residents of the brutal establishment want people to remember what survivors endured.Read more
NSW is experiencing a shortage of male primary school principals, now said to be half the number of female principals in public schools.Read more
AverageJoes are men’s weekly meet-ups happening in pubs and cafes around Australia. It began on the sunny Coast 6 months ago with two blokes meeting together to talk raw and real and has now grown to 6 meetups around Australia with 9 more about to open. AJs has now just also registered in Kenya and Pakistan with the emphasis of getting men back to the basics of meeting together using their natural ability to problem solve and talk life by using a weekly topic set by the two founders or even just ‘go with the flow’ conversations. We cannot keep up with just reading the testimonies let alone the natural growth these AJs meet-ups are having. 10 newspapers articles, Movember interviews, magazine interviews, countless radio interviews resulting with a free airtime by running a radio add approx 25 times a day.
Susan Elvery is an experienced group facilitator, trainer and supervisor, currently employed by Relationships Australia (NSW) as the Groupwork Team Leader at the Sydney City Centre. Over the past 15 years, Susan has facilitated eleven Taking Responsibility (23 week programs) and provided support and guidance to implement RANSW’s ‘whole of family’ approach to Domestic Violence and Family Safety (http://www.relationshipsnsw.org.au/support-services/taking-responsibility-a-course-for-men/). These programs have provided a significant opportunity for change in the family relationships for around 220 men. In turn, this has had a significant positive effect on their sons, daughters and often their current/former partners. Taking Responsibility is a group program aimed at men who have been abusive in their relationships and are now ready to work towards building relationships that are respectful and caring. Participants in the group are provided with an opportunity to begin the process of change by understanding the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that either support change or destroy relationships. Susan is a group leader with passion, insight and depth. Susan has been a dedicated voice for community education, group programs and men’s behavioural change. She is a voice for best practice in the Men’s Behavioural Change Network and until last year, the Institute of Group Leaders. Her numerous conference presentations and workshops have wrestled with how the sector can provide creative and quality groupwork programs through acknowledging and valuing the unique expression that every group member contains. This is Susan’s fundamental core, her ability to tune into the significance of what is occurring for others and find a bridge to harness it. Susan has engaged a very wide range of men, supporting a positive picture of possibility for themselves and their wider family while holding the stance of taking responsibility for any violence used in intimate relationships. The feedback from the men themselves says it all: • Improved me as a person. has made me reflect on my actions • Great improvement • Very important, self-awareness, understanding of anger and well-being • Impact on relationship with my partner is still unclear. Impact on my relationship with myself has been significant personal growth and development of self-awareness • Given me better self-awareness, tools and resources to better handle challenges. Better understanding of myself, learning to focus on things i can control within myself that positively impact on relationships. Externally - my relationships are stronger and much better. • Better understanding of myself and tools to use when I re-establish a new relationship • I have higher empathy for my partner without justifying or rationalizing my actions • Great course, I wish I could have attended earlier. • Very fortunate to have been on the course. Thank you very very much. All top quality! • Highly met expectations, exceeded in some areas. Extremely grateful for having the opportunity to participate. • Good program, great facilitators and constructive feedback.