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Working with boys and young men? New Positive Masculinity Conference promises to break down gender stereotypes

As boys continue to fall behind female students in reading and literacy, the not-for-profit Positive Masculinity (+M) Foundation has announced a new one-day conference in Melbourne for educators, coaches and health professionals.

The Positive Masculinity International Conference aims to promote positive practices that “encourage connection, authenticity, and motivation in boys and young men.”

Attendees will also hear how to engage boys in creating a more equitable society and breaking gender stereotypes, “with evidence-informed strategies for schools, sports teams, community groups and workplaces.”

Speakers include:

  • Professor Matt Englar-Carlson, Director for Boys and Men at the California State University. His work focuses on educating and training professionals about male mental health needs as well as how to work more effectively with men and boys.
  • Dr Kylie King, Senior Research Fellow at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, Melbourne. Kylie’s work has centred around developing, implementing and evaluating interventions that can have positive impacts on men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
  • Nathan Lawrentschuk, Director of Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Urology. He is also a founding director of the EJ Whitten Prostate Cancer Research Centre at Epworth Hospital.
  • Dr Dean Lusher, Professor of Innovation Studies at Swinburne University’s Centre for Transformative Innovation. Dean has conducted social network research with the AFL, Boeing, CSIRO, DHHS Victoria, VicHealth and various school and community groups.

The Positive Masculinity (+M) Foundation was established by Dr Ray Swann, deputy headmaster at Brighton Grammar.

“If you work with boys and/or young men and are interested in taking evidence-informed approaches to improve their connectedness and engagement this could be for you,” he says.

Dr Swann is the force behind the boys’ centred innovation and research Crowther Centre, and he also hosts Brighton Grammar's Understanding Boys podcast.

In October 2022, NAPLAN showed that reading results had plummeted among Year 9 boys across Australia and 13.5 per cent didn't achieve the National Minimum Standard for reading. The last time results were this low was in 2008 when 8.5 per cent of students didn't meet the National Minimum Standard.

"Many boys, it seems, have decided that school is not for them," observed Julie Hare in the Financial Review. "The implications are huge. Education is the cornerstone of economic and social success over a lifetime. If boys are underachieving at school, what are the implications for the national economy?"

The Positive Masculinity International Conference will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, 1 September 2023.

The cost is $440.

Find out more and register



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