It was my privilege to attend the Menslink Big Night out at the Southern Cross club in Woden, at the end of last year, an organisation that I have been supporting since 2012. The evening was held to raise money for Menslink’s free support programs in Canberra. I want to speak briefly here today to highlight the ongoing importance of the work of Menslink in Canberra.
The evening was a 70s themed night, with 370 attendees, who were well entertained by the band Smooth Ops and comedian Tom Gibson. During the evening we heard from Kelly, a mother of a teenager who has been greatly helped by the volunteers and mentoring provided by Menslink.
Menslink is an important organisation in the ACT supporting young men in the Canberra region for fifteen years through their free counselling, volunteer mentoring and education programs. In this time they helped thousands of young guys get through tough or lonely times with the least amount of pain or harm to themselves or those around them. They help young guys reach their full potential and become the great adult men they want to be. Because they believe everything is possible for them, their families, their mates and the community.
The night raised just over $100,000 for Menslink, which is a huge amount, representing nearly 15% of their total income. This was thanks to the over sixty Canberra region businesses and individuals donated items for the auction to raise valuable funds supporting the young guys in Canberra.
The funds raised will be crucial in helping Menslink support the increasing number of young men, schools and families who approach them for support. Together with funds from their major and principal partners, the money raised will help them extend existing support and mental health programs, as well as introduce two new ones. Next calendar year they are planning to:
- Increase counseling capacity by 30% to help more young guys,
- Extend the mentoring program by including a new component to take some young men and develop skills in them to become independent mature responsible adults and the future leaders of tomorrow
- Extend their Silence is Deadly campaign to reach more young men,
- Roll out a new group program in schools to show young men how to develop and maintain healthy and constructive relationships rather then engage in destructive and anti-social behavior.
It was a great event to attend and I wish to extend my congratulations to the great work being carried out by Menslink in their support of the mental health of young Canberrans.
This coming weekend is the multicultural festival and Menslink will be there rattling the buckets to collect further money for their important programs. So I ask members to dig deep for this great cause this weekend.
You can view the speech here