Series 2: Building Mateship Showcase

Monday 8 May

Session 1: More than mateship, helping men build deeper social connections

Date: Monday 8 May

Time: 10.00am - 11.00am, AEST

Two great men's projects share their experience of helping men to build deep and meaningful connections with their peers.

David Pointon and Ben Hughes of The Men's Table will outline how they are helping men "go beyond banter" and show that "men DO talk, when they've got the right place to". Men’s Tables are safe places for men to share and be heard in a confidential and non-judgemental environment, creating a greater sense of belonging, camaraderie and connection.

Mentoring Men provides free, long-term, one-to-one life mentoring for men who are going through some challenges or changes in their life. CEO Simon Jarvis says every man needs a listening ear from time to time and that the early intervention provided by a mentor can prevent a problem escalating into crisis.

Session 2: How action builds social connection

Date: Monday 8 May

Time: 11.15am - 12.15pm, AEST

Wayne Kreuger of Inner Man Adventures, Lance Rogers of SOLiD MEN and Billy Beggs of Penrith Men's Walk and Talk, share how their projects connect through action and adventure.

Penrith Walk and Talk is one of the most successful men's walks in Australia, attracting hundreds of men on its busiest weeks throughout the year. The simple act of getting together for a coffee and a walk every Thursday evening is helping local men build stronger connections.

SOLiD MEN brings men together through exercise and healthy lifestyle, with a particular focus on Mindset, Exercise and Nutrition (M.E.N.). The group operates across four locations and aims to strengthen and equip Christian men with the goal of promoting physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health.

Inner Man Adventures gives men opportunities to "get out" and "look in" with events focused around 4WDing and camping, that give men the chance to share stories around a campfire and make lifelong connections. Wayne of Inner Man says: "we take the opportunity on every trip to make the connection between the adventures on the track to the adventures in our own lives".

Session 3: How to help a mate doing it tough

Date: Monday 8 May

Time: 12.30pm - 1.15pm, AEST

Do you want to know how to help a mate who's doing it tough? Would you like to have a helpful conversation with a mate who's struggling, but don't know where to start?

The How to Help a Mate Doing It Tough guide has been created with support from men's health workers with extensive knowledge and experience of having conversations with men.

This webinar provides an introduction into putting this simple approach into action with a man in your life who may be doing it tough.

This short workshop on having meaningful conversations with men is facilitated by Glen Poole, CEO of the Australian Men's Health Forum.

Session 4: Social Drinking and Male Friendship

Date: Monday 8 May

Time:  2pm - 3.15pm, AEST

This session together Shay Leighton of the Tough Guy Book Club and Daniel Chin of The Barstool Brothers.

Shay is founder of the Tough Guy Book Club, a network of men’s book clubs with nearly 100 chapters meeting every month in local pubs. The club is about putting "real decent conversations back in the pub" and building mateship in the process.

Shay's talk will explore the erosion of men's community lives through the lens of the differences between our grandfather's lives and our own. As Shay says - "Your Grandfather was involved".

Daniel Chin is the General Manager of The Barstool Brothers, the charitable arm of the His Boy Elroy beer and burger bar. Barstool Brothers believes that hospitality venues are great places for connection and is working to make these venues safer and more inclusive to people struggling with their mental health.

Barstool Brothers has around 1,500 members who take part in a range of free monthly events that are working to build social connection.

Session 5: Building social connection at a community level

Date: Monday 8 May

Time: 3.30pm - 4.30pm AEST

Neighbours Every Day is a campaign created by Relationships Australia to help create belonging across Australia and build inclusive communities people want to live in, one relationship at a time.

1000 Play Streets is a movement for Australians to reclaim their quiet residential streets, developed by Play Australia.  

Neighbours Every Day encourages individuals, community groups, business and governments to take everyday actions that create social connection and foster respectful relationships.

1000 Play Streets gives local communities the tools they need to work with local governments to temporarily close their streets and give neighbours of all ages the opportunity to connect and play.

While these campaigns are not specifically focused on men, they are built on an understanding that when people connect with their neighbours, they have a greater sense of belonging, which helps create stronger and healthier communities.

Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer of Relationships Australia and Kieran Brophy, Assistant Director of Play Australia, will help us consider what lessons we can draw from their initiatives when working to improve social connection in men and boys.


Wednesday 10 May

Session 1 : Mateship on the move

Date: Wednesday 10 May

Time: 4.00pm - 5.00pm, AEST

Mens Talk in Western Australia runs a range of events that aim to make conversations about masculinity and wellness the norm.

Events include the popular, fortnightly, Move, Breathe, Connect sessions on Scarborough Beach. Mens Talk says these sessions bring together men of all ages to focus on the importance of movement and breathwork for wellbeing balance.

The sessions are followed by a dip in the ocean followed by a breakfast, giving men the opportunity for meaningful conversations that build social connection and mateship.

The Man Walk provides an opportunity for men to get together to walk, talk and support each other in a regular and healthy way. The Man Walk provides an environment that is positive, supportive and inclusive, where there is no pressure and no barriers to entry.

Now available in dozens of locations, The Man Walk is a viral sensation that is bringing opportunities for men to walk, talk and support in communities across Australia.

Thursday 11 May

Session 1:Mateship in older men

Date: Thursday 11 May

Time: 9.00am - 10.15pm, AEST

This session showcases four projects that are doing great work building social connection in older men.

Australia's Men's Sheds are a homegrown initiative that has spread around the world. Men of all ages attend Sheds to socialise and engage in practical activities, learn new skills, create and maintain friendships, and give back to their community. Rebecca Talbot outlines the world of Men's Sheds WA and makes the case that "every man belongs in a shed". Shed Happens is a different concept to men's sheds. It was established to help Aussie men connect with each other at a heart level.

Shed Happens is a different concept to men's sheds. It was established to help Aussie men connect with each other at a heart level. Shed Happens says it wants men to be able to talk, ask questions and listen to other blokes on important matters of the heart, not just talk about the weather or footy. Frank Cowell, from Shed Happens in Mackay, will provide an insight into their work. 

TOMNET (The Older Men's Network) supports men over 50 in the Toowoomba region. TOMNET is a network of "mates you can count on", giving many in later life the opportunity to connect with other men who are genuine, who share the good times, and support each other through life’s challenges. Anthony Hegarty of TOMNET will share their work to build social connection and mateship in men over 50.

Kevin James of the Circle of Men, will talk about the challenges of social isolation among men in aged care facilities. The Circle of Men's team of volunteers use a model of companionship & social support to build mateship with men in aged care settings. The team has recently secured an agreement with Australia's largest aged care provider, Bolton Clarke, to roll-out the program across multiple sites in Queensland.