THANK YOU to everyone who generously contributed to our campaign.
You willl receive your tax receipt via email, in the next few days. The DVD is due to be produced at the end of March, and will be mailed out at that time.
Agi and Andrew
We've just completed our final interview for the DVD, with Chris Standing. He is a remarkable young man who has dramatically turned his life around from being a 19 yr old with no purpose and almost certainly heading towards a jail sentence, to a senior youth worker with Father Chris Riley's Youth off the Streets programs. His interview is just one of many that will inspire other men, young and old to believe that change is possible. But we have only 4 days left of this campaign to raise the funds to create the website and the DVD copies, to bring the project to life. Please consider how much of a difference a small donation from you could make in the lives of men who are seeking access to wisdom and guidance from other respected men.
This 'virtual' mentoring project aims to create a multi-media resource for men of all ages, developed around a collection of ‘life lessons and reflections’ of well-known Australian male public figures, from a variety of professional, sporting and social contexts, including well-known media personalities, and men from Indigenous and culturally diverse communities.
The interviewees include:
Curtis Palmer, paralympic athlete, motivational speaker; Tobin Saunders, HIV+ gay activist, educator, performer; Dean Daley-Jones, Aboriginal actor and men’s health advocate; Brendan Fletcher, film writer and director; Angry Anderson, rock singer and aspiring politician; Peter FitzSimons, former international rugby player, newspaper columnist and author; Father Chris Riley, the founder and CEO of Youth Off the Streets; Lex Marinos, actor/director; The Hon. Michael Kirby, Retired High Court Judge; John Bell, director/actor Bell Shakespeare Company; Stephen Page, Artistic Director Bangarra Dance Theatre; Terry O’Connell, restorative justice pioneer; Prof Tony Vinson AM, social scientist, former Head NSW Corrective Services; John Simpson, film producer – ‘Men’s Group’, and Michael Mundine, CEO Aboriginal Housing Company.
It will be an invaluable resource for men who have not been fortunate enough to have male mentors in their lives, to have access to a source of respected men’s wisdom and experience via DVDs, and an interactive website.
Although the interviewees are Australian men, their stories, struggles and life lessons are relevant to men in many countries, as world-wide there are many men, young and old, who are unsure of their life’s purpose and who feel isolated or disconnected from others in their communities.It is hoped that many men may develop confidence to make life changes that may not have previously seemed possible through watching, listening to and reading about the honest accounts of other men’s lives, details of their struggles and successes, despite earlier difficulties. Particularly, to understand that failure is not inevitable, despite taking wrong turns and/or making serious mistakes “failure is not the falling down but the staying down."
 Campbell, C. (2002) The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction. Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc.
What We Need
We have completed 15 of the 16 interviews that will be on the first DVD, and keen to begin work on the website.
Funding is required to:
(i) Develop the website associated with the project, which would offer opportunity to:
- view brief (3 minute) grabs from each of the interviews, and biographical notes about the contributors.
- access summaries within many topic areas, sourced from all of the interviews
- access relevant resources for men
- engage in a moderated forum at which they can leave comments and engage in exchanges with each other, potentially developing an online community of men sharing their views and experiences
- participate in men’s groups both virtual and real (their agenda/focus determined by the needs of the visitors to the website)
- purchase specific interviews as individual downloads (at a minimal cost) or the DVD of all of the interviews
(ii) Pay for further interviews - we have many other well-known men who had agreed in principle to be interviewed but were not available in the past 8 weeks when we were filming. Our intention is to add to the pool of recorded interviews as other respected men become available, and to continue to approach other well-known men about being interviewed for the project.
If our total funding goal is not achieved, the funds that are sourced will go towards developing the website, as one of the main goals of the project is to create an online community of men who can have a forum at which they can share ideas and insights regarding their journey as men.
The interviews recorded so far were funded by GEO Australia who run private correctional facilites, such as the Junee Correctional Centre. In a recent media release they stated that interviews from the DVD
"What Makes a Man a Man will gradually be introduced to all GEO correctional facilities in Australia and GEO will track the effectiveness of the program in reducing reoffending. What Makes a Man a Man is a unique approach to prisoner rehabilitation using the wealth of experiences from landmark Australians who have made successes of their lives — sometimes against great disadvantage.”
Although we are very grateful for the initial GEO funding, the aim of the project is far broader than reaching men who are within correctional facilities. We believe many men will benefit from seeing the interviews and engaging with an online community of men.
Project Management Committee
The initiator and developer of the project Agi O'Hara is a psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. Andrew Urban, a journalist, well-known for his prime time street interview social documentary TV series, 'Front Up' conducted the interviews. Others on the committee include a forensic psychiatrist, a psychologist and a social worker.
Other Ways You Can HelpPlease tell others about this important community project, particularly organisations and businesses that are associated with men's health.
Team on This Campaign: