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A day just for the blokes

Richard Kreft (left) and Kamal Jayawardene (right) of Centacare with Ross Anderson and Merv Greenhill at an event to celebrate International Men's Day at Sacred Heart Parish Hall.
Richard Kreft (left) and Kamal Jayawardene (right) of Centacare with Ross Anderson and Merv Greenhill at an event to celebrate International Men's Day at Sacred Heart Parish Hall. David Nielsen

TODAY marks International Men's Day, where men around the globe are encouraged to join forces and celebrate men and boys.

Starting early, Centacare held an event on Friday highlighting the role that men play in the community with guest speakers, prizes and morning tea.

About 25 men joined in the fun at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall.

The event had an important side highlighting issues that currently affect men's quality of life.

Recent World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows that globally, male life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 69 years, while for females it was 74 years.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this result, including suicide, as well as higher workplace and combat fatalities.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard spoke at the Centacare event saying it was an important day to remember the extraordinary men in the community making a difference.

"Until two year's ago I didn't know there was an International Men's Day,” she admitted.

Ms Howard has seen first hand the impact that being a veteran could have on men's health.

And the first time she realised that men could face discrimination was when her father was watching her daughter at the park.

She said the fact that men were three times more likely to take their own lives was "just not acceptable”.

Ipswich City Councillor Kyle Stoneman said she was a mother of five boys and was teaching them the importance of speaking about their health and other issues.

"For many years men haven't talked about their health issues cause it wasn't manly.”

Centacare General Manager of Community Services in the South West, Richard Kreft said it was important to celebrate men.

"Our goal is to encourage members of the community to celebrate the contribution of men to our community, while working together to help improve gender relations and equality, men and boys health and to highlight positive role models”, he said.

Ross Anderson and Merv Greenhill were at the event and said it was an interesting day hearing stories about men in the community and a great way to support each other.



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