Hold on a mo, that looks like a new Swich!

SWICHED ON: Brendan Harris, Grant Lowe, Adam O’Sullivan and Terence Lerch (front) from Swich On will be holding a race day at the Ipswich Turf Club on Friday to raise money for beyondblue and the White Cloud Foundation.
SWICHED ON: Brendan Harris, Grant Lowe, Adam O’Sullivan and Terence Lerch (front) from Swich On will be holding a race day at the Ipswich Turf Club on Friday to raise money for beyondblue and the White Cloud Foundation. Sarah Harvey

THREE years after starting up, Ipswich mates group Swich On is planning to build its membership after re-branding with a striking new style.

Swich On was established by a group of Ipswich businessmen in November 2011 with the aim of offering support and mateship in the city. Its primary objectives are promoting awareness of men's related issues and raising money for men's related causes.

To fulfil those objectives and provide an opportunity for members to enjoy social events and the company of like-minded people, Swich On has organised fundraising activities that have already raised more than $40,000 for charities.

Swich On vice-president Grant Lowe said support from local businesses had helped the group grow and ultimately members hoped to promote Ipswich and its people and raise funds for local groups.

"About three years ago a group of born and raised Ipswich guys got together and founded a group we thought would be a good forum for networking but also for raising men's health initiatives and mateship and support," Mr Lowe said.

"Obviously blokes kind of keep things in and don't talk about things so it creates a forum and it grew from there.

"Because we're all Ipswich born and bred and we love our city we thought, what could we do to put back to the city?

"I know it sounds corny but we're the next generation, it's our town. We kind of felt an obligation to say, 'This is the city we want to stay in' and then our focus is to raise money for the different charities but our ultimate goal is to also raise money for local charities as well."

So far the Swich On fundraisers have been in aid of the Prostate Foundation, beyondblue and the White Cloud Foundation.

"We've run a few turf club days, a few gala dinners, general events like a Broncos day, occasionally members get together at Jets Leagues Club and have a couple of beers and put a couple of raffles on," Mr Lowe said.

"There's really not any eligibility criteria - we've got female members as well - and it's not age-specific."

Ipswich marketing manager Leah Moore has helped re-brand the not-for-profit organisation's merchandise with a cleaner, black and white colour scheme and a bowler hat and moustache logo.

"We're doing a bit of a membership drive at the moment. Membership is only $50 and you get a discount to all the different events," he said.

Swich On is hosting a race day fundraiser tomorrow at Ipswich Turf Club for the White Cloud Foundation and Turn to Me (a joint initiative of the Queensland Rugby League and beyondblue).

Guest speakers are Australian rugby league great Petero Civoniceva and former rugby player and commentator Chris "Buddha" Handy.

For details or membership go to swichon.com.au.



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