NIRODAH would like to acknowledge the wonderful work of the Western Bulldog's F.C, supporting NIRODAH to educate men through their Sons of the West (SOTW) men's health initiative.
SOTW engages men by providing an opportunity to:
1. feel connected to an elite AFL club.
2. take part in coordinated physical activity.
The really clever design of the program though is the inclusion of health information sessions. These are delivered each week prior to the physical exercise. Participants learn about an array of health prevention strategies delivered by expert groups. These sessions educate the men on topics such as mental health, cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.
Three years ago NIRODAH partnered with SOTW to deliver Change Makers, our family violence prevention session for men. Normally we would find it very difficult to engage with this cohort of men. Through SOTW, we have now delivered this session to over 3000 men!
Change Makers was developed using a positive behaviour change methodology. Rather than tell men what they should not be doing, we engage them in strategies they can utilise to become wonderful role models to the young people in their world. We show men what's in it for them, because gender equality brings significant positive benefits for all people regardless of gender.
By sharing our own journey and being vulnerable, we give men the permission to do the same.The feedback from the men themselves, the program leaders and the Western Bulldogs F.C has been overwhelmingly positive.
The success of this program lies in the delivery pedagogy we have developed. The participants are positively engaged, challenged and then empowered with skills to become change makers in their local community.
We know what works in this space.
When men are given a safe place to investigate the topic of family violence, they very readily take up the challenge to become part of the solution. Then they need to be given the knowledge, skills and language to bring about change in a safe and effective manner.
Here are some examples of the feedback we are experiencing through this partnership with the Western Bulldogs...
"Thank you for your fantastic presentation last night. I had a lot of the guys come to me at the end of the night and during the exercise session talking about your presentation – I think it really got them thinking about the issues raised, as well as their own attitudes/responses to these issues."
"Once again thank you for what was an awesome presentation. As you may have noticed, the participants were both attentive and reflective during the session and I think they really connected with the material you delivered and the style of delivery. I personally enjoyed the metaphors and examples demonstrating issues such as gender equity and roles, consent, unconscious bias, the multiplicity in masculinity, sociocultural understanding of relationships, different roles that men can play to champion gender equity, the value of connection and many others."
"I wish I was able to capture ‘before and after’ images of the night, but to see the guys hugging after, and how the men lined up to have their pictures taken with their learning’s and commitments after the presentation was phenomenal; it says so much about how effective the presentation was and I believe they will go home and think about their roles moving forward. So thank you."
We are so excited to be a part of the SOTW initiative. It is such an important part of the overall suite of programs we offer at NIRODAH.
We are already looking forward to another season with them in 2019.
Author: Paul Zappa