Local heroes, community leaders, the mate that lives across the road. In a bid to tackle male suicide and the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, We Are Men is a community of real men talking about their real struggles. These men are opening up and discussing their mental health so other blokes can too, without the fear of shame or exclusion. It can be hard to ask for help but no man needs to struggle alone. Through our video stories, podcast, app and highlighting of local services, we hope to encourage all men to chat about what they’re going through and seek help.
Hamani is an Indigenous/Tongan, LQBTQI+ Activist and musician from Camden. He was elected the Youth Premier of the 2019 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament and volunteers with the Camden Youth Action Team. Hamani has also appeared on media platforms including ABC’s Q&A and is currently studying a Bachelor of Music at JMC Academy.
Merv is a Wiradjuri man and an Aboriginal Men’s Health District Coordinator. He has been working with the Gooboora Men’s Group for five years. In his role, Merv helps indigenous men holistically from a health and culture perspective, while supporting them on their own healing journey.
Basim is a community leader, volunteer and works as a Community Liaison Officer with Navitas English. He immigrated to Australia from Iraq in 2005 and currently lives in Fairfield. Basim won the Fairfield Young Citizen of the Year in 2014 and has volunteered in his community with 20 organisations including St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army and Fairfield Lions Club.
Ian is a Pastor from Liverpool. He settled in Australia in 2004 after leaving his home of Hamilton, Canada. Aside from leading his congregation as Senior Pastor, Ian is also a mentor with Mentoring Men, is part of the Western District Joggers and has started the Whiskey Circle which provides a safe space for men to talk about manhood and their mental health.
Graden is a Martial Artist and full-time bodybuilder from Prestons. He is the proud owner of GMF, a specialised gym which helps people transform their bodies and minds. At GMF, Graden prepares them for professional shows and competitions in the bodybuilding industry and uses his background in Mixed Martial Arts to help his clients build their own mental strength. He is extremely passionate about his work and loves to see the changes not only in people’s health but in their lives as well.
John Van De Putte
John lives in Tahmoor in the Southern Highlands and was diagnosed with MS in his early 20s. He’s a proud Father, TAFE student and is the President of Douglas Park Little Athletics. He helped start up the Community Pantry at Bargo and strives to be an active member of his community.
Carl is the co-Founder of Docobites and Onlyhuman and the interviewer for the We Are Men project. Carl and his wife Epiphany travelled around the world capturing a video every day for the 365 docobites series earning them a Guinness World Record. After returning home the series aired nationally on the SBS2 and VICELAND networks. They have established Docobites as a creative video agency and focus on storytelling and its ability to bring people together.
Jim is from Appin and is the President of the Appin Men’s Shed. Jim is a man of many talents and taught himself the harmonica, the ukulele and has now taken up the accordion. Jim is retired after a highly successful career and is actively involved in his Men’s Shed. Jim enjoys supporting and encouraging other like-minded men and bringing them together to encourage and support those who may be having a tough time.
Blair is from Mowbray Park and manages the Mowbray Park Farmstay which has been in his wife’s family for 48 years. As well as being a Councillor on the Wollondilly Shire Council, Blair is also a volunteer firefighter with the RFS and is now the Senior Deputy Captain with the Lakesland Brigade. He is heavily involved with his local community and believes ‘Community is the essence of humanity’.
Charlie is a Student Support Officer for the Department of Education and lives in Minto. In his role, Charlie supports children who are going through a tough time at home or in school and gets them the help they need so they can get back to learning. Charlie and his wife are heavily involved in the community, co-founding Command Fitness in Ingleburn and running a non-profit organisation called Southwest Cultural and Community Centre.