Saturday, 16 August 2008

National body to represent men

A new peak body will ensure men’s interests are not forgotten in government policy‐making
across Australia.
In a national teleconference this morning, representatives of leading men’s organisations
endorsed the development of a peak men’s body, significantly expanding the activities and
coverage of the existing Australasian Men’s Health Forum.
Convenor Gary Bryant said women’s interests had been strongly represented in recent years
but there was also a need to ensure men’s needs were represented across the board in
government decision‐making.
“Women’s interests have been very well represented and are now taken into account almost
as a matter of course by decision‐makers,” Mr Bryant said.
“What we have lacked in the past is a unified approach on the issues that affect Australian
men and boys.
“There have been different organisations representing men’s needs in different functional
areas like prostate cancer, suicide prevention, boys’ education and employment issues. But
you can’t divorce the impact of policy on one area from another.
“This new national body will promote a holistic approach to men’s needs so that
Government and other decision‐makers take them into account when developing policy in
all areas.”
Based on a year of discussions involving more than 70 different groups around Australia, the
peak body will draw from the experience and policies of each specialist organisation to
provide a coordinated approach to improving the lives of Australian men.
Groups represented on the peak body’s steering committee include the Australasian Men’s Health Forum, Men’s Advisory Network, Mensline Australia, the Pathways Foundation,
Menslink, the South Australian Men’s Health Alliance, Wheatbelt Men’s Health and the
Men’s Health Information & Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

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