No subject was off the agenda at the Healthier Illawarra Men's (HIM) 2023 lunch on Friday, November 17 where surfer Brett Connellan inspired the room with his resilience.
But most of all, the audience was asked to check in with a friend, colleague, relative or associate to find out if they were looking after themselves.
Health Minister and Member for Keira Ryan Park told the room about his personal journey undergoing treatment for precancerous growths on his bowel after a one-to-one conversation with his dad 20 years ago.
He said NSW Health was taking a different approach to funding healthcare. He announced a $50,000 one-off cash boost to The Man Walk Australia, first launched in Kiama by Gerringong physiotherapist Mark Burns.
The funding will support Man Walk's objectives of bettering the mental, physical, and overall wellbeing of men, including starting new walk locations in NSW.
"Too many men are not reaching out for help when they need it. We must turn that around," Mr Park said:
"That's why I am so pleased to announce this contribution to The Man Walk Australia to further their life-changing work in the men's mental health space. I commend The Man Walk Australia for its ongoing work to support the physical and mental health as well as general wellbeing for men."
The annual HIM event saw 350 people raise funds for seven local organisations, including Escabags, The Man Walk, Raising the Bar Foundation (formerly Barstool Brothers), What Were You Wearing?, Lifeline South Coast, the Top Blokes Foundation and the Gawura Aboriginal Corporation.
Held to recognise International Men's Day, the event is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of looking after physical and mental health but also raises funds to support local programs supporting men's health or supporting victims of domestic violence.
The next HIM function will be the Healthier Illawarra Men Classic Race Day at Kembla Grange on March 15, 2024.
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