Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Former Minister for Water; Forestry; Youth

    New funding to promote healthy masculinity among young men

    28/10/2022 1:35 PM
    • Peer-to-peer workshops for boys in years 7 to 12 will focus on mental health and well-being
    • $90,000 over three years funding allocation for WA-based MAN UP program 
    • Program aims to change attitudes, behaviours and language around modern masculinity

    Youth Minister Dave Kelly today announced $90,000 funding over three years for a peer-to-peer program to be rolled out in Western Australian classrooms coaching high school boys how to embrace healthy masculinity and positive attitudes towards women.


    The MAN UP program aims to change the attitude, approach, behaviours and language around modern masculinity, enabling young men to embrace positive ideas over toxic ones at an earlier age. 


    Education workshops will be run for boys in years 7 to 12 and will focus on mental health and well-being with an emphasis on transforming boys into confident, purpose-driven, emotionally capable men.


    The MAN UP program is delivered by a team of young men and facilitates discussions with boys in schools about how traditional ideas around masculinity can be harmful, and provides alternative, healthy ways for boys to define masculinity. 


    The WA-based initiative and program was co-founded in 2019 by Haseeb Riaz and Gareth Shanthikumar and received the Youth Group Achievement award at the 2021 WA Young Achiever Awards.


    MAN UP will receive $90,000 from the Department of Communities over three years to further develop and expand the reach of the service.


    Comments attributed to Youth Minister Dave Kelly:


    "Mental health issues in men can stem from a toxic concept of masculinity that requires men to 'man up' or 'toughen up', to keep their emotions and vulnerability tightly controlled and hidden at all times.


    "We know that these extremely harmful ideas of masculinity are still pervasive in our community today.


    "Through its peer-to-peer delivery method, the MAN UP initiative cuts through these stereotypes and teaches our high school boys that it is ok to embrace vulnerability and to stand up for what's right.


    "Redefining masculinity and the concept of what it means to be a man is an important step in the pursuit of a better world."


    Minister's office - 6552 6100