Centre for Men has a vision to extend what we offer to more men in crisis and transition around Australia. I want to tell you about this vision, and ask if you are able to support us in this, especially if you or a man you know has been helped by us, or you care about men in crisis. And this is the perfect time, before the ATO get too much of what men in crisis need.

Put simply, to grow we need more human resources. We are an almost entirely volunteer-based organisation, and this puts considerable load on a few people and prevents us from giving the focus to our work that it deserves. And we have a plan.

We are planning to employ a co-ordinator two days a week. We are making this commitment for the next two years, giving us the necessary resources to reach so many more men in our nation. However, our current funding will not cover this appointment. The organisation has a small capital asset base and is committed to using a portion of that to help fund this position. But this will not be enough on its own.

Renown Australian author Tim Winton recently commented on toxic masculinity that still thrives across our nation, where young men build identities from spare parts, most of which don’t work. This crisis is now impacting the highest positions in business and government.

Winton remarked that it is a sign of great social poverty that we have no sustainable rites of passage for men and no safe way for men to process pain. He then observed what we know first hand: It is easier to arouse compassion for cattle on a ship than it is to find support for broken men in our own land. And Tim is partly right; I spoke with him, telling him about our work. He commented that it remained a secret to him and most Australian men. Imagine having such a salve for men, yet hiding it from those who are so desperate for it? You are getting this letter because like us, you believe it can be different. You care about the future of manhood in our nation.

How can you help?

We need to raise $15,000 p.a. for the next two years. Centre for Men will match all giving dollar for dollar. There are three ways in which you can commit to helping make this happen:

  • A one off fully tax deductible gift of $200, $500 or $1,000. As we near the end of the tax year, this is a effective way of reducing your tax burden and help men. We have no debts to service or rent to pay, so your giving goes directly to the employment of a coordinator who will make our work many times more effective.
  • A commitment to give $5/$10/$20 per week, fully tax deductible, for the next two years. A mere 15 people giving $20 per week would realise our goal. Again, this is fully tax-deductible.
  • Let others know of this opportunity. You might know someone who is looking to support a cause that will help our nation flourish in the most grounding and vital ways.

What will this giving provide? Please read on to get a sense of our vision for the years ahead.
It may be a while since you got an update on what’s going on, so find 10 minutes, grab a drink and we will fill you in. Please visit our appeals page where you will find details about how you can give. This will only take a couple of minutes of your time.

Young Men’s Rites of Passage

Our first rites of passage program for men aged 18-25 will be held in late April 2019. This is a major undertaking, and we believe is desperately needed to build generational change among men in Australia. In 1895, Joseph Malins wrote a famous poem. The last stanza reads
“Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
 to prevent other people from falling.”

Raising up a national presence of men’s circles

We now have men meeting in circles in five states, using an extraordinary framework called Way of Council. These men find a safe place to belong, which protects them and the ones they love from pain and the destructive effects of isolation and difficult emotions that are so prevalent in our society. This requires specific training, and this is ongoing. 30 people recently received training in the past month. A man recently said to me “this is the first time in my life that I have felt safe to be myself in the company of other men.” I have heard this repeated many times. I echo these sentiments myself.

Deepening our stories through formation groups

Formation groups help men tell their stories and understand what God is doing in them, and dig into the gold of other men’s stories. This results in men becoming tender-hearted, spacious and inclusive. This heals relationships, families, and whole communities. Our founder Rob Jones is now facilitating formation groups in two states. It is our vision to extend this further.

Men’s Rites of Passage

We are now in our 12th consecutive year of the MROP program. Our vision is to be able to offer the rites several times a year. Our long term vision is to see five generations of initiated men. We know that men who have completed MROP return to their worlds forever changed, as truly generative men.

Counselling for men and their families

We have a network of counsellors that provide a wholistic model for men in crisis, and their families. In conjunction with Brisbane’s 96five FM, we have produced an ongoing series of one minute spots for men’s mental health (called “Secrets from the Shed”) which are being offered to radio stations around the country. These are the only offering of their kind in the nation. This will open up great demand for support for men in crisis. We imagine a national conference for professionals working with men in crisis. No such forum exists.

Thank you for reading this letter and considering partnering with us. It does not require a huge sacrifice; as little as $10 a week would make a huge difference.

Please visit our appeals page where you will find details about how you can give. This will only take a couple of minutes of your time. Feel free to contact us at admin@cfma.org.au if you would like to have a conversation in ways you can contribute, or would like CEO Richard Fay to speak at an event to raise awareness of this vital work. Richard is an effective and engaging communicator for a broad range of issues relating to men’s mental health, relationship issues (couples and parenting) and self care.