Mentoring Men’s mission is to support men in their life journey. They do this by providing free one-on-one mentoring through non-judgemental support, encouragement and a listening ear. Since launching in 2018, men across Australia have benefited from the program.
Colin sought out Mentoring Men in 2019 after a life-changing event.
“Like many, when COVID hit, I was made redundant from my role,” he explained. “My wife was seven months pregnant at the time and I knew that I’d likely be out of work for a while.
“I felt an incredible amount of pressure to remain positive. But, more and more,
I was overwhelmed with loneliness and anxiety. I knew I had to do something before things got worse.
“I realised that I wasn’t good at talking about my life challenges with my loved ones, so I connected with Mentoring Men. Having one-on-one mentoring with someone who understood and could provide guidance really improved my mental health.”
Later, Colin became a mentor himself.
“The benefits of this program include overcoming loneliness and isolation, finding purpose, and learning coping strategies,” he explained.
“I’m personally motivated to shine
a light on mental health in males and shatter the stigma of being vulnerable and asking for help. I want to encourage
men and boys to be more open about talking to each other about the
struggles they are experiencing,
and talk about issues before they
escalate to a point of no return.”
In this context, Colin noted suicide rates in Australia.
“Of the 3,318 deaths by suicide in Australia in 2019, 2,502 were
males,” he said. “Suicide is the number one killer of men aged 15 to 44. My goal, through my work with Mentoring Men, is to help increase awareness and change the way men approach their mental health to reduce this horrific statistic.”
In addition to being a mentor, Colin has also helped Mentoring Men by assisting with fundraising activities, including the organisation’s primary annual fundraising evening.
The Children’s Cancer Institute is the
only independent medical research organisation in Australia that’s wholly dedicated to curing childhood cancer and pioneering safer treatments.
When one of his clients mentioned
that she worked for the Children’s Cancer Institute, Colin was motivated to learn more.
“In Australia, every week, 20 children are diagnosed with cancer and three die,” Colin said. “As a father, I found
the statistics terrifying and decided to get involved.
“Last year, I took part in the CEO
Dare to Cure challenge, which saw me eating bugs, walking on fire and glass, and lying in a pit of snakes. The challenge raised a staggering $580,000. To put
it mildly, it was uncomfortable – but
my discomfort is nothing compared
to what these kids with cancer go through. They are truly inspiring and I’m proud to contribute.”
Established in 1970, AMSA promotes the interests and welfare of former residents of Malaysia and Singapore, and brings them together to network and socialise.
“AMSA is committed to social and community concerns,” Colin said. “It promotes multiculturalism for the benefit of future generations.”
Colin’s family immigrated to Australia more than 20 years ago and he has been part of AMSA for the last six years.
“I was President of AMSA from 2018-2021 and, during that time, organised more than 30 business networking functions to promote interaction with
the local business community,” he said.
“I also helped organise more than 30 regular social and sports events, as well as over 20 cultural festivals,
all of which expanded our AMSA network and further built strong
community relationships. “Australia has given my family
and I so much – and, through AMSA, I can give back.”