Men's Health Australia is Australia's primary source of information about the social and psychological wellbeing of men and boys. It is currently maintained in partnership with the Australasian Men's Health Forum (AMHF), the Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies (AIMHS), the Men's Health Information and Resource Centre (MHIRC) and Men's Health SA. Please see our supporters page for more details.
Men's Health Australia commenced in November 2007, with the employment of Editor Greg Andresen. Mr Andresen was contracted one-day-a-week by the South Australian Men’s Health Alliance (now Men’s Health SA) and its collaborative partners, MHIRC and AMHF. In July 2010, a fourth partner came on board to support the project – the Men’s Advisory Network (MAN) from Western Australia. In September 2012 MAN departed and AIMHS commenced its support of the website.
Men's Health Australia carries out four main categories of work:
1. Media watch
This involves the critique, analysis and, when appropriate, challenging of mass media statements and commentary and other forms of institutional, academic and government literature and media that:
- depict men or boys or masculinity in an unfair, negative or disparaging way
- are misleading, inaccurate, or prejudicial towards men and boys
- detract from a general positive affirmation of men, boys, and masculinity
- undermine the endeavour to approach men and boy’s health and issues in an intelligent, respectful, positive, equitable and constructive way.
Print press, advertising, websites, publications, TV, movies and radio, are regularly scanned for inaccurate and misleading representations of men, boys and gender issues. When such material is identified, four main methods are employed to challenge these inaccurate and misleading representations:
- direct contact with the media outlet involved
- letters to the editor
- official complaints to bodies such as the Australian Press Council, Australian Communications and Media Authority, and the ABC’s Independent Complaints Review Panel
- media releases (followed, if successful, by media appearances).
Much of Men's Health Australia's media watch activity can be found in the Mythbusters section of the website.
The media watch role also involves writing accurate male-positive articles and media releases, and taking part in interviews and media discussions from an accurate male-positive standpoint.
2. Lobbying and networking
This involves talking and writing to politicians, government bureaucrats, NGOs and other organisations and individuals to convey a factual, male-friendly point-of-view on issues of concern to males. It involves both pro-active networking and lobbying politicians about existing issues.
3. Taking part in government inquiries and consultations
This involves both written submissions to government inquiries and taking part in face-to-face government consultations.
4. Circulating men’s health information of interest
Perspective & Editorial Guidelines
Discussion of gender in the last half century has often been characterised by a polarisation of the sexes; making it very difficult to engage with issues of vital importance to healthy interpersonal and social relationships. Gender ideology - and reactions against it, all too often have not only curtailed possibilities of dialogue and reason, but have sidelined crucial informative evidence.
Men's Health Australia recognises the need to pursue a different approach to gender issues – with a particular focus on the male gender – men and boys; one open to constructive dialogue, and guided by: available evidence of a range of different academic disciplines, acknowledgment of both men’s and women’s particular cultural experience and circumstances, and the indispensable contribution both genders make to the quality and viability of family and community life.
With this perspective, and being chiefly concerned with the health and wellbeing of men and boys, Men's Health Australia will apply the following editorial guidelines to the content accepted for and posted on its website:
Content will be:
Equitable – fair and just both to males and females. We consider that what is in the best interests of males is never in conflict with what is in the best interests of the opposite gender or the wider community, since human life is interdependent and interrelated
Male appropriate and respectful - male affirming and avoiding the use of belittling, patronising, or stereotypic language or characterisations (and likewise avoiding the same in relation to the female gender)
Referenced whenever possible to evidence – the consensus of available evidence from reliable and reputable sources of the range of professional and academic disciplines
Considerate of male experience – well informed by sound knowledge about male psychology, the experience of being male in the world, and the particular demands made of males by culture and society
Intended to improve male health and wellbeing in some way – genuinely about achieving positive outcomes for males, rather than oriented to financial, personal, political, or some other gain
Uninhibited in dealing honestly and factually with difficult issues - yet in a balanced and temperate manner, avoiding inflammatory or needlessly controversial or emotive language
Respectful of individual men’s stories – without being a voice of personal or political grievance.
Two reports on the work of Men's Health Australia have been published to date. The first was published in May 2009, and is available here. The second was published in November 2011, and is available here.