This week will see the launch of 'Men's Talk' - a series of videos and web resource developed by and for Aboriginal men. In these videos men from Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Normanton talk about Aboriginal ways of being uncles, mentors, dads, grandfathers and friends.
The project is a partnership between Centacare North Queensland and the Dulwich Centre Foundation and is aimed at positively influencing future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young lads throughout North Queensland on the importance of being mentors and setting a good example for others.
Stories include ‘We want young men to see a good future’, ‘Out of hard times’, ‘What sort of fathers, grandfathers and uncles do we want to be?’, ‘Keeping links with kids when you’re not living with them’, ‘To be a mentor – I burst with pride’, ‘Being with young children’, ‘Racism front and centre: how we deal with it’, ‘Working with young people’, ‘Carrying on our culture’ and ‘Our messages to other men’. It is a diverse and powerful collection.
The project was funded by Centacare through the Remote Area Integrated Family Support Services.
Centacare North Queensland Director Heather Alexander was delighted with the outcomes of the project, which had already received positive responses by viewers from across the world.
“These videos shed a light on the sometimes difficult journey that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men face in their lifetimes,” Ms Alexander said.
“But they also offer stories of hope and healing and that is important for inspiring future leaders and mentors.”
Responses to the videos have been received from men from different states and internationally. These stories from Aboriginal men in North Queensland have now travelled to the Northern Territory, Victoria, USA and as far as Rwanda!
A man in Rwanda describes these videos:
My name is Nyirinkwaya Serge, from Rwanda a small country in East Africa, also known as the country of a thousand hills! I was moved by hearing your wonderful stories on ways of being uncles, mentors, dads, grandfathers and friends ... Some of the stories on being a role model for children, being patient with them, talking to them in a non-degrading way, keeping links with kids no matter what, spending good time with them, the desire to offer them the best so that they can see a good future, all this resonated with what my community needs to strengthen. I wonder what children and young people in your communities would say or feel when hearing or watching these films! Can you think about that? Surely, they would be proud of their dads, uncles, grandfathers…!
Dr Makungu Akinyela (a Black man in the USA) has also sent a message:
I resonated so much with what seemed to be the overall message to me that it is important for us to learn as men to live in peace in the Western world with our own culture. Our cultures are our road to remaining healthy and surviving for the day when we will know complete liberation. Thank you brothers again for this wonderful series of conversations with the men of your communities.
There is also a moving exchange between men of Mount Isa and a traditional healer from Mt Liebig.
This week, a series of launches in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Normanton, we will celebrate the launch of these videos and website … and more importantly acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of local Aboriginal men.
For more information please call David Denborough on 0439 372 095
Interviews can be arranged with Anthony Newcastle and men from Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Normanton, at each of the respective launches (see details below).
The website is: www.dulwichcentre.com.au/mens-talk
Mount Isa - Wednesday 1 August
10:30 am at Ngukuthaki Men's Shed
Cloncurry - Thursday 2 August
11:30am Cloncurry Neighbourhood Centre
Normanton - Friday 3 August
5:30pm Normanton Stingers Rugby Club