MCCSA’s Multicultural Men’s Group of South Australia was officially launched Saturday 10 October 2020 at the Apex Park Reserve on Burbridge Rd, West Beach SA.
The event was attended by state government officials, service providers and community leaders. Official guests in attendance were Brad Chilcott (Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia), Mr Matt Cowdrey MP (Member for Colton, representing the Hon Jing Lee), Mr Michael Coxon (Mayor of West Torrens), The Hon Joe Szakacs (Assistant Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs), The Hon Zoe Bettison (Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism), Gary Wittert (Director, Freemasons Centre for Men’s Health and Wellbeing, University of Adelaide), The Hon. John Dawkins MP, Mrs. Miriam Cocking, Chairperson MCCSA and Helena Kyriazopoulos (CEO MCCSA).
In his welcome address Rob Klose speaking on behalf of the Men’s group welcomed guests and thanked the MCCSA and the Board for supporting the formation of the group.
Rob spoke about the main aim of the group which he said is to advocate and support men from Australia’s diverse and multicultural backgrounds by providing them a ‘safe space to feel welcome and share their stories in confidence’.
Guest Speaker, Executive Director of White Ribbon Australia, Brad Chilcott thanked the event organizers for the Men’s group initiative and talked about the important role men have to play towards ending violence against women. He said it’s time to put the elimination of violence against women firmly on the agenda in our communities and men should take the lead on preventing men’s violence against women, promoting gender equality and being willing to self-reflect and change if change is required.
Kudzai Nyamande, Member of Multicultural Men’s group of SA and founding member of Nokutenda Disability Foundation talked about stigma in mental health, citing various myths associated with mental health.
Talking on behalf of the Multicultural Men’s group Sidique Bah, Communications Officer at MCCSA spoke briefly about how the group started. “I was asked to organize an event for men’s health week by our CEO in 2019. I didn’t think much of it. For me I was just going to invite men from our community groups and have a chat with them about their health”.
Sidique said feedback from the Men’s health forum led to the formation of the men’s group. He said the group is open to all South Australian men. “We will be reaching out to men from diverse communities, connect them with men from other communities and support them to organize social wellbeing activities and also advocate on their behalf as and when necessary”.
Before introducing the steering committee for the multicultural men’s group a short video sent by the CEO of the Australian Men’s Health Forum, Glen Poole was played to the audience. Glen thanked the event organizers and talks about the importance of men and boys getting together to talk about their health.
The steering committee for the group was introduced to the event attendees and the group was officially launched with Isaac Zangre, Member of the Multicultural Men’s Group and Guest Speaker Brad Chilcott pulling up the Multicultural Men’s group display banner.
It was a diverse gathering with community leaders from African, South American, Asian and mainstream Australian background in attendance.