International Men's Day Gains Momentum
International Men’s Day continues to see great growth in Australia and around the world.
2022 was the biggest year for celebrations, with a record number of IMD events in Australia held around the uniquely Australian theme, “Celebrating Mateship.”
More than 150 groups, organisations and individuals created opportunities for men to #maketime4mates by hosting a range of local events that were open to men of all backgrounds.
Mongrels Men ramped up its regular meet-ups in Dee Why, Kingscliff, Manly and Bondi Beach. Men’s Sheds in WA got on board with many Shedders opening their doors to the community to show how they foster social connection and activity-based get-togethers.
There were movement sessions on the beaches of Scarborough, WA, a Men’s Walk and Talk in Hervey Bay, Qld, and multiple opportunities for separated dads to get support and check in with Dads in Distress. The City of Palmerston in the NT once again celebrated IMD with a range of free activities at the local recreation centre, including free haircuts.
The Man Walk was out in full force, with groups of blokes walking together from Darwin in the NT, to Geelong in Victoria and Ulverstone in Tasmania.
The WA Men’s Gathering celebrated IMD for a whole weekend at Dwellingup, diving into the theme Building the Whole Man – Finding the Missing Pieces.
In Wodonga, Victoria, the business community held a lunch with guest speakers from Victoria Police, hearing tales of gangsters and speedsters, but also how police manage stress.
The theme for International Men’s Day 2022 emphasised the importance and value of mateship, and encouraged blokes to show up and spend a few hours with their mates, and to make new friends along the way.
The key message was, “having mates helps men lead longer, happier lives.”
A new Know Your Man Facts presentation ‘10 Facts Everyone Should Know About Mateship + Men’s Health’ explained exactly why they should and highlighted some important facts about mateship.
The toolkit continues to resonate with businesses in Australia and across the world. The free presentation with speaker notes is available for download here.
Why International Men's Day?
Celebrated in 80 countries around the world, International Men’s Day exists to celebrate men and boys in all their diversity. The day can highlight the issues and challenges faced by men, as well as to promote their health, well-being, and positive contribution to society. While this day has been observed in various countries since the 1990s, it has gained significant momentum and recognition in recent years.
One of the reasons for the growing popularity of IMD is the increasing recognition of men's issues and concerns. Despite being often perceived as the privileged gender, men face a range of challenges that affect their physical, mental, and social well-being. These include higher rates of suicide, workplace accidents, homelessness, substance abuse, and incarceration. By raising awareness about these issues, IMD aims to promote greater empathy, understanding, and support for men's health and welfare.
Another factor contributing to the rise of IMD is the growing awareness of gender equality and diversity. While IMD does not seek to undermine or overshadow the efforts of International Women's Day or other gender-focused initiatives, it recognises that men and women face different but interrelated challenges that require a holistic and inclusive approach. Moreover, IMD acknowledges that masculinity is not a monolithic or static concept, but rather a complex and dynamic identity shaped by various factors such as culture, race, sexuality, and class.
The rising popularity of IMD can be attributed to the efforts of dedicated individuals and groups who have worked tirelessly to promote and organise events and activities around the world. These include charities, community organisations, government agencies, and grassroots movements that have collaborated to raise awareness, funds, and resources for men's health, education, and empowerment.
In 2022 a number of celebrity speakers made themselves available to speak at IMD events include media personality Osher Günsberg, cricketing legend Glenn McGrath and Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott AO.
Other great speakers who used IMD as an opportunity to talk about mental health included media personality Gus Worland, actor and charity boss Sam Webb, medic and magician Dr Vyom Sharma, resilience coach Matt Hughes, Founder of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY Mitch McPherson.
Councils also came out in support of men’s health. The Bundaberg Regional Council ran an inaugural Walk and Talk event while in Maitland, NSW, the local council tapped into the theme of mateship. Mayor Philip Penfold said the city wanted to improve male health and wellbeing through having important conversations about issues faced by boys and men in the region.
“We want to highlight our local male role models, celebrate the diversity of men, and acknowledge the contribution of men to our community and our society,” he said. Many businesses also staged a variety of events around Australia hosted by local chambers of commerce and business networking groups.