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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 457..


it is important to talk with someone. You do not have to bottle it up and keep everything inside.

What is great is that they do this in a way that young guys can relate to. Having footballers talk about their problems when they are seen as role models for what it means to be a successful man is a really powerful way of showing young men that it is okay to speak up, talk to someone and to get the help they need. I certainly commend those players particularly involved in the project.

Silence is deadly has reached over 9,000 young men around the region so far in groups ranging from as few as four students to over 400. One school that participated gave the following feedback. They said:

A big number of boys have come forward since your session to report mental health concerns about themselves or others. It has created great opportunities for us to put some good strategies and interventions in place to assist their recovery. At least five issues have come out that I think would not have come out if it was not for your visit. So, in short, thank you. Menslink has become an integral and welcome support for the young men at our school and the community. We are most grateful for their generous involvement in working with us and our parents to build fine boys into fine men and citizens. Menslink's work is invaluable to our communities.

That is a fine testament from one of the schools that has had the opportunity to have Menslink be involved with them. We know that young men suffer from depression and anxiety at around the same rate as young women—around one in four of them. But unlike girls, only one in 10 guys who are having hassles will speak up, talk to someone and get help. What we also know is that unfortunately amongst this age group of young men aged 12 to 25, suicide is still the single largest cause of death. So the work of Menslink is particularly important in that context.

Menslink is about showing young men how they can get the support that they need. I would like to congratulate CEO, Martin Fisk, mentoring and community outreach coordinator, Rob Regent, and the rest of the team for the work they are doing and thank them for their contribution to the Canberra community.

Mariam "Maz" Hakim

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.40): It is with some bittersweetness that I rise today to speak of the contribution and future endeavours of one of our city's most prominent residents, who just last week officially announced she will be leaving Canberra. I speak, of course, of the very talented and highly respected radio announcer Mariam "Maz" Hakim. In her time at local radio station FM 104.7 Maz has built a loyal following amongst listeners. However, it is her work off-air as a refugee advocate and passionate supporter for refugee rights that has brought much recognition to this dynamic young woman.

In 2013 Maz was a Refugee Week ambassador, as well as a welcome to Australia ambassador. She performed both roles with much pride and, indeed, a deep sense of understanding, because Maz, as many of you would be aware, was herself a refugee.


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