Page 653 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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Menslink is an important organisation in the ACT supporting young men in the Canberra region for 15 years through their free counselling, volunteer mentoring and education programs. In this time they have helped thousands of young guys get through tough or lonely times with the least amount of pain or harm to themselves or those around them. They helped young guys reach their full potential and become the great adult men they want to be, because they believe everything is possible for them, their families, their mates and the community.

The night raised over $100,000 for Menslink, which is a huge amount, representing nearly 15 per cent of their total income. This was thanks to over 60 Canberra-region businesses and individuals donating items for the auction to raise valuable funds for supporting the young guys in Canberra.

The funds raised will be critical in helping Menslink support the increasing number of young men, schools and families who approach them for support. Together with funds from their major and principal partners, the money raised will help them to extend existing support and mental health programs, as well as to introduce two new ones.

This year they are planning to increase counselling capacity by 30 per cent to help more young guys, extend the mentoring program by including a new component to take some young men and develop skills in them to become independent, mature, responsible adults and future leaders of tomorrow, extend their “silence is deadly” program, campaign to reach more young men, and to roll out a new group program in schools to show young men how to develop and maintain healthy and constructive relationships rather than engage in destructive and anti-social behaviour.

It was a great event that I attended. I wish to extend my congratulations to the great work being carried out by Martin Fisk and the team at Menslink in their support of the mental health of young Canberrans. This coming weekend is the Multicultural Festival, and Menslink will be there rattling the buckets to collect further money for their important programs. I ask members to dig deep for this great cause this weekend.

Red Cross food drive

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (5.28): This sitting week has been a time for us to discuss what we can do to improve the Australian Capital Territory and to better serve and support the people we represent. We feel the weight of our responsibilities, and I know that the concerns raised by my constituents have weighed very heavily on my mind. I will continue to strive for changes that will lift burdens from individuals and families and will make their lives better.

At this time, however, I want to reflect on the work of so many in the ACT who strive to reach out to others and make their lives better. I recently had the opportunity to see the wonderful work that Red Cross Australia does, and I would like to take this time to acknowledge the tremendous service provided by its workers, volunteers and supporters.

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