A Message from the Coalface
As the President of MHWAQ, I wish to welcome you to our efforts to nurture health, wellbeing and providing an open forum for osteoporosis treatment for men. Our non-profit association is run by volunteers, typically busy men who carve time out of the packed schedules to contribute to the effort to bring about greater wellbeing for men in our culture. We believe that healthy men help to make every home a richer and more functional environment to model healthy relationships and raise inspired, balanced children and in so doing, to create a better society for us all.
Why are we here
Being a man in the 21st Century is no easy task. In just one generation, the expectations on men have changed dramatically. Our roles as fathers, lovers, workers, community members, brothers and friends have all changed from what was expected of our fathers, in some cases almost beyond recognition. This rapid rate of change has left many men without adequate role models and in a state of confusion about what it means to be a man in the modern era.
Meanwhile the essential nature of men and manliness remains as it has always been… to initiate, to create, to succeed in worldly endeavours, to demonstrate strength and intelligence, fortitude and integrity, leadership and loyalty. At their deepest level, most men yearn to participate in some small or large way in the creation of a better world, and in doing so serve their families, loved ones and community. How to fulfil this yearning in these complex times is a conundrum that leaves some part of just about every man struggling for clear direction within himself about what it means to be an authentic, healthy man in our society. MHWAQ is a not-for-profit, incorporated association, entirely sponsored by The Bone Clinic. The association strives to serve the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of men. We create opportunities for men to reacquaint themselves with their essentially masculine nature, and to express what they find in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Our experience tells us that by hearing the stories of other men, we often discover (to our delight) that we share common questions even as we navigate our unique and highly individual journeys. We come away from our encounters with other men enriched by the experience, enjoying a deeper clarity within ourselves about who we really are beneath the hustle and chaos of modern life.
MHWAQ activities are focused around men’s gatherings of various shapes and sizes, from our bi-annual festivals of 130 men (Manshine and Manhood) to our 8-week Common Ground groups, a facilitated ‘Life Skills for Men’ program run periodically in suburban centres throughout southeast Queensland. We are also in partnership with the Pathways Foundation that offers rites-of-passage camps for teenage boys and their fathers. Pathways now run their local program at the MHWAQ property near Somerset Dam to the NW of Brisbane. Many of the men who attend MHWAQ events or volunteer on one of the numerous event committees have found their own unique answers to the puzzle of modern manhood, and enjoy a sense of empowerment and freedom in their relationships, their work and their lives in general. Those men tend to return repeatedly to MHWAQ events as they provide the rare opportunity to mingle with other like-minded men who refuse to accept the hand-me-down stereotypes of masculinity portrayed in the media and by our culture. As one man put it, “I make sure to maintain my relationship, my career, my car and my house. Manshine is maintenance for my masculinity.” The organisers of MHWAQ events take care to ensure that our events are not prescriptive or promoting one model of masculinity over another. We happily welcome all shapes and sizes of men, regardless of race, creed or sexual persuasion. At the same time we discourage advice-giving (unless asked for) while encouraging respect, active listening and the freedom to choose your own path to your full potential. We insist on non-violence in our interactions with each other while encouraging heart-felt passion and the strength of firm conviction for what you believe to be true and righteous. We invite each man, on his own terms, to explore for themselves their own answers to questions around their masculinity and to discuss this at The Bone Clinic next month.
lisaw October 6, 2015