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Entries in Men's Health (53)


Daddy's OK launch - Sydney


Dads on the Air was privileged to be invited to the Sydney launch of Dean Mason’s new book Daddy’s OK: Fathers’ stories of separation, divorce and rebuilding. The launch was held at Better Read than Dead bookshop in Newtown on Thursday 23 August 2012.

Leading up to the launch Dean has been on the airwaves, both radio and TV, telling us about his new book which sets out the real life experience of dads caught up in the Australian Family Law system. Many of the stories are heartbreaking. But even as we get emotionally involved through the printed page there is an underlying message about what fathers can and should be doing if they find themselves in this all too common experience.

The message here is not just for the dads, but for all their family and friends and those who may know someone going through the hell of family separation.

If you would like to share the experience of hearing from Dean about his book and listen to what was revealed at the launch by Michael Green QC and Phil York from DIDSS, listen in to our exclusive broadcast of a special night in Sydney with national implications.

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Powerful Training for 21st Century Men


With special guests:

  • Patrick Bishop
  • Paul Mischefki

The role of men has been changing rapidly in the last generation and while the responsibilities have increased there has not been a corresponding increase in men’s rights and expectations. The role as breadwinner still falls largely to the men but what about the changes in what it means to be a father, lover, community member or a friend?

With the growing number of fatherless families and the state playing an increasing role in our every day lives there are times when all men feel lost and needing some direction.

Our guests today tell us about two successful groups that provide training for men by men as a way of reconnecting with men’s essential masculinity. These programs are not just for those men who are struggling to cope with the changes in the 21st Century, they are for all men who want to reach their potential by accessing the huge untapped energy that is within us.

If you want to hear about men who have gone from counting their years to living their days join Patrick and Paul on our program today.

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Let's Prevent Diabetes


With special guests:

  • Helen Edwards
  • David Gillespie

Our show today is dedicated to National Diabetes Awareness Week and its theme Let’s Prevent Diabetes. Type II Diabetes accounts for about 85% of all cases of Diabetes and is the focus of the week. The overall rates of Type II Diabetes in the Australian population have led to it being described as an epidemic by Diabetes Australia and the rate in Indigenous population is seven to eight times higher than in other segments of society.  And it affects men much more than it does pre-menopausal women which may be due to the effect of the female hormone oestrogen.

In Australia the number of people with Diabetes II has increased from just over 200,000 in 1981 to over 1.2million in 2005 and the curve is getting steeper. With Type II Diabetes set to become the leading burden of disease in Australia by 2017 it is time for governments in Australia to make diabetes prevention a priority.

The sound file for the show will be up on our website next week. In the meantime you can catch the interviews on our station 89.3FM 2GLF’s On Demand system here.

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Men's Health Week - Part 2: We're not going to sit in silence


With special guests

  • Professor John Macdonald
  • Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

Today we present the second of our special shows to recognise Men’s Health Week which this year ran from 11 to 17 June 2012. Our guests today are activists, great people in our community who have recognised a problem and then decided to get out there and do something about it. Professor John Macdonald joins us from the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney having recently returned from Zambia and he puts the local men’s health issues in an international context with his broad experience derived from a career which has taken him to Pakistan, Nicaragua, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, France, New Zealand and Senegal among other countries. Our second guest is Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, a young woman who is passionate about the welfare of young men. Melissa realised at the age of 19 that young men were not engaging in the community and this was disadvantaging them as well as causing the community to miss out. This led Melissa to becoming the Managing Director of Top Blokes Foundation and being able to provide a platform for young men to shine.

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Our Closing the Gap Special


With special guests:

  • Aaron Stuart
  • Craig Hammond

We cross today to the frontline when we speak to Aaron Stuart who is the Manager of Aboriginal Projects at Centacare in Port Augusta South Australia. It is hard for many of us to imagine what it would be like to be the first person called after a suicide by one of our people. And then for it to happen again and again. Aaron is facing an endemic where the Aboriginal rate of suicide is four times greater than for non-Indigenous Australians and with children sometimes as young as 8 succumbing. Aaron provides some inspiring lessons about the positive action he is taking and tells us how he copes with the terrible stresses that go with his job.

Next we speak to Craig “Bourkie” Hammond who is the Leader Indigenous Programs, Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle. Craig is involved with a number of projects including the Nar-un-bah and Thou Walla engaging Aboriginal Fathers project. Fathering roles in the Aboriginal community extend to grandparents, uncles and older brothers. As one of eleven children himself and with a background as a youth worker Bourkie brings his skills and reputation to provide guidance and assistance in strengthening the relationship between Indigenous fathers and their children.

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Raising awareness in our society while dealing with the myths

With special guests:

  • John Forsyth
  • John Cook

John Forsyth

John Forsyth is a Scottish journalist who was a co-founder of Men in Scotland a blog which has now developed into a registered charity Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS). The problem that John describes sounds all too familiar to us in other parts of the world, namely that when the issue of domestic violence is raised there is a silo vision restricting the view to only male violence against their female partners.

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Testicular Cancer and dealing with the unexpected

With special guests:

  • Ben Peacock
  • Dr Andrew Penman AM

Ben Peacock

In our first show for 2012 we focus on a serious health issue for men, particularly those under 50. Ben Peacock is a survivor of testicular cancer and the author of a book titled Lessons from my Left Testicle: A turbulent tale to help put life in perspective first published in 2009.

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Breaking the Silence on Male Victims of Domestic Violence

With special guests:

  • Dr Elizabeth Celi
  • Emily Tilbrook

In the wake of White Ribbon Day 2011 and the recent amendments to the Family Law Act relating to domestic violence our show today presents an opportunity to discover the real story.

We speak first to Dr Elizabeth Celi an internationally recognised expert in the field of men’s health.

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Pillars of Strength

With special guests:

  • Gary Sillett
  • Michael Bourne

We have an opportunity in today’s show to draw inspiration from the way one father has responded to a tragedy in his family by speaking to Gary Sillett. Gary has established an Australian first, a program to help Dads cope when their newborn baby is in need of intensive medical care and to provide support if their baby loses the fight for life. This new program is called Pillars of Strength.

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With special guests:

  • Jason Hincks
  • David Gregory

With MOVEMBER (the month formerly known as November) only a week away we speak to Jason Hincks who is the Chief Operating Officer of MOVEMBER. This is the movement that started in Melbourne in 2003 and which now has campaigns in ten countries around the world including South Africa, the UK and the USA.

MOVEMBER encourages men to grow moustaches for the 30 days of the month and raise money for serious men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and male depression. We discuss why prostate cancer and depression were the chosen areas to support and how the funds raised by MOVEMBER are being directed.

Since 2003 Mo Bros and supporting Mo Sistas have raised over $AUS178 million. Listen in to find out what is in store this year and how you can join the movement.

Our second guest is David Gregory who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 1999 and was operated on three months later. David speaks openly about his personal experience and with that first hand knowledge discusses the reasons men often give for not being tested. At a time when close to 3,300 men die annually of prostate cancer, equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer, this is a most important topic. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men. David tells us how the information available has improved since his own diagnosis and shares his passion in bringing this information to men over 40. This is mostly done through Prostate Cancer Support Groups affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Listen in and find out what you and your partner should be asking your doctor.

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Black_Dog_DazeWith special guests:

  • Andrew Robb AO MP
  • Rebecca Lewis

We welcomed Andrew Robb on to the show for the first time today. Andrew has distinguished himself in leadership positions for many years resulting in his high public profile. These positions have ranged from being the head of the National Farmers’ Federation (“the NFF”), the Director of the Federal Election campaign for the Liberal Party in 1993 and 1996, being a consultant to Kerry Packer and since 2004 being the Member for the Federal Seat of Goldstein. Andrew is currently on the shadow front bench as the Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction as well as Chairman of the Coalition Policy Development Committee.

What the public did not know until recent times is that Andrew Robb has for over 40 years been battling a debilitating condition, a condition that he could not admit even to himself. In 2009 Andrew with typical courage and determination decided to go public with his condition and take immediate leave from his senior position in the Parliament so that he could devote his full attention to dealing with his condition which now had a name, diurnal variation.

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The Journey

 With special guests:

  • Ken Thompson and
  • Heath Cole.  


Both our guests today have been on a bicycle journey.

Ken Thompson became well known when he decided to take direct action after his child was abducted overseas by the other parent. After riding on his bicycle around Europe publicising his quest to find his child Ken was contacted by Interpol with news that his child had been located. Ken is now part of an international movement to help parents who have been the victim of this destructive behaviour and to agitate for changes in the law to make this type of child abduction a crime in all countries, including Australia. Ken presents a lucid explanation of the problem of international parental child alienation, what is being done about it and what we all hope is the way forward.

Our second guest is Heath Cole. Last Friday Heath completed with his team of four other riders a 1000 kilometre ride in the Riverina to raise funds and awareness of mental health. Heath received a warm welcome in the towns of Tumbarumba, Tumut, Cootamundra, Temora and Griffith and finishing the course where he started in Wagga Wagga. Heath spoke candidly about his own battles with the “Black Dog” and how the bike ride has helped in raising his own spirits as well as raising funds for Riverina Bluebell, the local charity dealing with mental health issues. Heath talks about the warning signs of depression and what you should do about it. This is very to pical in view of World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October 2011 and the ongoing Mental Health Month in NSW.

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What Makes Us Tick?

With special guests:

  • John Flanagan and
  • Hugh Mackay.

The author of an interesting new book, ‘What Makes Us Tick?’ is Hugh Mackay, who is widely regarded as Australia’s preeminent social researcher and he joins us today to discuss his latest book. Hugh Mackay has spent most of his working life exploring why we do the things we do, ranging from the television programs we watch or the politicians we vote for, to the decisions that shape our lives - who (or whether) to marry, where to live, whether to have children, what job to do.

Written as part reflection, part psychological analysis, ‘What Makes Us Tick?’ is a highly personal account of the things Mackay has learned from the experience of listening to people talk about their dreams, their fears, their faith, their hopes, their disappointments, their frustrations and their fantasies. It makes for a most interesting interview and is definitely a must listen.  

We open the show with a long overdue interview with well informed John Flanagan, who is the Deputy Registered Officer of the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting). John speaks with passion about the proposed new Family Law amendments and claims that if passed by Parliament in its present form, the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 will significantly reduce contact by children with both parents after divorce/separation.  

John makes the point that at first glance, there appear to be many more submissions supporting the Bill (in a ratio of approximately 2:1), but has observed that when studied more closely, many of the submissions supporting the Bill would appear to have been actually written by the same author.

He suggests this is particularly the case with regard to the many submissions commencing with the words “I am writing to express my support”. If this should be correct, surely some questions need to be asked such as, 1. is there a process of verifying the authenticity of submissions?,  2. what that proccess might be?, and 3. how does the  AG propose to answer these claims of subversion of the political process?.


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Psychiatry and One Man's Story

With special guests:

  • Prof. Miles Groth and
  • ‘Tom’.

Our first guest this week is American Professor Miles Groth, who is full professor in the Department of Psychology at Wagner College, Staten Island, New York. He trained as a psychoanalyst in New York, where he has lectured residents in psychiatry on integrating existential analysis with traditional inpatient treatment. He has been in private practice since 1977.

Dr. Groth studied at Franklin and Marshall College and Duquesne University, and completed his PhD at Fordham University. He is the author of three books, and co-editor of Engaging College Men: Discovering What Works and Why, chapters in five books, twenty-six articles and fifty book reviews in nineteen different peer-reviewed journals. He is past editor of the International Journal of Men’s Health co-founding editor with Diederik Janssen of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies.

Professor Groth will be in Australia soon to present at the Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies’ first Male Studies Symposium in Adelaide in June, at the Adelaide Convention Centre, where his topic will be ‘The Boy is Father to the Man’. As part of his presentation, he will speak about the state of the nuclear family, in particular the missing father and the effects of this on boys’ lives.

We then speak with “Tom” (not his real name for legal reasons), who tells his own story of how he was dispossessed of his children, by a legal system that he once foolishly believed to be fair and just, as it adjudicated the sensitive issues surrounding parental separation.

He made the mistake of trusting a system which has built a huge industry out of personal misery, and appears to have as its main objective the need to create the greatest amount of conflict possible, in order to fleece the greatest amount of the family wealth from warring parents.

Not taking it laying down however, “Tom” has embarked on a personal mission to warn an unsuspecting community, of the destructive practices employed by the divorce industry, and tells of the tactics he is using to expose such practices. Well worth listening to, especially for all those who are at a point where perhaps they feel there is nowhere else to go, and that there is nothing they can personally do.


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Australian MP Slams 'Trojan Horse' Family Law Amendments

With special guest:

  • Greg Andresen.

The proposed Australian Family Law amendments came under attack from one of Australia’s more enlightened Federal Parliamentarians, George Christensen MP, this week, who likened them to taking the George Orwell approach to ranking considerations in his classic novel ‘Animal Farm’. Mr Christensen slammed the proposed amendments as being like a ‘Trojan Horse’ loaded full of terrible consequences that will undermine some of the most basic human rights of parents and children.  

On this week’s program we take another look at the proposed Amendments and speak with Greg Andresen, spokesperson for Men’s Health Australia, who has exposed many of the domestic violence myths being promoted by the Gillard Government and draws attention to some of the misleading claims made recently under Parliamentary privilege, by the Federal Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Kate Ellis MP.

This is particularly troubling as it is impossible to develop fair and just legislation based on flawed information provided by self-interest groups, whose main focus in life is to protect their government funded existence, while the evidence provided by victim groups has been discounted, ridiculed and ignored.  

While Men’s Health Australia and the Minister both agree that child abuse and Family Violence are real, Men’s Health rightly question the alleged need to throw away due process in order to protect children from abuse and violence. They correctly point out that it is impossible to protect people from both abuse and false allegations of abuse at the same time as is proposed in the amendments, especially since each of them are considered abuse and cause immeasurable harm to the lives of the victims.   

George Christensen maintains that “what is inside this Trojan horse, the malicious code that will infect society, is an attempt to undermine equal access for both parents. This change would invite the court to ignore the requirement to consider the second pillar—the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents”.  

In his address to Parliament, George expressed his concern about the proposed broadening of the definition of family violence and made a passionate plea for sanity to prevail.  “The broadened definition of ‘family violence’ would mean that a wide range of everyday activities could potentially be construed as violence.

The broader definition includes as violence such things as repeated derogatory taunts. Under the proposed definition, much of what happens right here in the parliament would be construed as violence. Also included as violence is this little nugget: ‘preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends, or culture.’ Under this broad definition, a parent could not prevent a young teenager from spending 20 hours a day talking to friends on Facebook, for fear of being accused of family violence”.

“What happens when a parent acts in a way that a reasonable person would describe as good parenting? What happens when a father says to his 13-year-old daughter, ‘No, you can’t go to Julia’s party because there will be alcohol and no adult supervision’? I will tell you what happens. An upset teenage daughter talks to a vindictive mother, who then claims the daughter is a victim of family violence—and it is their right under this definition. Another child loses the right to have a meaningful relationship with her parent. Under this definition, a parent would be too scared to ground a child as punishment for bad behaviour, for fear of ‘depriving a family member of his or her liberty.’  

Speaking in one voice with hundreds of thousands of powerless, dispossessed Australian parents and children, he concludes his Parliamentary address with:

“These amendments should be seen for what they are. They are a Trojan horse, full of malicious code designed to deprive fathers of their rights. The best thing we can do to protect the safety of children and to prevent family violence is to leave this act as it is.”    

While the rest of his Parliamentary colleagues prance about like frustrated show ponies, desperately chasing media attention to feed their inflated egos, George Christensen is scrupulously researching the subject matter of his Parliamentary responsibilities.             

Fortunately and belatedly, the Australian public has finally discovered a quite achiever to represent them, who is ethical and has the intelligence, ability and courage to challenge some of the many injustices, that an uncaring, self-centred establishment has caused to be imposed on an unsuspecting electorate over many decades.

We look forward to seeing and hearing a lot more in the years to come, from George Christensen, a principled man.  


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White House Council on Boys to Men

With special guests:

  • Tom Golden and
  • Jack Kammer.

This week on Dads on the Air we talk to two members of the recently established “Proposal for a White House Council on Boys to Men”, Tom Golden and Jack Kammer from the USA. They are two leading members of a multi-partisan Commission of thirty-four nationally-known scholars and practitioners, who have submitted a proposal that President Obama create a White House Council on Boys to Men.  

The mere presidential announcement of a White House Council on Boys to Men makes visible an invisible crisis. A White House Conference on Boys to Men to present “best practices” within one year after the Council is created, will prove invaluable to the future well- being of our Men.

Designed to tackle a nationwide crisis of boys and men, the Commission identifies the following five main components:

  • Education. Boys are behind girls in almost every subject, especially reading and writing. Yet boy-friendly programs (e.g., recess and vocational education) are being curtailed.      
  • Jobs. Our sons are not being prepared for jobs where the jobs will be. Yet women rarely marry men in unemployment lines.    
  • Fatherlessness. A third of boys are raised in father-absent homes; yet boys and girls with significant father involvement do better in more than 25 areas.    
  •   Physical health. Life expectancy has gone from one to five years less for males than for females, yet federal offices of boys and men’s health are non-existent.  
  • Emotional health. Boys’ suicide rate goes from equal to girls to five times girls’ between ages 13 and 20, as boys feel the pressures of the male role.  

Each of the five crisis components is potentially handled by a different department of the government; therefore coordination and prioritisation is best handled at the White House level.

With a Short-Term Investment of One million dollars, the Long-Term Savings will add up to Many billions of dollars. (For example, boys who are cared for become men who care for–men who pay taxes for schools rather than drain taxes for prisons.) The quality-of-Life Savings will be Priceless.

Tom Golden, LCSW is the author of two books about men’s unique paths to healing. The first is titled Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing and the second is called A Man You Know is Grieving: 12 Ideas for Helping Him Heal From Loss. Tom has given workshops on this topic in the U.S.,  Australia, Canada and Europe. His work has been featured in the NY Times, the Washington Post, on CNN, CBS Evening News, ESPN, the NFL Channel and others. Tom serves on the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health and lives outside Washington DC.

Jack Kammer, MSW, MBA returned to school at the age of fifty-four to earn Masters degrees in Social Work and Business Administration. He did so to document, highlight and take action on male gender issues and the social problems that arise when those issues are ignored and mishandled. He specialises in the Race and Gender effect on marginalized African-American men and boys in urban settings. He is also the author of If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules: and other radical thoughts for men who want more fairness from women and Good Will Toward Men: Women Talk Candidly About the Balance of Power Between the Sexes. He has a new book (2009) for boys and young men, titled Heroes of the Blue Sky Rebellion: How You and Other Young Men Can Claim All the Happiness in the World.


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New Feminism

With special guests:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Celi and
  • Barbara Kay.

Today is International Women’s Day, and in sharp contrast to the struggling International Men’s Day, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. On this day a global web of rich and diverse local activities, connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatre performances, fashion parades and more.         

Women now hold many positions of power in a huge variety of endeavours and rightly so, yet the catchcry of victimhood continues to dominate the debate and is promoted by the views of the vocal radical feminists, who relentlessly attack and ridicule men at every opportunity. Unfortunately these extreme and outdated relics of a past era, persist with blaming all men for the world’s ills and support their distorted view of reality with a steady flow of corrupt data and statistics.          

They speak about the gender wage gap and the great need for equal pay for women. However, in most countries it is illegal to engage in paying a woman less for doing the same job and working the same hours as the man. We therefore challenge them to produce just one woman who finds herself in that position.

The fact is that some industries and professions just happen to pay more than others, and it therefore has more to do with women working less hours and/or that many of them work in industries or professions that happen to pay less. Or are they perhaps suggesting that every industry and profession should have the same rate of pay?          

Thankfully, the next generation of NEW Feminists are the more enlightened women in our communities who have moved on, and can see through this facade of victimhood and consider it counter productive to persist in engaging in a destructive power struggle with men. They understand the need for true equality and readily support the needs of men, and in turn are supported by the men.         

We speak to two such women today, and begin the show with an informative interview with Dr Elizabeth Celi, Psychologist, Author and social commentator. Dr. Celi completed a First Class Honours degree in Psychology and Psychophysiology and successfully achieved her Doctoral qualification from The Department of Psychiatry at The University of Melbourne. In addition to her workshops, advocacy and clinical practices, in regional and inner city, Dr. Celi currently sits on the Board of the Australian Psychological Society.          

Through regular TV and radio appearances and interviews, lectures, workshops, seminars and publications, Dr. Celi helps to debunk the negative myths and stereotypes about Men – our fathers, husbands, uncles, grandfathers, sons and brothers. Elizabeth champions the need for more positive male role models through a renewed appreciation and mutual respect for the strengths and skills of men and masculinity, as they now apply, in the 21st Century.          

To get an International perspective we speak to well known Canadian journalist Barbara Kay, who is a Columnist for the National Post newspaper. Barbara has an Honour BA in English Language and Literature, University of Toronto, and an M.A. in English Literature, McGill University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.          

She is an outspoken supporter of the equal rights of Men and Fathers, to enjoy the same rights as those currently awarded to women through the feminist inspired policies of our Governments, and is appalled at the bigotry and gender divisive mentality which continues to dominate in some of our Government Departments and Agencies, such as the Family Courts and the Domestic Violence Industry. Barbara will be talking about her upcoming column on feminism which is being released later this week for the Centenary of IWD.   

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The Dad Factor

With special guests:

  • Dr. Richard Fletcher and
  • Dr. Jonica Newby.

Our first guest this week is Dr Richard Fletcher, who leads the ‘Fathers and Families Research Program’ at the Univer­sity of Newcastle and is the author of ‘The Dad Factor’. In the 1990’s he pioneered the study of Men’s health and Boys’ health and founded the community-based group, Fathers Against Rape, to conduct workshops with teenage boys in schools. He developed the Engaging Fathers Project at the University of Newcastle and worked to have it implemented in communities nationally.

As a lecturer in the university’s Family Action Centre, he designed and deliv­ered courses and seminars to teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and medical students. In his PhD, he researched fathers’ attachment to infants and children. He is the convener of the national fatherhood research network. He is also the co-editor of the book ‘Boys in Schools’.

Next we speak with Dr Jonica Newby, who is a former veterinarian turned reporter / producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship TV science program, ‘Catalyst’. While her days of trying to read the minds of furry patients are long gone, her fascination with the lives of animals remains. Before joining Catalyst, she provided the original research and concept and wrote and presented a five part feature series for ABC TV on the domestication of animals, called The Animal Attraction. She is also author of an ABC book of the same name, and a contributor to various science media across the country.

Her ABC book (formerly titled as The Pact For Survival) was recently made into a documentary feature for Britain’s Channel 4. The book has been reissued under the title The Animal Attraction to accompany the screening of the five part series.

In her follow up to ‘Fatherhood: the Male Pregnancy?’,  Dr Jonica Newby presents ‘Fatherhood: Secrets of the Superdads’ and catches up with our new dads to find out how they are coping with their first year of fatherhood, as we ask the question: can science tell us what makes a good dad?

In part 1 of Fatherhood, Dr Jonica Newby followed three dads-to-be, testing their hormones and their humour - as they made the transition to fatherhood. It revealed the biological changes that turn human males into caring dads, and examined couvade syndrome - a sort of sympathetic male pregnancy.

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Celebrating Our Boys, Men And Fathers

With special guests:

  • Jason Van Genderen and
  • Stephen Toon.

First up we speak with Jason Van Genderen, Creative Director of Treehouse Creative, a communications and design studio – based in Gosford, Crows Nest and Melbourne — who talks about his film ‘The Unspoken’ written as a tribute to his father who is dying of lung cancer, which was awarded the runner-up prize at Tropfest 2011 .  

This year’s batch of brilliant short films, selected 16 finalists  from more than 700 entries. The main event was held last Sunday 20 February in The Domain, Sydney and public viewing sites were set up across the nation – Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Surfers Paradise and Perth – giving all Australians the chance to be a part of the anticipated 150,000 strong live audience.

Each year, Tropfest’s competition attracts aspiring filmmaker’s worldwide, eager to share their stories and craft with the public. 2011 had a distinct international flavour – entries flooded in from all corners of the globe and one of the Finalists came all the way from South Africa.  

Jason started out making comedies but is building a reputation for emotional short films. His film ‘My Town is Broken’ about urban decay in Gosford, won an award at the Sydney Film Festival in 2008 for films shot on a mobile phone. Another film “Mankind is No Island’ about homelessness won the first Tropfest New York in 2008. He also won 3 awards at the Geelong 24 hours Shoot Out Film Festival in 2007  

Our second guest is Stephen Toon, Director of Consultancy & Community Programs, AIMHS,  Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies – talking about ‘From Boyhood to Manhood’, Stephen has extensive experience in working with men and boys and in developing and delivering a range of male health, preventative mental health, suicide prevention, and personal development programs. These programs have been taken up by government, and NGOs, and have spanned health, education, and welfare sectors. 

Stephen has been responsible for the State-wide rollout of the highly successful Men in Communities Program (awarded the South Australian government, Dr Margaret Tobin Award for Excellence in Community Mental Health Education). He has played a pioneering role in the development of men’s health in South Australia and has been a commentator, educator, and male health consultant in much demand.  

Currently, Stephen is conducting research for the University of South Australia, concerned with establishing an evidence base and developing a best practice framework for conducting group work with men. He is also a PhD candidate in the University of South Australia’s Centre for Regional Engagement. 

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Family Law or Legislative Terrorism?

With special guests:

  • Greg Andresen
  • Dr. Colin Jory and
  • Sue Price.

Once again Dads on the Air is well ahead of the media pack, by investigating and separating the facts from the spin. Further to our own submission, today’s show will focus on the way our Government is about to use unsubstantiated claims and mis-information, in order to hoodwink the public into believing some sort of Domestic Violence pandemic is forcing it to ‘reform’ Australian Family Laws, as per the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010. Oh and surprise, surprise, this is all for the ‘Best Interest of the Children’ of cause.  

The general public, who still thinks it can’t happen to them, will eventually be horrified to learn how their fellow citizens are being treated with absolute contempt and fleeced of everything dear to them, by a multi-billion dollar government sponsored divorce industry, which is driven by fanatical ideologues who hold our legislators to ransom with hysterical hyperbole about the level of Domestic Violence in the community.   

Unfortunately, to their own peril, it is not until families face the somber prospect of being permanently separated from each other, that they belatedly start to look around at what they face. In most cases however, by then it is far too late, and the outcome for the vast majority is soul destroying.   

First up we speak with Greg Andresen, who is researcher and media liaison with Men’s Health Australia - Australia’s primary source of information about the psychological and social wellbeing of men and boys. He is also senior researcher with the One in Three Campaign. The One in Three Campaign aims to raise public awareness of the existence and needs of male victims of family violence and abuse; to work with government and non-government services alike to provide assistance to male victims; and to reduce the incidence and impacts of family violence on Australian men, women and children.  

Greg worked on submissions from both Men’s Health Australia and One in Three to the recent Family Law Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2010. He is with us today to talk of his concerns about the proposed bill from both a men’s health and a family violence perspective.  

Next we speak to Dr. Colin Jory, secondary school teacher, historian and Shakespeare scholar, who recently wrote in News Weekly (Letters, October 30) “that if the pro-family political parties want to make huge gains in their vote, all they need do is make a sustained assault on the Family Law Act, the Family Law Court and the domestic violence industry”.  

He further stated “that of all the factors which harm the Australian family and do draconian injustice to individual Australians, nothing remotely compares with these in scope or severity”.  

“Now the Gillard Labor Government has revealed its intention to amend the Family Law Act to make it even more draconian and unjust. In 2006, the Howard Coalition Government amended the act to require judges to approach custody cases with the “rebuttable presumption” that both parents are equally important in a child’s upbringing. The presumption is rebuttable in the sense that if there is compelling evidence that one of the parents is likely to harm the child, access should be limited in proportion to the risk”.   

We close the show with the ever vigilant Sue Price, Co-Founder and Director Men’s Rights Agency. The Men’s Rights Agency also reluctantly responded to the proposed Family Law Amendments, as their experience has shown it is a complete waste of time, due to the outcome generally already having been pre-determined. Accordingly in their submission she writes the following:  

“We are responding to your suggested amendments to the family law act under extreme protest. In fact, we would prefer to boycott the whole process because our community well understands the uselessness of responding to government inquiries, when there is a strong suspicion the government has already predetermined the outcome. However, we are placed in the position of having to respond or be accused of failing to do so when the limited opportunity was provided.  

While there is a need to protect women and children from abuse there is also a need to recognise men and children need protection from women who are abusive and violent.  

There is also a need to recognise the 2006 changes were initiated because too many children were being denied an opportunity to develop a relationship with their father.”  

We again extend an invitation to any Federal Parliamentarian who would like to join us on air, in order to defend the proposed Family Law Amendments. The community would dearly like to hear from their elected representatives in order to find out the truth about such an important issue, which ultimately will adversely affect so many of their fellow Australians.  

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