Top Blokes Foundation
Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2019, Boys' Education, Celebrating Men, Gender & Masculinities, Male-Friendly Services, Media Representation of Males, Men's Health, Mentoring, Relationships, Young Men

With special guest:

We cannot avoid the bad news stories about young men. The figures show that 82.6% of articles in the press about young men are negative.

In today’s program we speak with Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, the founder and Managing Director of the Top Blokes Foundation, who counters that negative stereotype by encouraging the young men to become “top blokes”. Melissa argues that young men can be a force for good; they are a resource that is largely untapped.

Every now and then we get to speak with someone who is making a real difference in our community. We get to do just that when we speak with Melissa who has taken the organisation from its humble beginnings to now positively impacting over 1600 boys a year. Melissa has been recognised nationally and is an acclaimed speaker who is much in demand at national and state based men’s health conferences.

The young men who access the services of the Top Blokes Foundation are overwhelmingly in favour of the program. In the 2016 evaluation results, 92% of the young men have learned something new about looking after their own mental health, 84% significantly changed their opinion about alcohol and drugs, 86% stated that their self-esteem and confidence increased as a result of the programs.

The programs offered by Top Blokes include mentoring for boys aged 14-17 and the Building Blokes program for young men aged 18-24. The program facilitators hold tertiary qualifications in youth work, social welfare and/or psychology and have experience in facilitating mentoring programs. The program does not shy away from the difficult cases with most students exhibiting either a challenging behaviour, social or mental health issues or simply not living up to their potential.

The Top Blokes Foundation does not receive Government funding. If listeners would like to help Melissa and her team with their important work there is information on the website.

We are all involved with the outcome of the next generation of young men. Get inspired by listening to Melissa tell us what she is doing to address the social issues and barriers faced by our young men. And you will find out what it means to be a “top bloke”.

Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

Melissa founded the Top Blokes Foundation in 2006 at age 19 and has a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies as well as a Diploma in Community Services.

Melissa was recognised as the 2016 NSW Young Australian of the Year. She has also been named as Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Illawarra), Australia’s Top 100 Brightest Young Minds and is on the current list of AFR’s Top 100 Women of Influence.

Melissa is an Executive Director of the NSW Men’s Health Forum, and Member of the Advisory Board of the Men’s Health and Information Resource Centre.

Song selections by our guest: You’re the Voice by John Farnham & Feels Like Woah by Wes Carr

Note: This program is an encore presentation of the one aired on 22 June 2017.

Article originally appeared on Dads on the Air (http://www.dadsontheair.com.au/).
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