Celebrating Mateship for International Men's Day
19 November is celebrated internationally as International Men’s Day. It has been consistently acknowledged in Australia since 2003.
We have sought as a College over the past 4 years to do a lot of intentional work around boy’s wellbeing and the importance of strong role models. I have been very much blessed by the fathers who have volunteered time to support our young men in many groups and I hope that this continues. This message though is about the messages you will see on our social media pages on International Men’s Day and for about a week after that.
In acknowledging this day, I wanted to do something that vocally and intentionally celebrates our Catholic faith and tradition. Different members of our College community have nominated a male saint, and given an explanation of why they felt the example they offered our young men is worth imitating. The strength of this, I feel, is that it offers a different view of manhood, and of what we routinely identify and celebrate about masculinity.
Aligned to that will be messages from the boys and men of our community about the importance of their friends. This aligns with the Australian theme for International Men’s Day which is ‘Celebrating Mateship’. This is an important message. We need to identify and celebrate supportive networks for our young men and encourage them to maintain them. As men get older, their support network dwindles and it is common for middle aged men to catch up with a mate only once or twice a year. The ’RU OK’ conversation only works if there is someone to have the conversation with. As men, we need to get better at talking, at listening, and at reaching out to each other and being a genuine support. Like all habits that matter, it’s easy to do that if we start young.
So, parents of our young men – talk to your sons about the importance of their friends and their community. Encourage them to talk about who they are, where they are, where they want to get to and who amongst them will help them get there.