June 3, 2014

Menslink…. Something for the Boys

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Recently Martin Fisk, the CEO of Menslink asked me to write a couple of words about why I support this amazing organisation. It got me to thinking about how I came across Marty and his incredible team, what this awesome charity is all about, and why Menslink touched me personally.

Menslink is about men helping each other by speaking up about depression and anxiety, and not bottling stuff inside and pretending all is good. “Silence can be deadly & deadly doesn’t mean cool, it means Fatal”.  Menslink is also a local not for profit group that supports guys in my community; and any help provided stays in Canberra.  First big tick!

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I met Marty in 2011 when I was involved in the event coordination of the Business Breakfast, some inspirational speakers addressed the audience and shared their stories and the significance of mentors (those we know and the unlikely mentors too). It was awesome to be involved and I knew then that I resonated with the Menslink philosophy. They have a strengths-based approach, rather than focus on “what’s wrong”, they identify positive resources and abilities in the young blokes. Second big tick!

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Menslink spoke to me because my Dad wasn’t around much when I was growing up; he changed over the years, became a bit of a recluse and seemed to spend a lot of time living in his head. He wasn’t in my life much as a teenager and passed away long before his time. As a child I didn’t really understand Dads ‘stuff’, but I learned it was a product of his era, topped with that ‘man thing’ about never discussing one’s problems and issues, as he saw it as a sign of weakness.

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

As an adult, I absolutely appreciate the importance of strong and dedicated mentors and great role models in my personal & professional life; I am so incredibly blessed to have been raised by a strong Mum who has always been up for a chat no matter the subject or time of day, and I work with an amazing team who know a thing or two about communication.

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Bill Johnston
1947 – 2002

Fundraising for Menslink has been a lot of fun, from bucket money collection at events like the PM’s XI Cricket match and the National Multicultural Festival to Event Managing the Business Breakfast at the Press Club in 2013. The more I learn about Menslink, and the guys who donate their time to be Mentors, the more it touches my heart for all the good it’s doing. I’m looking forward to being involved again at the next Menslink Business Breakfast at the Press Club in September.

Menslink…. Something for the Boys. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

So tell me my lovelies, do you have a favourite charity? If yes, do you volunteer and participate in fundraising?

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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shenANNAgans » National Multicultural Festival - February 18, 2015 Reply

[…] kicked my festival shenANNAgans off with a spot of fundraising for Menslink, a local charity that holds a special place in my heart. This great organisation is […]

Dedy@Dentist Chef - August 3, 2014 Reply

You’re a tough girl my friend, sorry about your father. Sometimes a father is physically there, but emotionally gone for his children and it’s even worse, discussing problem and expressing emotions seems dismantling of masculinity, for example i told by my parents that i shouldn’t cry once i fall from my feet when i was a lil boy because i’m gonna be a tough man later on.
Love this kind of organisation helping me become a better man later on in life.

    Anna - August 3, 2014 Reply

    I agree… men are encouraged from a young age to suppress emotions and ‘man up’, its so amazing that organisations like Menslink exist to assist young men through these confusing social standards. Dedy, you truly are a beautiful person. Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

Alyssa @ My Sequined Life - June 7, 2014 Reply

It’s so wonderful that you’re spreading the word about Menslink, Anna! It sounds like a truly important and worthwhile organization. Hugs to you! 🙂

    Anna - June 7, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Alyssa, it really is such a great organisation, lots of fun to be involved with. Hugs right back at chya. 🙂

Erin | The Law Student's Wife - June 6, 2014 Reply

Thank you so much for sharing this incredible organization with us! I love how sincere and personal this post is. Thanks for spreading the word about menslink!

    Anna - June 6, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Erin, yeah… its a pretty great organisation, the Menslink community make it so easy to get involved and stay involved. 🙂

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - June 6, 2014 Reply

I’m sorry to hear about your father. Me and my own father are very close and just thinking about that causes me some hard times. Sending lots of hugs across to you!

    Anna - June 6, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Pamela. Appreciate the hugs. Xx And, super great you & your dad are close, that’s brilliant. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Hotly Spiced - June 5, 2014 Reply

What a great cause and I’m so sorry to hear you lost your dad when he was only in his 50’s. That’s leaving this world all too soon. It’s good to hear Menslink is breaking down the barriers and sterotypes and letting men know that it’s okay to be hurting xx

    Anna - June 5, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Charlie! I appreciate that. Couldn’t agree more re Menslink, it’s really wonderful that organisations like Menslink exist. 🙂

sandra - June 5, 2014 Reply

There are so many good reasons to support MENSLINK, the community makes it so easy to get involved and stay involved. Great to read why your involved Anna.

    Anna - June 5, 2014 Reply

    The Menslink community is a huge part of it, so many really tops people. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - June 5, 2014 Reply

Thanks so much for sharing Menslink, and bringing the organisation to our attention Anna. I had never heard of it before! 🙂

    Anna - June 5, 2014 Reply

    Welcome Lorraine. You have prob not heard of it before because its a Canberra based organisation. But, I love that it is going global and many are now hearing the wonderful work Marty and his team do.

Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner - June 5, 2014 Reply

Wow, what a great organization! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Anna - June 5, 2014 Reply

    It is Tina, pretty stoked I can be a part of it, even just a tiny part of it. 🙂

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - June 5, 2014 Reply

Thank you for sharing the personal aspect to this. I support The Sunflower Fund which is a bone marrow registry in South Africa.

    Anna - June 5, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for reading the post Tandy. I really appreciate the support. 🙂 The Sunflower Fund, what a fantastic name for an organisation.

Hannah - June 4, 2014 Reply

What an amazing post!! Menslink is lucky to have such a strong ambassador!

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    Thanks lovely one and right back at chya, its brilliant fun volunteering with you. xx

Mandy - The Complete Book - June 4, 2014 Reply

How awesome are you darling?!
How sad you lost your dad so young. You can share my daddy with me. He is a big bear with lots of love to share.
Kudos on doing stellar work with your volunteering. You are one special lady.
Have a happy day Anna.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    YAY! I’d love to share your daddy, he sounds amazingly cool and great and lovely! Thank you, that really is very sweet. The volunteering is SO much fun, I get a real buzz being able to be a part of it all. And it’s usually at great events and festivals too. 🙂
    Wishing you the best day too sweet Mandy. Hugs across oceans. Mwah. xxx

Zoe - June 4, 2014 Reply

It’s a great post Anna. Many of us carry so much pain. Every bit we do to acknowledge it’s OK to share, it helps so much.

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Zoe! 🙂 And, too right. Speak up if you are having a tough time of it. Organisations like Menslink do so much for our community, I’m lucky to be involved in such a small way.

Kris - June 4, 2014 Reply

I can see now why you support Menslink Anna. Beautiful words, and a great reminder to never stop talking or fear reaching out for help.

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    YEP, its a pretty awesome organisation. I’m grateful for the small part I get to play. 🙂

Susan - June 4, 2014 Reply

Beautiful sentiments Anna, well done.

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    Thanks! I’m pretty grateful I can be involved with such a great organisation. 🙂

Todd Wright - June 4, 2014 Reply

nice write up Anna. We also support menslink at Threesides and I am personally a mentor as well. menslink is a pretty simple idea – find young guys that need help and help them by turning up and doing something with them. Then get other interested and passionate people to get involved and help out spread the word, create support and help more young blokes. I’ve met some great guys and gals through menslink and just keep going back! Whatever cause you choose to support in Canberra, be passionate, get involved and find out what skills you have to make the best and most important difference. High five for your efforts – you are killing it!!

As for that Marty bloke….. 😉


    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    Hey Todd, yes, I did know you were a mentor and super supporter of Menslink, nice work, you seriously ROCK! Couldn’t agree more about meeting the awesome peeps, every fundraising gig is so much fun, and all involved really throw themselves in, its really quite special. Cheers for the fantastic comment, I really appreciate it Todd. See ya soon. 🙂

Elias Hallaj - June 4, 2014 Reply

Yes, sharing is definitely caring. Thanks for caring Anna! 🙂

Lizzy (Good Things) - June 4, 2014 Reply

Anna, I love this post… Menslink do such great work! I do support Carer’s ACT, for they have been fantastic support to me over the years!

    Anna - June 4, 2014 Reply

    Thanks lovely Liz! Yes, Menslink really is such a great organisation. Marty and his team deserve awards for all the brilliant ‘stuff’ they do.
    It’s nice to hear Carers ACT have been a support for you too. xxx

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