May 2017 Thought for Blokes & Shedders

You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth. 

It's not too late get active

Posted on May 3, 2017 .

April 2017 Blokes & Shedders Thought of the Month

Social isolation and wellbeing is exceptionally important for middle aged blokes. Search out your local men shed and join, even just turning up for a cuppa can make the world of difference in your life. Isolation can lead to anxiety and depression, get up and get moving seek out bowling clubs, bridge clubs and golf clubs.

Jon Doust (Chair Men's Resource Centre) delivering the Men's Survival Handbook 4th Edition to Terry and Peter from the Albany Men's Shed Albany West Australia.

Jon Doust (Chair Men's Resource Centre) delivering the Men's Survival Handbook 4th Edition to Terry and Peter from the Albany Men's Shed Albany West Australia.

Posted on March 29, 2017 .


2015 -2016 Annual Report Men's Resource Centre (Inc.)

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A safe, secure, easy accessible venue for men and the community to visit to seek help. Clients are afforded the opportunity to tell their story and health concerns to a compassionate and supportive staff member. The staff member evaluates the health issue and refers the client to the appropriate agency and best possible care. Food vouchers (value $1625.00) and toilet bags (65 bags issued which were donated) have been issued to homeless men to ease their current status. Over the past year we have assisted 84 people who visited the MRC office. The Suspended Coffee/Soup Program is into its third year, four cafes supply the service, customers simply order an extra coffee and a voucher is issued to a person in need to access a free cup of coffee or soup. 307 cups of coffee/soup have been provided to men in need through this service.


The WMWC is a fantastic powerful tool to engage men and the community in a safe, secure and empowering way. Participants complete the WMWC which includes blood pressure, waist measurement, 8 mind health and 9 prostate/sexual questions and information on smoking and alcohol consumption is supplied. The strength of the WMWC is that staff are not clinicians which allow the participant to speak openly and express any health concerns. As men are stoic and reluctant to seek help the WMWC is the first step to learning health seeking behavior and planting the seed of self-responsibility. Information on all aspects of physical, mental and social wellbeing is distributed through a health information bag which is supplied to each participant on completion. Over the past year 397 participants have completed the WMWC.                                                                                                 

Peter Watson MLA Albany (seated) participating in a Well Man Wellness Check with Grant Westthorp MRC Manager

Peter Watson MLA Albany (seated) participating in a Well Man Wellness Check with Grant Westthorp MRC Manager


The Men’s Resource Centre (Inc.) staff delivered presentations and the Well Man Wellness Check to 454 community members in Bridgetown, Collie, Cranbrook, Denmark, Tambellup, Katanning and Gnowangerup. To get the best participation from these communities MRC staff targeted regional show days or when there was a significant event being held in the town. The Men’s Resource Centre published 18 articles in the Great Southern Football Association Footie Focus, 800 members receive the Footie Focus throughout the region.


The Positive Mentoring Program has now been running since November 2014, the Commonwealth Bank donated $10,000.00 to purchase 6 mountain bikes and 6 kayaks. Further funding was provided by the NIB Foundation and Westpac to continue the program. There are now 2 Programs involving 4 sessions on mountain bikes and 4 sessions in kayaks, each session a subject is discussed to increase participant’s self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief. Participants have come from Young House a homeless shelter for youth, St Joseph’s College and from men who present at the MRC office. 40 participants have now completed a Program.

Mentee's Ron and Pete on the King River Albany WA

Mentee's Ron and Pete on the King River Albany WA


The Men’s Resource Centre promotes preventative health on a weekly basis on Facebook, Twitter and on the MRC Website. Staff presented 16 radio programs on men’s health and the MRC published 27 men’s health articles in the local papers.


The Men’s Resource Centre (Inc.) has distributed 12,500 copies of the Men’s Survival Handbook around the Great Southern and also across Australia. The Men’s Survival Handbook Third Edition is now in use and is in every Golf Club and Bowling Club in Western Australia. The Fourth Edition is soon to be printed.


The MRC were acknowledged for the success of the Well Man Wellness Check and our contribution to regional communities by receiving the Act Belong Commit Community Partner Award in 2011, 2012 and 2013.


The MRC was originally refunded for 2014 to 2017 with the option of a further two x one year extensions from the WA Department of Health, our contract is now managed by the West Australian Country Health Service. The MRC has continued to improve operations and outcomes of the organisation and have continued to seek corporate funding. Our focus has been on ensuring all activities undertaking by the MRC are dealt with professionally, efficiently and in a business-like manner. We maintain transparent business records and have improved statistical record keeping.


The MRC Management Committee consists of Chairman Carl Heslop, Treasurer Cheryl Dowell, Secretary Martin Lloyd, Phillip Thompson, Jon Doust, Brian Campbell, Ian Pitman and Rosie Tihanyi. Thank you to all of the Management Committee members for their tireless work, commitment, time and positive direction over the past twelve months without it the Men’s Resource Centre would not be successful.

Grant Westthorp is the Manager of the Men’s Resource Centre and Bruce Beamish is the Community Educator. For 3 months over the past year Andy Davis volunteered his time, knowledge and effort.


The MRC Act Belong Commit Australia Day Fun Run was successful. The MRC thanks Healthway, Act Belong Commit and Radio West/HOTFM. The Australia Day Fun Run was organised by Grant and Bruce and fully supported by the Executive Committee on the day, special thanks goes to Jon for his highly entertaining MC act. This event continues to grow in stature; it is a great showcase for the MRC, attracts good fields each year and spreads the “be active” message to community members.

This year’s Men’s Health Week was a resounding success, Rory Callaghan was appointed Ambassador for his fund raising effort early in the year. The positive theme for the week was “Up the Creek with a Paddle” reminding men to seek help early if symptoms arise rather than finding themselves “Up the Creek without a Paddle”. Over 50 participants enjoyed a paddle on Princess Royal Harbour to celebrate the week’s activities.

"Up the Creek with a Paddle" fantastic Men's Resource Centre (Inc.) initiative.

"Up the Creek with a Paddle" fantastic Men's Resource Centre (Inc.) initiative.

Well done to Eilidh MacMaster (29:50) and Jack Dunn (27:32) for taking first place in the Act-Belong-Commit Australia Day Fun Run

Well done to Eilidh MacMaster (29:50) and Jack Dunn (27:32) for taking first place in the Act-Belong-Commit Australia Day Fun Run

The Men’s Resource Centre collaborated with Anglicare to deliver the Good Country Living Program into 5 High Schools in Albany and Denmark for Year 10 to 12 students. MRC staff gave talks to approximately 400 students about career choices, wellbeing and the good and the bad about leaving home for the first time. As part of the same program talks were delivered to 75 community members in both locations about the services offered by the Men’s Resource Centre.


The MRC has continued to encourage strong network ties with Men’s Health & Wellbeing WA, Albany Youth Support Association, OzHelp, Regional Counselling and Mentoring Services, Palmerston Association, WA Country Health Service, Relationships Australia, Prostate Support Group Albany, Headspace, Amity Health and is a Community Partner with Act Belong Commit.

In summary, the MRC continues to make a significant difference in men’s and the community’s health in the Great Southern Health District, we are actively promoting preventative health into all sectors of the community, touching many life’s and successfully delivering positive outcomes.  

Finally I would like to thank the West Australian Country Health Service, our corporate sponsors TFS & Mount Romance, De Jonge Mechanical Repairs, Telstra Business Centre and National Lifestyle Villages as well as Healthway and Act Belong Commit for their continued support and financial contribution. Without this support the MRC would not exist.

Grant Westthorp

Grant Westthorp


Posted on November 1, 2016 .

Break out of your routine #7

Most of us are naturally wired to stick to a routine. Having a set way of doing things can improve efficiency and there is an element of comfort knowing what’s around the corner. But breaking out of your routine can alleviate the boredom and monotony that leads to restlessness and unhappiness.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or take up a lot of your time - you can change a weekly recipe, read a book instead of watching TV, try a new gym class, exercise in the morning instead of at night (or vice versa), engage in conversation with someone new, take a different route somewhere, walk instead of driving or cycle instead of walking… Trying new things is just another way you can Act, Belong, Commit to stay mentally healthy!

Posted on January 12, 2015 .


Men’s Health Checks

All men should have regular health check-ups with their GP, some checks, however, are more relevant to particular age groups. Keep an eye out for any of these issues.

From 18 to 39 years ask your doctor about:

  • ·        Early stage heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • ·        Testicular cancer
  • ·        Injuries
  • ·        Relationship difficulties


See your GP every 2 years for a good check-up.


From 40-49 years of age ask your doctor about:

  • ·        Heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • ·        Respiratory illness and lung cancer
  • ·        Erectile difficulties


See your GP every year from now on.


From 50-64 years of age ask your doctor about:

  • ·        Heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • ·        Respiratory illness and lung cancer
  • ·        Bowel, prostate and skin cancers
  • ·        Erectile difficulties


From 65 years of age and over ask your doctor about:

  • ·        Heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • ·        Respiratory illness and lung disease
  • ·        Bowel, prostate and skin cancer
  • ·        Erectile difficulties

Any Age: Diabetes, skin cancer, weight issues, drug and alcohol issues,mental health and wellbeing.

Posted on September 16, 2014 .

Blokes Thought of the Week #4


Blokes Thought of the Week #4: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT
You will feel the benefits of quitting straight away as your body repairs itself. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, typical benefits of stopping are:
• After twelve hours almost all of the nicotine is out of your system.
• After twenty-four hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream.
• After five days most nicotine by-products have gone.
• Within days your sense of taste and smell improves.
• Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery.
• Within two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
• After twelve months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
• Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
• After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present).
• After fifteen years your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things a person can do. Most smokers’ say they would like to quit, and may have tried at least once. Some are successful the first time, but many other people try a number of times before they finally give up for good.

Posted on December 24, 2013 .

Blokes Thought of the Week #3

RELATIONSHIPS - Yes, men and women are wired differently, men need to listen more and women need to give men more time to answer. Women need to visit Mars and see how men operate and alternately men need to visit Venus and read the instructions. If you are in a gay relationship you should be on the same page.

Posted on November 10, 2013 .

Blokes Thought of the Week #1

SOCIAL WELLBEING One of the most unspoken subjects in the male arena. Social Wellbeing refers to the amount of social contact a male gets in a week, if you live in a small regional town this contact can be very little. It is important to maintain social contact because this gives the male an opportunity to talk to a mate about all sorts of subjects. Whether it is the footy, aches and pains or what’s happening on the farm. It is important to talk to a mate so that you can sound-board ideas and to talk about what is going on in your head. This interaction will give your mind a chance to clear out any niggling thoughts allowing the mind to have a little quiet.

Posted on November 10, 2013 .