February 28, 2012

Blokes Celebrating What It Means To Be Male

Brian Mier, a brother in mission and Men's Health Educator in Melbourne, Australia. He told me about BDO, or Bloke's Day Out. In the city of Geelong, the second biggest city in the Australian State of Victoria, some motivated man-makers from Barwon Health, a regional health service, who together with a number of other local agencies are creating the Blokes Day Out event.

A primary purpose of BDO is to honor the males in their community, and the event is a week-long celebration of what it means to be male. Here is how the sponsors describe the role of males in their community: Blokes are woven into the social fabric of our community and their lives, choices, thoughts and actions help define what it means to live in the Barwon region. Men have stories of tragedy and triumph; love and laughter. Boys and teens add to our rich youth culture, fathers help shape our future generations, men go to work, they participate in the community, and older men give us wisdom and knowledge. 

On the BDO website, the stated purposes of the event include:
  • Celebration - Of men, boys and fathers contributing to the shape of our community
  • Participation - Promoting the positive involvement of blokes with their families, friends; the community
  • Family - Promoting safe, healthy and respectful relationships
  • Health - Creating awareness and promotion of men’s health and well-being
  • Fun - Encouraging boys and men to connect with their family and mates to have a good time
BDO was launched in 2010, and the 2011 event saw over 1,200 men and families participate. Bloke’s Week, runs from Friday, March 23rd to Sunday, April 1st, 2012. The good people at Barwon Health are promoting a full agenda of activities and are expecting another great turnout.
As part of BDO this year, the local White Box Gallery has initiated what they call a Postcard Project titled, To A Man That Really Matters. The idea is to write a message to a male you know who has had a positive impact on your life. They suggest that man could be your dad, son, brother, uncle, partner, mate or neighbor. On the “postcard,” you can thank the man, and share with him the story of his influence on you. The beauty of this idea is that the postcards will be exhibited at the Courthouse Arts Gallery and shared with the entire community during the week of BDO. I’m pretty sure those stories will offer a heartfelt look into the caring male heart of the men of Barwon.

I love the idea of a “. . . celebration of what it means to be male.” Just hearing about another event to recognize and honor men for their important roles in the life of their community, families and relationships, gives MY masculine esteem a boost. I can only imagine the positive consequences for the men and community of Barwon.

Could you or an organization you belong to
sponsor a similar event?

For more information on Bloke’s Day Out, you can go to the BDO website, or visit the BDO Facebook page. You can also contact Peter Kelly, one of the organizers, by email. Peter says if any men reading this would like to contribute a postcard, he welcomes contributions from around the world. The format of submission can be a letter, picture, poster, certificate, video, anything that can either be mailed or emailed to him. If you're inclined, send him your entry prior to March, 16th, and your celebration of an influential man in your life will join the others on the wall.



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