Much that Inspires

Might I say that we need more face to face conversations, whether around the camp fire or a round table. With more and more use of social media and abstracted relations there is a growing need to look into the eyes of those with whom we are sharing ideas. The project is a valuable reminder of the capacity of ideas exchanged at close quarters to inspire us and remind us as to the goodness that actually exists in the world. As Irish musician Paul Brady says in one of his songs “Your blue world is not my world”. That doesn’t mean there aren’t blue moments or that we shouldn’t be disappointed from time to time, only that there is much that can inspire us. Congratulations on a great project.

Phil Cleary

Co-presenter, first Good Man Conversation

Photo credit: James Button, by Amanda Piper

Continue the Conversation

On a rather chilly night around twenty or so men sat around a couple camp fires down by the bus shed on the Rupo property. A simple fare of meat, bread and beer was served as refreshments: no fancy veggies or any of that crap for us blokes. This was followed by a fireside chat lead by Bruno Lettieri where our guest speakers, John Birch and Paul Cleary, orated on the topic of what it is to be a good man. After hearing captivating stories of their respective backgrounds, challenges and observations, there seemed to be at least one clear message for us to take home: that many boys lack strong male role models who will speak up on important issues. Our speakers were lamenting the fact that the people in the best position to be good role models, our sporting stars, are generally unable to speak up for two main reasons; the system of drafting young boys and training them generally keeps players ignorant of important issues as their education becomes very narrow; and secondly, they are unable to speak out due to contractual and commercial obligations.

We finished with the challenge to, as best we can in our day to day lives, continue the conversation in some way, and to perhaps be mindful of the role models we are to the young men we encounter in our own lives. Personally, I am pleased that being a good role model to young men now is more about human rights, environmental issues, respect and appropriate attitudes and behaviour toward women rather than drinking, sport, fighting and being demeaning to women. I think we’ve made significant progress as human beings.

Dennis Berto

Attendee, first Good Man Conversation