A MEN’S health summit in Hope Vale has been hailed a success after it brought together blokes from across Cape York to discuss local issues in their communities and to become better role models.
The event was largely focused on men’s health, with four nights of camping giving them an opportunity to relax and connect with other men from across the Cape in a remote location free of many of the distractions of daily life.
The summit was attended by men from Hope Vale, Mapoon, Napranum, Aurukun, Mossman Gorge and Wujal Wujal.
The theme was “Growing together as fathers, providers and protectors”, with guest speakers, discussions and activities centred around men’s business and how to be the best men they can be for their families and communities.
The program was structured to present different topics to promote conversation throughout the day and into the night.
“We planned to have all the heavy conversations in the morning and then have the cultural activities after lunch so the guys could get out and explore the country,” said the summit’s project officer and local Traditional Owner, Kurtis Gibson.
After dinner each day, the men retired to their camp groups to discuss the day, with yarning guided by guest speakers and Apunipima staff.
“The nightly yarning sessions were a brilliant strategy by Apunipima because being around the campfire is not only healing, it’s about connection,” said guest speaker Randall Ross.
“When you’re sitting around the fire you feel the connection, not only back to country but to one another.”
MC for the week was FNQ comedian Sean Choolburra, who kept everyone laughing.
Other speakers included BBM Cairns’ National TalkBlack radio host Trevor Tim, former NRL players Davin Crompton and Brenton Bowen, and others including academics, motivational speakers and health industry professionals.
The speakers shared the microphone with Apunipima staff, who presented on various men’s health topics to promote the services they have in community.