Healthy Male Annual Report 2023

Conversation, connection, community

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Our values

Respect

We honour and value ourselves, each other and all those with whom we collaborate

Inclusion

We know that there is no such thing as an ‘average’ Australian man or boy. We respect the rich diversity of ages, cultures, languages and religions in our communities and the diversity of individuals within those communities. We acknowledge the diversity in our bodies, sex characteristics, sexualities and gender identities and consider the needs of all people who could benefit from our work

Knowledge

Our work and our information are grounded in the best available research evidence and expert opinion

Equity

We prioritise our efforts towards those who are most at risk of poor health outcomes in our communities

Empathy

We take a holistic, person-centred approach. We are curious, we listen and we seek to understand the experiences and perspectives of all those who we work with

From the Chair

A/Prof Douglas Lording AM

The health and welfare of men is vital to our community. The Treasurer, the Hon Jim Chalmers, wrote in the February edition of The Monthly, “Healthy economies rely on healthy people and communities”. Measures that enable our boys and men to live with sound mental and physical health are of paramount importance in their own right. However, it’s also clear that the health and wellbeing of our communities are also affected by the welfare of the men within them. The bottom line is that there is much work to be done to ensure that generations of Australian men can maintain optimal mental and physical health.

Our aim this year has been to continue to provide community and health professional education around an expanding range of relevant issues, advocating for boys and men, and trying to find a more sustainable funding model. We continue to work within our strategic plan, largely based around the National Men’s Health Strategy 2022-2030. Whilst there have been many successful outcomes, satisfactory funding remains elusive.

Once again, we have had our contract with the Australian Government rolled over for just one year, making forward planning and providing staff with certainty, problematic. Our staff at Healthy Male, including our CEO Simon von Saldern, all have to accept short-term contracts and I applaud them for the enthusiastic manner in which they undertake the work of Healthy Male in these difficult circumstances.

The organisation continues to flourish under Simon’s direction and continues to support health professionals and the community with a host of educational initiatives and strong advocacy. Our Men’s Health Week campaign around loneliness was a prime example of our approach. With information obtained from our What’s in the Way survey, it was clear that a surprising number of men of all ages experienced loneliness, and our widely viewed campaign issued a strong call to action.

One major step forward has been the pivotal role we have played in the establishment of the parliamentary Friends of Men’s Health group that met at Parliament House on May 31, 2023. Simon and I spoke at this meeting outlining the issues in the men’s health sector. We thank the co-chairs of the group, the Hon Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP (Member for Higgins) and the Hon Sam Birrell MP (Member for Nicholls) for their enthusiasm in forming the group. We were also grateful to the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler (Member for Port Adelaide and Hindmarsh), for his opening remarks and support of the event.

Our board continues to provide governance and advice, and it’s been good to be able to meet face-to-face several times this year. I’m grateful to all for their support and willingness to contribute. I would particularly like to thank Mark Bernhard for chairing the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee, and Prof Ben Smith for chairing our Management Committee. A major strength of Healthy Male is the many experts who volunteer their time and skill as members of our advisory groups and as Clinical Advisors. They play a critical role in our work, for which I am most appreciative.

This coming year will be important for the men’s health sector. To make inroads into the opportunities outlined within the National Strategy, a significant boost in funding and support will be required. We will be doing our best to ensure a more secure future for Healthy Male.

On a personal note, I will be stepping off the Board during this coming year. It’s been a privilege to be Chair of this important organisation, a position that I have greatly enjoyed. I will continue to take a keen interest in Healthy Male and help where I can.

Read more

Plus Paternal:

Talking to Dads

This year, Healthy Male took further strides with our Plus Paternal: A Focus on Fathers project, which advocates for a more inclusive approach to parenthood, expanding the traditional maternal and child health infrastructure to better engage fathers.

The initial phase of Plus Paternal was developed in response to the National Men's Health Strategy 2020-2030. We worked to:

  • Better understand the present-day circumstances for fathers in Australia, and

  • Identify opportunities to improve men's health and wellbeing

Our findings were documented in Plus Paternal: Case for Change, which calls for a fundamental shift in the way the health system views fathers and multifaceted systemic change to support them and their families.

After forming the Plus Paternal Network, which consists of organisations that are championing change, the next step was to develop the Talking to Dads Language Guide.

Plus Paternal: Talking to Dads

The Talking to Dads Language Guide provides health professionals with practical tips for improving their communication with fathers and other non-birthing parents, whether they're new to working with families or have been doing so for a long time. Our evidence-informed recommendations are based on well-established theories about communication, family systems, attachment and gendered stereotypes and norms.

Health professionals are uniquely placed to inspire fathers and other non-birthing parents to be engaged, confident, committed and equal parents. As the health system evolves from a 'mother-focused' to a more 'family-centred' approach, we all need to reflect on how we can create more inclusive experiences and environments for all parents.

Our suggestions for communicating with fathers across the perinatal period may appear obvious, or only subtly different to how health professionals would communicate with mothers.

However, small changes can make a significant difference to the way each parent engages, learns and views themselves, and to how they make informed choices about parenting or help-seeking. The words health professionals choose, the messages they give and the environments they create leave a lasting impact on all parents — mums, dads and partners.

Talking to Dads eLearning resource

We also developed an eLearning resource for healthcare professionals as part of the Talking to Dads project. The self-paced, online learning activity provides practical tips for improving healthcare professionals' communication with fathers and other non-birthing parents.

The Plus Paternal Network

These initiatives were developed with the support of the Plus Paternal Network — a collective of organisations and individuals who have formally endorsed the goals of the Case for Change. These include the Australian Association of Psychologists, the Australian Fatherhood Research Consortium, Dad's Group, Fertility Society of Australia, National Rural Health Alliance, Parents At Work and Red Nose Australia.

Men’s Health Awareness Ball

The Men’s Health Awareness Ball was established in 2016 to raise awareness about critical men’s health issues — ‘one ball at a time’ — and raise crucial funds for charities working in this space. This year, Healthy Male was thrilled to be one of the event’s charity partners and witness passionate individuals and organisations come together to support men’s wellbeing.

We were honoured to receive $60,000 from the generous donors, which will make a significant difference in our work, creating generations of healthy Australian men.

The Men’s Health Awareness Ball is the brainchild of Vik and Bhavisha Bhandari and is organised by Financial Reporting Specialists (FRS).

"The decision to have Healthy Male as one of this year’s charity partners goes back to a relationship that formed with the organisation a number of years ago, when Healthy Male was providing useful information to FRS to include in the ball’s giftpacks for attendees," says Vik Bhandari, Managing Director of FRS, "The information was of such high quality, so it made sense to eventually take Healthy Male on as an official charity partner."
"The other reason was, that it was important to us that our charities had a vision of where the money raised would be spent — the money raised for our charities can make a tangible difference to them and I know Healthy Male will put the money to great use for men and boys around Australia. We’re looking to further grow and nourish this relationship in the future as we prepare to host events in Melbourne as well as in Sydney. We would like Healthy Male to be a big part of that."
You can check out more pictures of this year’s ball here.

Engagement and resource analytics

Website

3,743,614
Pageviews
3,032,001
Unique users
3,244,938
Website sessions
28,390
Resource downloads
Locations in Australia
What are users looking at?

Social media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

YouTube and Vimeo

3,743,614
Pageviews
3,032,001
Unique users
3,244,938
Website sessions
28,390
Resource downloads

Hard copy resources

211
Orders placed
4,383
Resources distributed

Contact

467
1300 number calls
2,817
Emails

Men’s Health Week 2023

Exploring an emerging health crisis: Loneliness

Loneliness is a critical health issue of our time and appears to be getting worse — males living alone, especially those raising children, are the loneliest people in our country.

That’s why Healthy Male targeted loneliness for this year’s Men’s Health Week campaign. Using our nationally representative survey of 1,282 Australian men to guide us, we sought to educate those most highly affected with key tips on what an individual can do to recognise and address loneliness.

Our highly successful 2023 campaign aimed to:
Educate men and boys on the dangers of loneliness, how to combat it, how to spot it in others and the support services available
Expose misconceptions about loneliness and break down stigma
Explore some of the key statistics and facts
Explore how communities can play their part in fighting loneliness
Educate health professionals through informative articles, a new health condition page and a live webinar

Loneliness can affect anyone at any stage of their life. Our campaign encouraged men and boys all around Australia to check in on their own ‘social fitness’ and offered them knowledge and support should they need further help.

Key highlights of our campaign

Men’s Health Week landing page

34,843
Pageviews
5:06
Average time on page
8,190
Responses to the ‘Are you lonely?’ test
Social media
EDMs
Google ads
Media
117
Media mentions
37
Interviews
‘Australian males and loneliness’ webinar
575
Registrants
88%
CPD activity ‘entirely met’ expectations
80%
CPD activity ‘entirely met’ learning outcomes

Real stories

We share real, first-person stories from Australian men who are currently living with a health condition or have done so in the past because hearing from others who have been through it before can help men feel less isolated when dealing with health challenges.

We are grateful to the men who shared their stories with us and our community, to help raise awareness and make information and support more accessible for everyone.

Daniel

“Looking back now, it’s almost as if I lived the pregnancy through the eyes of my partner because I was never involved in much of it… my plea for anyone reading this who is involved with new parents is to treat the fathers with as much compassion and interest as the mothers. We aren’t some third wheel who just brings home the bacon at the end of a week — we should be viewed as an integral part of the whole pregnancy and birthing journey.”

Read more

John

“Men aren't good about talking about their bits. They're not good about talking about their prostate. They're not good at talking about their health. I think gay men are probably more aware — and those at risk of HIV or living with HIV — they’re pretty good at having three-monthly check-ups. But even my friends who are gay and had ‘prostate problems,’ I wasn't even aware they had prostate cancer. They kept it all so quiet and private.”

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Ashley

“We choose to live in inner-city Sydney in a very inclusive area and we've had an excellent, accepting experience of being gay dads. But I know that there are a lot of people that don't live in this kind of area, don't have the same level of acceptance, and don't feel comfortable walking down the street holding their husband's hand, for example, or being out at school as gay parents. There certainly is a lot of discrimination from the community still.”

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Niall

“I can confidently say the entire process was a lot less scary than I initially feared. No surgery is exactly fun, but my vasectomy was relatively painless and my recovery was faster than expected. I feel exactly the same as I did before the surgery, both physically and mentally. My advice to any men out there who think a vasectomy is the best option for them and their family, but are too scared or intimidated to go down that path — don’t be!”

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The Male

Healthy Male produces The Male magazine as another way to engage with men, boys, their partners and health professionals.

The magazine is a platform where we delve into current health issues in more detail and provide feature articles on men’s physical, mental and sexual health.

Published every six months, The Male features a dedicated theme that draws attention to important areas of men’s health. It’s explored in a range of articles, infographics, Real Stories and resources to help men and boys better understand issues that affect them and the men in their lives.

This year’s issues focused on:

Critical conversations
From the men’s health topics we don’t talk enough about, to how to effectively discuss important wellbeing developments with male patients
Loneliness
Why it’s a problem, how to combat it, how the community can play a part in helping people connect and how health professionals can help their patients through social prescribing

The Male also includes a dedicated section for health professionals, with topical research reviews, updates on industry developments, clinical case studies and professional development opportunities. A free printed copy of The Male is delivered to subscribers across Australia and is available online for both Australian and international readers.

Our photoshoot

New health condition pages

Our health condition pages support men and boys to make informed decisions about their health with the guidance of a doctor.

These pages help educate people about health conditions that may be affecting them or someone they know. The information is easy to understand and covers prevention, symptoms, causes, treatment options and questions to ask a doctor.

We regularly develop new health condition pages and update the evidence for existing ones. This year we published two new additions targeting important health issues for men and boys:

Engaging with health professionals

From the Medical Director

Prof Robert McLachlan AM, FRACP, PhD

Despite the complex challenges facing Australian men and their wellbeing, Healthy Male has continued to make significant strides to change their health outcomes for the better, now and well into the future. From collaborating on transformative research projects to expanding our training and education offering — we have strived to improve the healthcare system and support the tireless efforts of those who work within it, to ensure men and boys receive best-practice, evidence-based care across the country.

Education and training

In 2022-23, we have connected with healthcare professionals through a range of important pathways. Our release of a new clinical summary guide on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) provides health practitioners with the critical information they require to identify and treat this debilitating condition.

We continue to invest in accredited training activities for health practitioners to improve male health care across diverse disciplines and this year we added two new eLearning courses to our suite. Male factor infertility: A training program for assisted reproductive technology specialists, is a critical resource to help better identify and manage male factor infertility. Our new Plus Paternal: Talking to Dads eLearning activity offers practical tips and examples for improving communication with fathers and other non-birthing parents, for the benefit of the whole family.

We also created six live and on-demand webinars, which saw a significant turnout from health professionals ranging from nurse practitioners to psychologists. Our topics included important issues such as loneliness, healthy ageing, sexually transmitted infections, sexual dysfunction, male fertility and preconception health. These webinars were hosted live on the Medcast eLearning platform and continue to be accessed on-demand.

Research

Healthy Male has continued to contribute its expertise to a range of important research projects that impact the wellbeing of Australian men and boys. These include Male Infertility across the Lifetime (MRFF) — assessing nearly 100 clinical recommendations relating to male infertility to establish a suitable resource for Australian clinicians — and Prostate Cancer Survivorship Essentials (NHMRC) —recruiting participants for a hybrid trial of a telehealth nurse-led survivorship care intervention for men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. 

We also conducted 10 reviews of men’s health research to explore and share relevant insights for anyone with an interest in this field and contributed to two important academic publications about male infertility.

None of this could have been achieved without the support of our advisory groups including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Reference Group

  • General Practitioner Advisory Group

  • Health Practitioner Advisory Group

  • Scientific and Clinical Committee

Healthy Male would not be able to work towards its mission if it were not for the knowledge and extensive experience of the members of these groups. We are very grateful for their ongoing contributions amidst their own busy schedules.

As the Medical Director of Healthy Male, I applaud the many health practitioners who take the time to learn more about the ongoing health needs of Australian males.

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Advisory groups

Advisory group highlights from the year:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Reference Group

Uncle Dr Mick Adams BSW, BAppSc, MA, PhD (Chair)

Senior Research Fellow, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Edith Cowan University

Mr Jason Bonson GDipIndigHP

Research and Engagement Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health and Wellbeing, Flinders University

Mr Karl Briscoe GCertPubSecMgmt, MPH

CEO, National Association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners

Mr Jack Bulman BHlthSc

CEO, Mibbinbah Spirit Healing

A/Prof Dr Kootsy Canuto BA, BA (Hons), PhD

Associate Professor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health and Wellbeing, Flinders University

Mr Anthony Castro

A/District Manager, Population & Primary Health Care Outreach, Top End Regional Health Services, NT Health

Dr Keith Gleeson BMed, BAppSc, FRACGP

General Practitioner, Ochre Medical Centre Boggabri; Board Director, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association; Board Director, Healthy Male

Dr Jacob Prehn BSocSc, MSW, PhD

Associate Dean Indigenous and Senior Lecturer, Indigenous Fellow, University of Tasmania

Dr Mark Wenitong BMed

Public Health Medical Advisor, Apunipima Cape York Health Council; General Practitioner

General Practice Advisory Group

Dr Geoff Broomhall GP (resigned October 2022)

General Practitioner

Dr Zaina Cheema GP (resigned Sept 2022)

General Practitioner

Dr Glenn Duns MDCM, MPH, FRACGP (Chair)

General Practitioner

Dr Ryan Holmes GP (resigned December 2022)

General Practitioner

Dr James Navin Richards MBBS, FRACGP

General Practitioner

Dr Alan Wright (resigned November 2022)

General Practitioner

Dr Rhys Young GP (resigned March 2023)

General Practitioner

We wish to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the retiring group members.

Health Practitioner Advisory Group

Mr John Brown JP, GDipHlthSc, FACN, RN

Primary Health Care Nurse

Mr Chris Eldridge APD/APN/AccSD

Dietitian, Clinical Dietitian and Sports Dietitian

Mr Ryan Hon BSci(Hons), DPT, MMSKPT, APAM

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Honorary Adjunct Research Officer

Mr Luke Mitchell BNurs, MPH (Sexual Health)

Prostate Nurse, Nurse Practitioner Candidate

Mr Tony Lane RN

Director of Nursing

Mr Aaron Richardson BNurs, GCertCM, GCertSTWM

Clinical Coordinator

Mr Jacob Roberts RN, Grad Cert (Emerg), ANI

Clinical Nurse-Hyperbaric and Diving Medical Unit (RHH), Authorised Nurse Immuniser, Registered Nurse-Australian Antarctic Division

Mr Faisal Sabih BHlthSc, GDip HP, GCert DE, GCertPCan

Primary Health Care Nurse

Ms Helen Storer DipCom&ChldHlth, DipPM

Practice Manager, Practice Nurse

Mr Mark Thompson BSc, GCertSexHlth

Registered Nurse Div. 1

Mr Michael Whitehead BNurs, MClinNurs (Chair)

Men's Health Clinical Nurse Consultant

Advisory group restructure 2023

Healthy Male has been supported by Health Professional Advisory and Reference Groups since 2011.  The Groups were previously structured by clinical discipline with the focus being general practitioners and nurses. In 2021, the decision was made to widen the representation and include allied health professionals.

As the healthcare sector is increasingly focused on interdisciplinary care, and there has been associated changes to service delivery and funding models, we have implemented a new structure for January 2023.

We welcome our new Chairs — Dr Glenn Duns (General Practice Advisory Group) and Michael Whitehead (Health Practitioner Advisory Group), who are joining Dr Mick Adams (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Reference Group).

Health Practitioner Advisory Group

The Health Practitioner Advisory Group will support the work of Healthy Male. This group of health practitioners includes nursing, allied health and medical practitioners and researchers who support the translation of men’s health research into practice. Members of this advisory group will have professional interest in men’s wellbeing in settings including community health, private health, hospital and out-patients, general practice and other specialist clinics and services.

General Practice Advisory Group

The Health Practitioner and General Practice Advisory Groups have supported Healthy Male in the implementation of two successful webinar series and the development and review of eLearning activities, in addition to the promotion and dissemination of other Healthy Male activities (e.g. Health Professional Survey in 2022).

This year, we farewelled long-standing members and outgoing Chairs: Dr Geoff Broomhall and Ms Dell Lovett.

Dr Broomhall has been a tremendous advocate of male health and Healthy Male for more than 10 years. Dr Broomhall’s contributions include education advice, development and review; engagement in primary health networks; and advice and advocacy for general practice, medical practice and beyond.

Ms Lovett was part of the founding group for nurses and has provided strong leadership and support for nursing in male health over the course of her career. In her time as Chair and member of the Healthy Male advisory group, Ms Lovett has provided great mentorship, numerous presentations and education sessions, developed and reviewed course content and supported and advocated for our organisation as it has grown and evolved.

We thank both Ms Lovett and Dr Broomhall for their loyal support and generous contributions over the years and wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

Expert advisors

Expert advisors include the committee and advisory group members. They work with Healthy Male to ensure the very best evidence-based information is available to the public.

They ensure our content reflects current best-practice approaches and provide guidance on the key issues relating to community and professional education, information development and research.

Dr Anna Watts MBBS, FRACP

Endocrinologist, Ballarat Health Services

Prof James Smith BAppSc Hons (Hum Movt), BEd, GCPH, PhD, FAHPA

Father Frank Flynn Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research Director, Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing – Northern Territory College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University

Dr Ie-Wen Sim MBBS (Hons), BMedSci, FRACP

Consultant Endocrinologist and Andrologist, Monash IVF, Monash Health, Western Health, Eastern Health, Epworth HealthCare Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Monash University Lecturer, Melbourne Medical School, Melbourne University

Dr Stella Sarlos MBBS FRACP

Endocrinologist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Peninsula Endocrine Associates

Mr Michael Pope BSc

Clinical & Community Resources Officer, Hunter New England & Central Coast Primary Health Network

Prof Moira O’Bryan PhD

Dean of Science, University of Melbourne

Dr Jo Milios BASc PhD

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Complete Physiotherapy Research Fellow, University of Western Australia

Dr Michael Lowy MBBS FAChSHM MPsychMed

Sexual Health Physician, Sydney Men’s Health

Mr Darren Katz MBBS, FRACS

Urologist and Medical Director, Men’s Health Melbourne

Prof Dragan Ilic BSc, Grad Dip Rep Sci, MSc, PhD

Head of Medical Education Research, Monash University

Mr Richard Henshaw BSc MPH MHR

Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Health Promotion Officer, Queensland Health PhD candidate and Research Officer, Black Dog Institute, University of Queensland

Prof Roger Hart MBBS MD FRANZCOG FRCOG CREI

Reproductive Medicine Specialist, University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia

A/Prof Jeremy Grummet MBBS, MS, FRACS

Urologist, Alfred Health and Australian Urology Associates Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Monash University

Prof Mathis Grossmann MD, PhD, FRACP

Consultant Endocrinologist and Head of Andrology, Austin Health Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne

Dr Scott Griffiths PhD

MRFF Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Mr David Gray

Urology Nurse Practitioner, Epworth HealthCare

Mr Teddy Cook

Vice President, AusPATH Director, Community Health, ACON

A/Prof Roger Cook BSc (Hons), MEd, PhD

Department of Psychological Science, Swinburne University of Technology

A/Prof Eric Chung MBBS, FRACS

Urologist, University of Queensland

Dr Sarah Catford MBBS (Hons) BBiomedSc FRACP PhD

Endocrinologist and Andrologist, Alfred Health, Monash Health, Royal Women’s Hospital Research Fellow, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Mr Christopher Brett-Renes

Psychosexual Therapist

Prof John Aitken PhD, ScD, FRSE, FRSN, FAHMS, FAA, BSC, MSC

Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Newcastle

Board of Directors

The Healthy Male Board of Directors is made up of key business, medical and community leaders. These Board Directors guide the CEO, Medical Director and Management Group in their roles to ensure that Healthy Male promotes health and wellbeing in all aspects of life, using an evidence-based approach that encompasses andrology and associated chronic and related health issues.

Emeritus Prof David de Kretser

Patron

AC, MBBS, MD, FRACP, FAA, FTSE, LLD, LLD (Hon) FRACOG (Hon), FRCOG (Hon), FRACGP (Hon)

David has a passion for men’s health that can be traced back to his early studies. In 2000 he founded Andrology Australia (Healthy Male) as he recognised the lack of information, training, and research on male reproductive health. After taking on the position as 28th Governor of Victoria from 2006 to 2011, David returned to the Board of Directors to continue his valuable work. David is internationally recognised for his lasting and invaluable contribution to public health as a researcher and leader in the field of reproductive biology. His broader service to the Victorian and Australian community was also been recognised with a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2006.

A/Prof Doug Lording

Chair

AM MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP

A retired endocrinologist and andrologist, Doug has 40 years practice centred experience around sexual medicine and testosterone use in men, and he was involved in trials of many medications used in these conditions. Doug worked at Cabrini Health from 1979, including a 15-year tenure as Medical Director, during which time he set up an education and research institute and initiated university departments in the private hospital sector. He is the founder and President of Men of Malvern Inc., a charity dedicated to supporting the health and welfare of men, chairs the Scotch College Foundation and is a school Council Member. In June 2020, Doug was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to medicine, endocrinology and andrology, and the community.

Prof Robert McLachlan

Medical Director

AM, FRACP, PhD

Rob is a consultant andrologist and has been integral to Healthy Male from its inception as Andrology Australia in 2000. He has been Medical Director since 2006. In November 2020, Rob was awarded Life Membership of the Endocrine Society of Australia. Over Rob’s 30 year career, he has been passionate about educating doctors and the community about male reproductive health, particularly to normalise discussion of sensitive topics and to encourage men to seek help from their GPs. He continues to develop evidence-based learning materials and tools needed for better health outcomes and to train the next generation of specialists in the field. His research interests include male reproductive hormones, testosterone therapy, and male infertility. A past president of the Fertility Society of Australia, he has a strong connection in fertility practice and has raised the profile of infertile men involved in IVF. Rob has received several awards for his clinical research and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2016 for services to medicine in the field of endocrinology.

Mr Simon von Saldern

CEO & Director

Health has been a common theme throughout Simon’s career, accounting for almost 20 years of his professional life — from fundraising to public relations, marketing, and management. Simon is interested in the health industry because of its challenging nature and the fact that it is an area that is always changing. When taking on the role of Healthy Male CEO in early 2017, Simon made it his goal to make a sustainable difference in the area of male health by ensuring that men have the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Simon strives for Healthy Male to continue on its path of being a change-making organisation by breaking down the societal stigmas that exist around male health and the idea of men seeking help. Simon’s experience in various leadership roles throughout his career means he is exceptional at bringing different groups and organisations together for the same outcome.

Mr Mark Bernhard

Board Director

Mark is a globally experienced executive who has worked throughout Asia, Europe, the US, and Australia. Mark brings expertise in corporate policies, procedures, risk management and financial management. Mark has attained compelling finance skills throughout his career as both an executive director and non-executive director. Mark’s previous roles include Non-Executive Director of SAIC – General Motors, Non-Executive Director of Holden Special Vehicles, CFO and ExCom Member of Shanghai General Motors, Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, CFO of General Motors China and Australia, and CEO/Managing Director of General Motors Australia. Mark was awarded the Silver Magnolia Award in 2015 from the Shanghai Municipal Government. He also received the 2014 Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance. Mark has a passion for diversity. Between 2017-2018, he was a member of Male Champions of Change, a coalition of male leaders who step up beside women to achieve gender equality. He was also a key player in driving Holden towards achieving Workplace Gender Equality citation status. Today, Mark is a Non-Executive Director of Carbon Revolution, an Australian company that designs and manufactures advanced technology wheels.

Ms Chris Enright

Board Director

BAppSc, MBA, MHHS, GAICD

Chris has almost 20 years’ experience working in public health, governance and organisational structure. She is the General Manager, Victoria for The Heart Foundation and has worked with some of the most well-known health organisations in Australia including the Cancer Council, the Red Cross, and Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. Chris is also a business coach and mentor with Global Sisters, facilitating entrepreneurial opportunities, and has co-authored papers published in the Australian Journal of Public Health and Australian Family Physician. She was a judge in the 2019 Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Chris brings a business-minded approach to the Board of Directors. She would like to see the approach to men’s health change, a reduction in blame culture and a more preventative strategy that would take both a clinical and social model into account.

Dr Keith Gleeson

Board Director

FRACGP, BMed, BAppSc

Keith is a Biripi/Daingutti GP and has committed most of his medical working life to the Aboriginal Community Control Health Sector, working in remote, rural and urban regions of Australia. Today, Keith works as a locum doctor travelling around Australia. He is passionate about improving the health outcomes of all males in a holistic way. Keith is a Board Member of the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association and the General Practice Training Advisory Committee. He contributed to the publication of the articles Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Prostate Cancer Healthcare and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in General Practice: An introduction to teaching and learning. Through his involvement with Healthy Male, Keith would like to see the Australian Government addressing the ‘Closing the Gap’ targets and improving indigenous men’s health outcomes. Keith brings focus and expertise in indigenous health and primary health care as well as geographical knowledge of the issues men are presented in rural and remote regions of Australia.

Mr David Magill

Board Director

David is an experienced government relations and public policy executive. Over 25 years, his diverse career has seen him work across the energy, automotive and mining industries, farming and politics, fostering a significant understanding of rural, remote and city communities. David has lived and worked throughout Western Australia in farming, as an on-site and FIFO geologist and for rural and city Federal MPs and a senator. He then worked in the corporate sector for Peter Holmes à Court in Sydney and as a director of GM Holden in Melbourne and member of General Motors’ global public policy team. David is a senior manager for government and community relations at AGL Energy. David has extensive experience working with Federal and State governments and is passionate about good public policy, government advocacy and an active corporate sector making positive change in the community. David is a strong supporter of diversity and equality in workplaces. With his broad experience, David is helping Healthy Male to make a positive difference for men and their families throughout Australia, in line with the Australian Government’s National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.

Prof Rob Newton

Board Director

DSc, PhD, MHMS, BHMS(Hons), AEP, FACSM, FESSA

Over 40 years of working in academia and human performance has seen Rob develop a strong interest in men’s health, particularly during his time at Penn University in the US where he completed research in the decline of strength and function in older men. During his career, he has published over 800 papers — including 400 referred scientific journals — two books and 16 book chapters. As Professor of Exercise Medicine at Edith Cowan University, Rob is researching exercise medicine as neoadjuvant, adjuvant and rehabilitative cancer therapy to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment and enhance cancer patient’s quality of life. In 2019, Robert was awarded Western Australia Scientist of the Year for his research and advocacy for exercise as an essential medicine for cancer patients and in 2020, was awarded a fellowship from the American College of Sports Medicine. Working with the National Committee for Exercise as Medicine and the ARC Health and Medical Committee, Robert brings expertise and a vital understanding of health issues that older men face, particularly the physiological changes that occur as men age, to Healthy Male.

Prof Ben Smith

Board Director

MPH, PhD

Ben is passionate about championing the issue of men’s health and bringing it into civic discussion, as well as developing effective strategies to reduce preventable illness among men. Ben is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney and has spent 20 years working in academia. He has authored over 150 publications, and his research is oriented towards chronic disease prevention, healthy ageing and addressing the health impacts of social isolation and disadvantage. Reflecting his commitment to effective public health policy and programs, Ben has worked extensively with federal and state health departments, and with non-government agencies including VicHealth, Musculoskeletal Australia and Alzheimer’ Australia, among others. Internationally, he has served as a consultant for UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. Ben currently works with the End Loneliness Together coalition, a leading organisation that addresses social isolation and loneliness. He is also part of the leadership team of the Prevention Research Collaboration at the University of Sydney. In 2014, Ben was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Health Promotion Association in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to health promotion in Australia.

Audit and Risk Committee

Reporting to the Board, the Committee met four times during the financial year and comprises the following Board members.

Mr Mark Bernhard (Chair)

Non-Executive Director of Carbon Revolution

A/Prof Doug Lording AM, MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP

Chair Scotch College Foundation Board Chair, Healthy Male Board Founder & President, Men of Malvern

Ms Chris Enright BAppSc, MBA, MHHS, GAICD

General Manager Victoria, Heart Foundation

Prof Rob McLachlan AM, FRACP, PhD

Deputy Head of Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hudson Institute of Medical Research Medical Director, Healthy Male

Mr Simon von Saldern

CEO, Healthy Male

Management Committee

This Committee provides expert advice and input to the CEO on a range of projects and issues affecting Healthy Male.

Prof Ben Smith MPH, PhD (Chair)

Professor of Public Health (Prevention and Health Promotion), The University of Sydney Board Director, Healthy Male

A/Prof Doug Lording AM, MBBS, BMedSci, FRACP

Chair Scotch College Foundation Board Chair, Healthy Male Board Founder & President, Men of Malvern

Prof Bernie Marshall BSc(Hons), DipEd, MPH

Professorial Fellow Deakin University

Prof Rob McLachlan AM, FRACP, PhD

Deputy Head of Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism Hudson Institute of Medical Research,

Scientific and Clinical Committee

Healthy Male’s Scientific and Clinical Committee comprises some of Australia’s pre-eminent experts in men’s health. The committee provides scientific guidance and evidence to inform the clinical direction of Healthy Male. They work with Healthy Male to ensure the very best evidence-based information is available to the public.

Meetings of the Scientific and Clinical Committee have changed from a regular quarterly schedule to ad hoc, to make more efficient use of members’ time. Intervening activities falling under the remit of the committee are undertaken by the Health Content Manager, in consultation with the Medical Director and individual committee members, as necessary.

We wish to sincerely thank Prof Suzanne Chambers AO for her time on the committee after she stepped down in October 2022.

Prof Robert McLachlan AM, FRACP, PhD (Chair)

Medical Director, Healthy Male Director of Clinical Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research Consultant Andrologist, Monash IVF group Professor of Andrology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University

Dr Gideon Blecher MBBS (Hons), FRACS

Consultant Urologist, Uroandrologist and surgeon, Alfred Health & Monash Health Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Surgery, Monash University

Prof Suzanne Chambers AO PhD, MAPS (retired October 2022)

Dean of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University

Prof David Handelsman AO, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRAHMS

Director, ANZAC Research Institute Professor of Medicine, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney

A/Prof Tim Moss BSc (Hons) PhD

Health Content Manager, Healthy Male Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University

Dr James Navin Richards MBBS, FRACGP

General Practitioner, Watto Parrunna Primary Health

Mr Terry Slevin BPsych, MPH, FPHAA

CEO, Australian Public Health Association Adjunct Professor, College of Health and Medicine, ANU Adjunct Professor, School of Psychology, Curtin University

A/Prof Ian Vela BSc, MBBS, PhD, FRACS

Consultant Urologic Oncologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital Senior Research Fellow, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre Senior Lecturer and Examiner, School of Medicine, University of Queensland

Prof Gary Wittert MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP

Director (SA Division), Freemasons Centre for Male Health & Wellbeing Head, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide

Special projects

From the conditions they face, to the healthcare system they navigate, to the policies that shapes their wellbeing — Healthy Male has a unique insight into the state of men’s health in Australia. This gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other organisations and offer our evidence-based expertise on a range of special projects.

Advocacy

Advocacy is an important part of Healthy Male’s mission to improve the health outcomes for men and boys. We take a diverse range of approaches to achieving a stronger focus on men’s wellbeing in Australia, from connecting with policymakers to collaborating on legislation. We’re proud to see tangible results from our work towards recognition, inclusion and change across the health sector. 

Parliamentary Friends of Men’s Health Group

Bipartisan support for male health is critical, which is why we were so passionate about the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Male Health Group.

The Group connected for the first time in Canberra on 31 May 2023, and the meeting provided an exceptional opportunity to highlight the challenges facing the wellbeing of Australian boys and men, and how we can approach them, to all sides of politics.

It could not have occurred without the drive and support of the Hon. Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP, Member for Higgins, and co-chair of the group, who worked tirelessly to make this group a reality. Our thanks also go to the Hon. Mr Sam Birrell, MP, Member for Nicholls, for agreeing to be the other co-chair.

We are eager to continue working with the group to ensure decision-makers in Canberra understand and address the critical health concerns of Australian boys and men, for the benefit of our whole community.

PBS support for Ovidrel use in males

Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is used to treat hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Since the leading formulation, Pregnyl, was withdrawn from the Australian market in mid-2021, the most convenient alternative has been the Ovidrel multidose pen system. This is widely used in female fertility treatment and was subsidised for use in women and children. Although Pregnyl received Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidy for specific use in males, Ovidrel did not.

Our advocacy efforts, with the support of the Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA), the Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG), Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ), and the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), has resulted in PBS support for the use of Ovidrel in males.

Submissions to Government

This year, we have worked on several submissions to governments at the Federal and State level to provide critical insights on men’s health and shape policy-making in this important area.

Our advocacy efforts, with the support of the Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA), the Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG), Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ), and the Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), has resulted in PBS support for the use of Ovidrel in males.

Federal Government

National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equity (Prime Minister and Cabinet, April 2023)
A Roundtable discussion leading up to this consultation acknowledged that the solution to achieving gender equality does not lie in the exclusion or marginalisation of men. However, the process of developing the National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality, and the Discussion Paper itself, did just that. We suggested that a process run by the Office for Women, in consultation with the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and reporting to the Minister for Women, does not include sufficient involvement of men and others of diverse genders (or their representatives) to properly address gender inequality. Underrepresentation is illustrated by only two instances in the Discussion Paper where LGBTIQ+ people were mentioned, along with other minority and marginalised groups. There were occasional mentions of inequalities between groups of women, but intersectionality was largely overlooked. Circumstances in which men are disadvantaged compared to women were either rationalised (e.g., underemployment), dismissed (e.g., secondary education completion, tertiary qualification) or incorrect (e.g., health). We believe that this will prevent the development of an effective strategy that will “make Australia one of the best countries in the world for equality between women and men”.
Early Years Strategy (Department of Social Services, March 2023)
In this submission, we emphasised the need to include pre-conception health of both men and women in the strategy. The evidence clearly shows our health system does not proactively engage men as they start and care for a family. This reduces their ability to make positive contributions to the development of their children.
Universal Access to Reproductive Healthcare (Senate Inquiry, October 2022)
The key message of our submission was that universal reproductive health care should be viewed through a family-centred, father-inclusive lens. We were concerned that the scope of the Inquiry, with no mention of fathers or other non-birthing parents, limited its ability to influence the development of best-practice health care.
Measuring What Matters (Treasury consultation, January 2023)
We made 10 recommendations for Australia's first national wellbeing framework that will track our progress towards a more healthy, secure, sustainable, cohesive and prosperous Australia. Our key advice is that we must monitor the wellbeing of all Australians, particularly that of priority population groups and how they are affected by the social determinants of health, to ensure we have a robust economy.

State Government

Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (South Australia Department of Health and Wellbeing, March 2023)

Financial summary

Staffing Healthy Male to inform, produce and distribute our work through increasingly digital platforms, continues to be a major area of expenditure. Without the team behind Healthy Male, we could not do the work that we do.

The organisational focus is to provide health education for men and health professionals, as well as health promotion campaigns to engage and empower men to improve their wellbeing. Everything that we do is targeted at these outcomes.

Therefore, we present our financial summary to illustrate how our spending is allocated in these two critical areas. In FY23, it was almost a 50/50 even split between the two.

While the majority of Healthy Male’s income is sourced via the Male Health Initiative, we have made inroads into other project income sources with significant donations being sourced from the Men of Malvern, the Men’s Health Awareness Ball and involvement in a number of research projects.

Health education

A continued focus on health professional education and information resources ensured that webinars, education modules, clinical resources and research reviews were produced over the year.

Conference attendance and presentations continue to occur, however, these are increasingly in a digital format.

Health promotion

Promotional activities cover a wide range of outputs for Healthy Male. With the increased focus on coverage via digital platforms, we produced more social media content than ever before.

Men’s Health Week was once again a major focus and a great success, producing valuable content on loneliness and social isolation, that continues to gain interest.

Unfortunately, due to the financial pressures being felt across the country, we printed the final copy of the much-loved The Male magazine. With distribution cost increases we could no longer justify its existence, even though we know it will be missed.

The challenge for Healthy Male in 23/24 will be to continue to maintain our high quality of evidence-based information in a financial climate that sees us facing increasing costs, increasing need for our work, stagnant Government funding and the need to adapt to provide men’s health resources and information that has a beneficial financial outcome so that we can continue to be true to our mission.

2022-2023 Expenditure allocation