Aboriginal Men's Health Expo, Dubbo | Luke S. Kennedy | Drug & Alcohol Speakers Sydney
Aboriginal Mens Health Expo, Dubbo, 2017.
In early 2017 I was contacted by Jay Forrester, MomenTIM Facilitator ‘Tomorrows Indigenous Men’, Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS).
Jay was one of the organisers for The Aboriginal Mens Health Expo held in Dubbo.
It was a week full of events, speakers, and workshops all designed around the health, and mental health, of Aboriginal males. The stats for health amongst Aboriginal men are alarming. It's something that needs addressing, events like these are there to not only directly help, but to also bring awareness to the cause.
I met another speaker, Sam Webb, at Sydney airport before boarding our flight to Dubbo. We hit it off instantly. Sam is the front foot and is making some huge changes. He's a cool guy that I enjoyed chatting with. Sam's organisation Livin, was set up after his best mate committed suicide. The passion in Sam's eyes is evident when speaking of his desire to reduce suicide in Australia. We boarding our flight and chatting about all things related to mental health.
Landing in Dubbo, Jay picked us up and we headed straight to ABC radio where Sam and I were interviewed.
Our accommodation was at an incredibly comfortable retreat style setting. Once settled in we got ready for a talk that was put together for two local families - one lost their son the week before to suicide, the other lost their son in an accident after he broke his neck doing a backflip into water. Speaking to the family and friend's was something I'll never forget. It was beautiful to see the support the community had for each other. We chatted for hours after the talk and listened to the families heartbreaking stories. It was a deeply moving night and I hope we helped.
The next day Jay, Sam, and myself woke early and headed to the gym. Our little crew was a fun one to be around. Arriving at the the location I was incredibly impressed!. Great facilities, adn a buzzing energy amongst those that were already there.
The day opened with traditional Aboriginal dance, which I loved watching! The first speaker was Jeremy Donovan. He started his talk by first playing the didgeridoo and native american flute... now that was an experience. The room was still and quiet.. the sound coming from these ancient instruments was incredibly spiritual. What a gifted man Jayden is. He then spoke about his journey through incredible hardship and the how he turned it all around by reconnecting with his culture and by setting goals that he committed to achieving. I loved his presentation.
Sam was up next. Going by how quiet the audience were, Sam's message was hitting home.
"If in doubt, speak out."
Sam's presence on stage is inspiring and uplifting.
"It ain't weak to speak."
I was up next and afterwards I was hit with many questions from the audience and organisers. The event was something special. I'm grateful for being able to travel Australia speaking at, and making changes, in different communities. I love what I do.
"Thanks Luke for coming, brother. There's a bunch of boys I've already spoken to that said your talk really hit home with them. Keep doing what you're doing." Expo Attendee.
Luke S. Kennedy, Motivational Speaker & Mental Health Advocate.
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