12 November 2018

A personal experience decades ago triggered an interest in men’s mental health issues that has led to UQ researcher Professor Geoffrey Goodhill organising an event to mark International Men’s Day 2018 in Brisbane.

Professor Goodhill said he hoped the event would promote discussion about how society could move towards greater gender equality.

“Quite a large shift in societal attitudes is needed to address a broad range of issues affecting men,” he said.

“We have made fantastic progress over the past few decades in breaking down stereotypes about what role women should play in society, but there has been relatively little progress in addressing stereotypes about men.”

Family law and child protection expert and UQ Law Dean Professor Patrick Parkinson and psychologist and men’s mental health specialist Dr Clive Williams will each speak about difficulties faced by many men and will then take part in a panel discussion.

“Most men absorb early in life the message that to be a man means to be strong and self-reliant and not show weakness,” Professor Goodhill said.

“There is little space in society for talking about issues specifically relating to men.

“I see International Men’s Day as an attempt to try to address this.

“I think there’s sometimes a perception that talking about men’s issues necessarily implies a lack of sympathy for women’s issues, but this is not true.

“I think this discussion is very important for promoting gender equality.”

He said he hoped those interested in family law or men’s mental health would participate.

International Men’s Day started more than 20 years ago and is celebrated in more than 60 countries.

The 19 November event at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus is open to the public.

Details are available at http://bimd.org/.

Media: Professor Geoffrey Goodhill,  g.goodhill@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 6431, UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 7086.