Top Blokes Foundation

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The Top Blokes Foundation is an Australian-based non-government organisation that addresses young men’s health outcomes and provides social education programs to young men and boys. Founded in 2006, Top Blokes Foundation has worked with Australian young men to improve their behaviour, wellbeing and their relationship with schools and communities.

Non-governmental organization organization that is neither a part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business

Non-governmental organizations - commonly referred to as NGOs, are usually non-profit independent of governments, many are active in humanitarian or social areas, however, NGOs can also be as lobby groups for corporations, such as the World Economic Forum. NGOs is also sometimes expanded to nongovernmental or nongovernment organizations. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services, benefits, and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is normally used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries. The explanation of the term by is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level, but then goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.

Mens health

Men's health refers to a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, as experienced by men, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Differences in men's health compared to women's can be attributed to biological factors, behavioural factors and social factors. These often relate to structures such as male genitalia or to conditions caused by hormones specific to, or most notable in, males. Some conditions that affect both men and women, such as cancer, and injury, also manifest differently in men. Men's health issues also include medical situations in which men face problems not directly related to their biology, such as gender-differentiated access to medical treatment and other socioeconomic factors. Some diseases that affect both genders are statistically more common in men. Outside Sub-Saharan Africa, men are at greater risk of HIV/AIDS – a phenomenon associated with unsafe sexual activity that is often nonconsensual.

School Institution for the education of students by teachers

A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university, but these higher education institutions are usually not compulsory.



Top Blokes Foundation Youth Workers Top Blokes Foundation Youth Workers.jpg
Top Blokes Foundation Youth Workers

Top Blokes Foundation was founded in Wollongong, New South Wales, by Melissa Abu-Gazaleh in 2006. After receiving a youth change grant from Foundation for Young Australians, the Top Blokes Foundation was registered as a non-government organisation and began hosting award programs to promote volunteerism by young males.

In 2012, the Top Blokes Foundation established mentoring programs to address the health outcomes of young males and delivers long-term mentoring programs in schools and communities.

In 2015, the Top Blokes Foundation joined the Safe Schools Coalition – a national campaign to reduce homophobia and transphobia in Australian schools [1] and later that year, Abu-Gazaleh was awarded NSW Young Australian of the Year [2] and Illawarra Entrepreneur of the Year. [3]

Safe Schools Coalition Australia

The Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) was a national network of organisations working with school communities to create safer and more inclusive environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear and ignorance, and is often related to religious beliefs.

Transphobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions toward transgender or transsexual people, or toward transsexuality. Transphobia can include fear, aversion, hatred, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to society's gender expectation. It is often expressed alongside homophobic views and hence is often considered an aspect of homophobia. Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination, similar to racism and sexism, and transgender people of color are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once.

Addressing Young Male Health Issues

The below statistics underpins the Top Blokes Foundation rationale for focusing on young male health:

Suicide is the leading cause of death for males 15–24 years; [4]

Suicide Intentional act of causing ones own death

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse—including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines—are risk factors. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, relationship problems such as breakups, or bullying. Those who have previously attempted suicide are at a higher risk for future attempts. Effective suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide—such as firearms, drugs, and poisons; treating mental disorders and substance misuse; careful media reporting about suicide; and improving economic conditions. Even though crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectiveness.

• One in four teenagers have experienced an unwanted sexual encounter; [5]

Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Because it is a broad term, which has varied over time, it lacks a precise definition. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the human reproductive functions, including the human sexual response cycle. Someone's sexual orientation is their pattern of sexual interest in the opposite or same sex. Physical and emotional aspects of sexuality include bonds between individuals that are expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of love, trust, and care. Social aspects deal with the effects of human society on one's sexuality, while spirituality concerns an individual's spiritual connection with others. Sexuality also affects and is affected by cultural, political, legal, philosophical, moral, ethical, and religious aspects of life.

• 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25; [6]

Mental health Describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder

Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others." The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health".

• Young men are three times more likely to die in an accident than young women [7]

• The average age young men view pornographic material is 11 years old; [8]

• 90 lives were lost to one punch assaults between 2000 and 2013. [9]

Mission and Programs

The Top Blokes Foundation's mission is to foster the inclusion, build the resilience and ensure the well-being of Australian young males. [10] The foundation aims to achieve this mission through four core programs.

Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program

A 16-week boys mentoring program delivered by Youth Workers in schools for boys aged 14–17. This program was developed in 2011 to address the growing trend of negative risk taking and antisocial behaviours often associated with young men. [11] Topics this program addresses includes:

Alcohol and Other Drugs;

Mental Health;

Sexting and Online Behaviour;

Anger management;


Leadership. [12]

Building Blokes

An 8-week mentoring program for young males who experience unemployment and other social barriers to achieving health. The program allows men who participate to volunteer off their unpaid fines with the NSW Office of State Revenue.

Public Education

This program provides education to the community on issues impacting young male health.

These presentations for parents, teachers, educators and young people utilises current research, Top Blokes Foundation experiences, program evaluations and case studies to educate and empower the audience through presentations and interactive workshops.

National Boy's Health Forum

This annual forum is the Top Blokes Foundation's key advocacy platform and features key researchers, practitioners and advocates who present on emerging social issues affecting young males health and well-being. The 2015 National Health Forum featured speakers including His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, [13] Dr Jo River, Melissa Abu-Gazaleh and Top Blokes Foundation Youth Ambassadors. [14]

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  1. 1 Foundation For Young Australians.(2015). Our Supporters. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  2. "Australian of the Year Honour Roll".
  3. "Illawarra Business Award Winners".
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.(2012) Leading causes of death. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  5. State Government of Victoria.(2015) Teenagers - sexual behaviour. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  6. Hunter Institute of Mental Health.(2014) Youth mental health and wellbeing. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  7. Perls, T. Fretts, R.(1998) Why Women Live Longer than Men. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  8. Huntsdale, J.(2015) Porn awareness should start early to combat a growing sex ed emergency: researcher. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  9. Dow, A.(2013) 90 killed in single-punch assaults since 2000. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  10. Top Blokes Foundation.(2015). About us. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  11. A program to help teenage boys. Accessed 02/08/2015 from
  12. Top Blokes Foundation[2].(2015) Junior Top Blokes. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  13. 2015 NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.(2015). Thursday, 28 May 2015. Accessed 02/09/2015 from
  14. Savage, D.(2015). Illawarra students to address parliament. Accessed 02/09/2015 from