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Year 10 Boys: Building Well-being and Leadership Skills

Back Row: Student Braeden Morris, teacher Jacob Reust and parent Greg Morris. Middle row: Students Adin Thompson and Matthew Pendrick, adult-mentor Shane Greenhalgh and parent Adam Thompson. Front row: Teacher Cameron Hogg and student Logan Samy

At the start of this year, Mt Maria College, Petrie launched The Good Man Project. A program that works with Year 10 boys to support their well-being and build their leadership skills.

This program has a multi-faceted approach to supporting participants, including dedicated class time to discuss and challenge the colloquial perceptions of what it means to be a ‘good man’.

Participants also endure physical experiences to build resilience and self-worth. And they experience service learning, where the boys volunteer their time to help people less fortunate.

Program coordinator, Pastoral Leader, Mr Pat Webster explained other fundamental aspects of the program: “The opening of dialogue with families and the engagement of the village is central to the program.”

“Providing opportunities for the boys to spend quality time with significant males in their lives, particularly father figures and school-based mentors encourages them to positively engage in fun, non-threatening activities, and regularly connect with appropriate role models.

“We’re fortunate to have some brilliant men on staff at Mt Maria, and our goal is to harness their collective energy to support our young men on their manhood journey,” Mr Webster said.

Further, College Principal Mr Michael Connolly said: “All those involved in The Good Man Project, work to model what it is to be a ‘good man’, so that the boys involved in the program can venture into their future with resilience, leadership and a sense of compassion for others.”

Current program participant, Logan Samy, said that it provided a good release from the day-to-day pressures of school – and that he has loved volunteering his time to help with the less fortunate within the community.

“Volunteering for The Breakfast Club was a humbling experience – it gave me an insight into the lives of other people, who are not as lucky as I am and has made me more grateful for what I have,” Logan Samy said.

“The program has helped me learn that being honest with yourself, showing sensitivity and not bottling up feelings is an important part of being a ‘good man’.

“It’s about taking responsibility and being more self-reliant – I’m the captain of my ship,” Logan concluded.

Another component to The Good Man Project is the coming-of-age rite of passage challenge for the boys, which was achieved through the Tough Mudder event held on Saturday, 18 May.

Logan reflected on being involved in this event: “It was one of the best days of my life, and I definitely went to a place I didn’t know I could go.”

“It felt amazing and awesome when I finished,” Logan exclaimed.

The boys involved in The Good Man Project are looking forward to graduating the program in the coming months, but will remain connected to their mentors – as they continue their journey to becoming self-aware, resilient young men in the community.