Menslink News

Menslink Business Breakfast 2021 – Re cap


On Tuesday 21 September we held our 14th annual Menslink Business Breakfast for 2021, once again embracing a digital format.

Canberra’s journalistic stalwart Genevieve Jacobs, great friend of Menslink, Group Editor at region media, and a well-respected journalist and presenter, MC’d the event and she was joined by our CEO Martin Fisk.

Over 1,000 people tuned in from around Canberra, and around the country, as the Hon. Julia Gillard AC joined us to speak about leadership, mental health, and resilience.

Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and was the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. In 2017, Ms Gillard became Chair of Beyond Blue, Australia’s leading mental health awareness body.

Ms Gillard gave a stirring talk from her home, exploring the impacts that this pandemic will have on the younger generation for years to come.

“We are living through an extraordinary period in history. In years to come, it will be studied by scholars as a pivotal moment in time that changed the world as we once knew it. The history books will be delineated by two distinct eras; life before the pandemic, and life after it. It’s not hyperbole to say that the social, economic, and mental health aftershocks of this seismic event will be felt for generations to come,” said Ms Gillard.

“But some generations will bear a greater burden than others, and that is what I want to explore with you today. The psychological impact of this pandemic and its aftermath on our young Australians. I know that this is something everyone connected with Menslink is deeply invested in, as we are at Beyond Blue. Ensuring we nurture young people and help them thrive is a moral and national imperative because our country is only as healthy and robust as the health and wellbeing of those who will inherit it.”

Ms Gillard said 2020 had been Beyond Blue’s busiest year on record as the stress of COVID-19 exploded across a community where many were already damaged by the Black Summer fires and the young were likely to bear a disproportionate burden of the stress.

Since April 2020, more than one million people have visited the charity’s online forums seeking help and information, and demand has risen by more than 50 per cent. A very sizeable proportion of those are young people under 24 and there’s also been a significant spike in teachers seeking assistance for young people in their care. But males represent only 33 per cent of contacts in that age group, although they are three to four times more likely to take their own life than females. In the ACT, 41 of the 53 suicides last year were male.

At Menslink, we have also witnessed the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on young guys. In the past year, Menslink reached more than 8,500 young men at 107 Silence is Deadly presentations, which is a significant increase from 2019-20.

The Menslink Business Breakfast is our annual business fundraising event and draws hundreds of business leaders from across Canberra to hear from inspiring speakers, network with other community-minded people, and support the great work of Menslink.

The breakfast is our main sponsorship event of the year, and helps us raise much needed funds to continue our work with young men in the Canberra community, through programs like our free mentoring and counselling programs, and our Silence is Deadly campaign.

You can watch the full Business Breakfast stream on YouTube below:

Want to find out more? You can get in touch with us here, call (02) 6287 2226, or email if you have any questions about what we do or how to get involved.