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Community

9 August, 2021

Helping with mens mental health

MENTAL health, is something that should be taken seriously and sharing feelings for men has never been easy. With so much emphasis on the male gender to be hard and unemotional, sometimes we forget we are human. Enter Frank Cowell, 67, a local who is doing his part for men’s mental health.

By Jacob Cumner

MENTAL health, is something that should be taken seriously and sharing feelings for men has never been easy. With so much emphasis on the male gender to be hard and unemotional, sometimes we forget we are human. Enter Frank Cowell, 67, a local who is doing his part for men’s mental health. 


Jacob Cumner interviewed Frank, the founder of the International Men’s Day Mackay Inc, incorporating Shed Happens Mackay, to get some insight in to how this event really helps the men in our community. 

JC Occupation? 

Retired soldier- 25 years service as an Infantry soldier 

JC How long have you been working? 

I worked for over 45 years continuously and retired four years ago, due to Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis

 JC Organisation? International Men’s Day Mackay Inc, incorporating Shed Happens Mackay

 JC How long have you been with this organisation? Since it’s inception three years ago 

 JC When did you get involved  with international Men’s Day?

 I initiated the celebration of International Men’s Day (IMD) here in Mackay three years ago.

 JC How did you start the organisation in Mackay?

 I formed a committee from my Shed Happens Leadership Group and we organized it among us. I consulted with Warwick Marsh of Dad’s4Kids who is the Convenor of International Men’s Day for Australia.

 JC Why did you decide to start up the organisation in Mackay? 

The six pillars of IMD align with the ethos of Shed Happens. For the past twenty years I have been involved in the ‘manhood’ arena of teaching. If you ask a man today to define the term manhood, he will struggle to give a succinct answer. If you ask him when he became a man, again he will struggle to define the moment. My goal is to address this gap in understanding, IMD goes some way to identifying the things a man should be thinking about and modelling. 

JC How did your get appointed to the presidency?

 We had an initial meeting and I was voted in. I have been voted in at an Annual General Meeting unopposed all three years.

 JC How many years have you been running this? 

 Shed Happens for nine years and IMD for three years. 

JC What are some of the awards you hand out?

 We only hand out one award and that is Mackay Man Of The Year, there are prizes for the two runners up. This award started in 2020.

 JC What do you hope to achieve this year with the awards? 

 To recognise a man who aligns with the six pillars of IMD in his everyday life. He will most likely not be well known as a personality, but one who epitomizes authentic manhood.

 JC How many charitieshave you given to over the years you have been operating? 

Three charities, Prostate Foundation ($1000), Movember ($2200) and Grapevine ($6,000). JC How would people volunteer to help out this organization? Come along to a Shednight hosted by Shed Happens Mackay. 

JC Is there a way people could give to the organization year round?

 We are not predominantly a fund-raising organisation. The fund-raising is a result of sponsorship of IMD Celebrations.


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