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NSW and ACT Men’s Health Peer Education page

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About New South Wales and ACT MHPE

In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory there are currently 75 MHPE volunteers, which accounts for around a quarter of the MHPE volunteers nationally. In most areas our volunteers work together in networks and regional area groups and are supported by DVA staff in their local VAN office. We have volunteer groups and networks in the following areas:

  • ACT and Riverina
  • Central Coast
  • Coffs Harbour and New England
  • Hunter Valley
  • Macarthur
  • Port Macquarie and Mid North Coast
  • Newcastle
  • Northern Rivers
  • Western Sydney
  • Shoalhaven
  • Illawarra

Volunteer training in New South Wales and ACT

What do the NSW and ACT MHPE volunteers do?

Talk! Volunteers provide peer-to-peer support to veterans and other men to encourage men to look after their health

  • Deliver health presentations to ex-service organisations
  • Distribute health information to the veteran community
  • Promote the MHPE programme in regional areas
  • Get involved in Veterans’ Health Week activities
  • Distribute the National MHPE magazine
  • Promote the MHPE programme.

The level of involvement and time is up to each individual.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer?

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join us. Volunteers attend a three day initial training programme in their local area provided by DVA. After the initial training, volunteers are supported by DVA through facilitating volunteer groups and networks, attending recall training days, through contact with the Volunteer State Representative, and through our regular NSW and ACT Newsletter and MHPE national magazine. In NSW we also have volunteers who are Regional Representatives from each area, and our two State Representatives. The role of these reps is to provide leadership to volunteers in their area and to help out with training and support for new volunteers.

If you are interested and would like to get more information on what is involved in the programme then please contact the DVA NSW/ACT MHPE State Coordinator.

Volunteer profile

John Macartney – NSW/ACT Volunteer Representative

I joined the RAN as a 15 year old Junior Recruit and after completing my Electrical & Radio training at Cerberus I was posted to Albatross to become an aircraft radio mechanic. I saw operational service on 816 Squadron in Malaya and Vietnam in 1965 and in 1968 went back to Vietnam for twelve months as a Petty Officer but this time dressed in Jungle Greens as the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (NCOIC) of the US Army’s 68th Signal Detachment which provided Avionics and Communications support for the 135th Assault Helicopter Company stationed at Camps Blackhorse and Bearcat.

After completing my initial engagement of 12 years I had a number of careers ranging from Satellite Laser Tech/Operator for the Smithsonian to a Communication & Gas Monitoring Officer at an underground coal mine. Mixed in with this was 11 years as a TAFE teacher, initially as an Electrical Trades Teacher and working my way to Head of School. I was also the ACT representative on the National Common Core Curriculum and Nation Metals and Engineering Trades Award Restructuring.

After retiring from the mines post heart attack I became a volunteer Welfare, Pensions and Level 3 Advocate for VVAA and the RSL in Bundaberg. I did my initial MHPE Volunteering training in 2007 becoming the Regional Rep for Wide Bay/ Burnett and then the North QLD Volunteers Representative. In 2012 Sue & I relocated to Old Bar where I became a NSW Volunteer, Mid North Coast Regional Representative and now one of the two NSW/ACT Volunteer Representatives.

While I was at the Mines I was an Occupational First Aider as “other duties as required”. Miners do not look after themselves and are worn out well before their time so that really got me interested in preventative men’s health. AS a VVAA Welfare Officer I attended a Health Expo at Hervey Bay where a speaker mention the MHPE program and after a fair bit of digging around found out that I could become a volunteer and that started the ball rolling.

Who to contact

For enquiries about the NSW and ACT MHPE programme contact:

DVA NSW/ACT MHPE State Coordinator

Naomi Blundell
(02) 9213 7661
MHPENSW@dva.gov.au

NSW/ACT MHPE State Volunteer Representatives

John Macartney - NSW/ACT MHPE State Volunteer Representative
02 6557 4165
0427 787 296
jrmaca@bigpond.com

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