The Year 11 students and their fathers or significant male role models commenced the Men of Honour program today with a presentation from the program creator, Mr Glen Gerreyn.

Glen is the co-founder of the Hopefull Institute and is passionate about improving the lives of young people.

Glen started off the session with a bit of background about himself. At age 17 he was a competitive sprinter looking towards a career in athletics, however, his dreams were shattered when he was diagnosed with the incurable disease, Ulcerative Colitis. He chose not to let it defeat him and he focused his energy on helping young people in his town. With $2 in his pocket, he decided to start a youth centre in his hometown. In 1998 he was recognised as the Young Australian of the Year for Queensland Community Service, and his career has grown from there.

Male by birth, Man by choice

After sharing his story, Glen jumped in to the Men of Honour fundamentals. He explained to the students that they were born a male, but they must make a conscious decision to become a man. He acknowledged that it is extremely difficult for a young man to achieve his full potential unless he makes a commitment to leave childish behaviour behind and transition into honourable manhood. Glen discussed the difficulties that males face in today’s society, the stereotypes the media have created for males (metrosexual, hipster, alpha male, and more), and urged students to grasp the positive aspects of masculinity and the internal characteristics of honour, respect, tenderness and empathy.

Glen went on to discuss the important role that fathers and significant male role models play in the lives of young men. He stressed that it is vital for young men to build relationships with their elders; with male role models, fathers and father figures who can lead by example and be there to support them. Without someone to show them the way, many males will struggle to become honourable men.

Glen closed the session by giving each student in the audience a task. He asked each of them to make a quality decision about the type of man they actually want to become – a sentence, a mission statement, or just a few words – and to email it to him. He reiterated that the purpose of today’s presentation was not motivation, which comes and goes, but commitment to this process of becoming an honourable man.