Past, Present and Future
Looking back over my shoulder I see a small windy hobby farm, a loving extended family, salty beaches, good schools, and bush camping with friends.
When I was 18 years old, I hurt somebody close to me. Deeply and immeasurably. I committed rape.
Whereas I am known by those around me as somebody who is considerate of others and self aware, on this occasion I was the antithesis of that self.
The process of acknowledging, understanding and accepting total responsibility for the effects of my choices began when Thordis contacted me years later.
This journey has been shared in the book South of Forgiveness, and in a TED talk given in 2016. It has been offered in the simple hope of shining a light into dark corners, and as a contribution to the present public discourse surrounding men’s sexual violence towards women.
Do I have a place in this discourse?
Despite healthy counter discourses, and the reality that in no way are all men inclined to be sexually coercive or violent, it is being acknowledged that men now bear the burden of asking the hard questions around our culture, it’s decrees, and it’s forecasts. I’m hoping to personally and honestly join other men in this current conversation, and I believe new, promising and open dialogue, and change, will result.
Focus and Hopes
I’m somebody who gives credence to individual agency, and a human capacity to learn from our offences. I believe in personal reflexivity, as well as the collective responsibility we all share in resolving our community’s challenges. Listening and bearing witness to others, 'reading the room', and engaging in constructive and nuanced dialogue are skills I'm practising. I'm inspired by the many who are standing up despite the discomfort, and who are speaking out despite the stigma.
My professional history is characterised by working with those seeking crisis accommodation, recovery from drug and alcohol dependence, support with mental health challenges, or providing educational support for neurologically/developmentally impaired students.
A Master of Cultural Studies, BA of Social Science, various qualifications in Youth Work, and specialised training in crisis intervention, mental health and suicide prevention, are each a result of my interest in the human services. My current focus is on working with younger and older men in jointly examining our demonstration of male sexuality and masculinity, and how we embody, condone or remodel their effects.