This site uses cookies to shape your online experience. Read more

Helping young locals become 'Top Blokes'

Wednesday, 16th February 2022

Young male Hunter and Central Coast school students now have access to more social education and mentoring support to help them become ‘Top Blokes’, thanks to the generosity of our Newcastle Permanent employees.

Top Blokes Foundation (TBF) received $15,000 through our Employee Donation Program, covering the cost of school programs in four different high schools across the Hunter and Central Coast region, including Kurri Kurri, Glendale, Gorokan and Erina.

The Foundation’s Hunter and Central Coast regional coordinator, Dan Allars, said the funding will help it to support more young males to be their best selves and lead healthy and safe lives.

“The big issues impacting young males such as suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, violence and incarceration can all be prevented. Our programs are targeted to give young men awareness and skills to navigate these issues, which benefits them and the community” he said.

The high school program runs over 18 weeks across two school terms. In the first term, participants look at topics such as positive mental health, drugs and alcohol – including vaping, risk taking, and anger management. In the second term, more challenging topics such as sexual health, consent and domestic violence, racism, sexuality, privilege, and leadership are covered.

“Without funding from Newcastle Permanent staff, local kids would be missing out on this fantastic program” said Dan.

Top Blokes has mentored and helped more than 15,000 males aged from 10-24 since the foundation was founded in 2011, including 20 year old Erina local Jai Menser.

Jai completed the program as a Year 10 Student at Erina High School, and said although he initially didn’t expect to get much from the program, it had a huge impact on his life which has stuck with him years later.

“One seemingly little thing was that we shook hands with the facilitator and looked each other in the eye at the beginning and end of every session. I have taken this into my work now as a football coach and parents and other people are noticing and complementing me on the approach,” he said.

Jai said that the program showed him the benefits of goals, and gave him strategies to be resilient.

In fact, this year he has set himself the goal of completing in a 100km marathon in the Blue Mountains to raise money for Top Blokes.

“The program taught me if you are disciplined, committed and consistent you do so much more than you think you are capable of doing”.

Under our Community Assist Program, Newcastle Permanent employees donate almost $60,000 a year to charities. Each year, staff vote on the four charities to receive support over two funding rounds.

Newcastle Permanent financial advisor, Megan Usher, nominated Top Blokes for funding support last year. The mum of two said she knew little of Top Blokes until a family friend started to work with the organisation. She liked the approach and saw one of their seminars.

“Some of the topics covered can be difficult for parents to discuss with their sons and vice versa,” Megan said.

“They do an exceptional job reaching out to young men and making a measurable difference in their lives. Helping teen men navigate the minefield of today's society by being passionate advocates and mentors,” she said.

“As a mother, this really hit close to home in knowing there is support as my children grow.”

Megan was thrilled when she found out Top Blokes was one the winning recipients of our January - June 2021 Employee Donation round.

“I was lucky enough to be able to reach out to Top Blokes to tell them about the donation from NPBS. It was a great feeling to give back to Top Blokes programs that are helping young men to become their best selves. Also knowing it will be local children at four different schools who get to participate in the programs is fantastic!”

Top Blokes was founded in the Illawarra region in 2011 and has mentored more than 15,000 young males since. It has been working on the Central Coast region since 2018, and the Hunter Region since 2017, and offers programs in Sydney and parts of Queensland. For more information about accessing its programs or donating to support the expansion of its work visit topblokes.org.au.

Newcastle Permanent chatting with Top Blokes Foundation
Jai Menser, Amy Harvison, Megan Usher and Daniel Allars

Latest news