From humble beginnings came one of Australia’s most recognisable and successful charity events, the month of Movember.
Around the turn of the century, two disconnected groups of mates in pubs decided to grow moustaches in support of something bigger than themselves. One group, meeting in Adelaide, raised funds to support the RSPCA by “growing whiskers for whiskers” whilst the other, now known as the Movember Foundation, tasked itself with raising support for men’s health issues.
With the latter of the two groups quickly gaining traction amongst the community, Movember leaped from 30 participants in its inaugural year to 450 in its second. Already it was clear that this pair of mates from Melbourne had struck tax-deductible gold when the Movember Foundation supported the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia with their biggest single donation to date after only their second year.
Skip ahead to 2016 and Movember is now an internationally recognised event that’s raised almost a billion dollars worldwide for men’s health since its conception. Now partnering up with big players in the corporate sphere such as QANTAS and even Google the Movember Foundation isn’t showing any signs of slowing, but what is it exactly that’s led to this month being such a huge success?
As an Australian male myself, I believe it’s a combination of a few things that come together to create a cause that so many are so enthusiastic about getting behind. One of the biggest driving factors of the success of Movember is the causes it supports, especially men’s mental health and prostate cancer awareness.
Two of the biggest plights Australian men are faced with are mental health problems and prostate cancer. Aiming to tackle both of these issues head on, the Movember Foundation makes use of the overwhelming amount of Australians who have lost a loved one at the hands of prostate cancer or suicide to make a change. Using the sheer magnitude of both of these issues against them is one of the ways the foundation has created such a runaway success.
Another is the way in which the charity markets itself. Presenting its message through puns such as “changing the face of men’s health” the Movember Foundation manages to address such serious topics with humour, a quintessential part of the Australian way of life. Through never taking itself too seriously the foundation makes it easier to talk and discuss the problems at hand and allows ‘mo bros’ all around the world to get involved with a smile (and a bit of facial hair) on their face.
As Movember 2016 has recently concluded, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the blokes out there who supported their fellow men this Movember. Thank you for continuing to change the face of men’s health.