Fundraiser proves a hairy experience

Lomandra School student Damien McKilbride shares his experience of Movember.

Image: Lomandra School student Kyan and teacher Jason Schmidt model the latest in mo-fashion.

For a while at my school there were quite a few people walking around with some impressive hairy growth on their upper lip – what you’d call a moustache. It wasn’t a fad, but rather we were taking part in Movember for the first time and raising funds for men’s mental health.

I raised the idea of doing this because we had been talking about masculinity and mental health amongst ourselves. I’ve had my own issues with mental health over time and I know from talking with my classmates that it is an issue a lot of male students struggle with.

We ended up with a few students and staff growing moustaches and I wold say there were probably five fantastic moustaches grown over the month including one that really looked like it belonged in the 1970s.

The fundraiser led to some good conversations about mental health and also gave us a chance to make some interesting observations about the new look our teachers and school staff were wearing.

To end off the event we held a MO Parade and students could donate a gold coin and have a moustache painted on their upper lip and then held a BBQ.

Our barbecue was a raging success and we raised $881. We were also lucky enough to have former St George and Fiji international rugby league player Ashton Sims from The Mental Health Movement speak to our male students about positive wellbeing strategies. 

I was really interesting to hear someone who has had such a big sports career talk about how he has worked through his own mental health issues.

I am really proud of the effort we all put in and the event was a really good example of a student-led initiative and made us feel that our voice was heard in the school.

I also think it has taken some stigma away from students talking about mental health issues.


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