Australian of the Year: Thomas Windsor, fundraiser for men’s health #AOTY2020
Fifteen years ago, I stood before a packed cathedral of over a thousand people who couldn’t understand why. I was 23 years old and I was there to deliver my dad’s eulogy, after we’d lost him to an illness called depression just four days earlier. Even facing the harshest of realities, I still felt as though his death was preventable. It felt so unnecessary. The support we received from so many around us made it bearable. I’ll never forget the loyalty I felt from my motley crew of mates. No matter how awkward the conversation, they were always there for me and my family. Together with those mates, we formed the Mobart Mo Bros. A fight for our cause with a
moustache. Movember allowed us to be more than mates, it gave us permission to be bros. For 14 years, we have been rebels with a cause. Running half marathons up mountains, cycling across Tassie, or surfing a 30 foot wave holding an inflatable mo above our head. We’ve shaved down premiers, a bachelor, and even Boonie. But it’s not about my story anymore, it’s about the thousands of participants and supporters and their stories. We’ve gone from having a bit of fun, raising awareness around men’s health, to providing solutions. And as a community we’re saving lives. Recently at one of our speak-easy events, a young man felt safe enough to tell a roomful of 60 people that just three weeks earlier he was ready to load up his tool belt and head to the bridge. Fortunately that afternoon he also felt enough love, to head for a run up the mountain with his mo bros instead. Suicide is the leading killer in Australia of males between 15 and 44 years. Every day we lose six Aussie men to suicide. We think we can change the face of men’s health. We think we can stop men dying too young. We mo for each other, we mo for change.