GemLife, Woodend

Meet Woodend’s Polished Men

Men around Australia are painting a nail blue next month for Polished Man, a campaign that aims to stop violence against children.

This year GemLife is getting behind the cause, setting a fundraising goal of $1000, by asking men to raise awareness by painting one nail blue and donating generously to help children at risk of, or suffering from, violence.

Leading the charge is GemLife Woodend Construction Manager, Gary Dunnet, who was inspired to contribute to the fundraiser after seeing legendary AFL player and coach, Paul Roos, speak about the initiative on TV one evening.

“He was talking about the campaign and how kids can’t protect themselves. Straight away I knew we had to get behind it,” said Gary.

“Kids are the most vulnerable individuals in any community and they deserve to be safe.” Domestic violence has increased in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, something Gary finds deeply worrying.

“Because of the lockdowns and financial stress, kids get it taken out on them. I’ve seen a lot of hardship but kids shouldn’t have to live with violence – it’s got to stop,” he said.

According to Polished Man, one child dies every five minutes as a result of violence. Because men are the primary perpetrators of violence against children, the Polished Man movement asks men to unite and lead by example to protect society’s most vulnerable citizens.

But women are equally welcome to get involved. Gary has rallied the troops at GemLife Woodend and has an enthusiastic crew ready for their blue manicure in October. Funds raised through Polished Man go towards trauma prevention and trauma recovery programs for children who are at risk of or have suffered violence.

These include ygap accelerator programs, supporting entrepreneurs who are running ventures that focus on ending violence against children, and some of the best trauma recovery agencies in the world such as the Australian Childhood Foundation, SAMSN, Hagar Australia and the New York Center for Children.

Past ambassadors and supporters of Polished Man include actor Chris Hemsworth, champion swimmer Michael Klim, and in the USA, actor Zac Efron. The Polished Man initiative was launched in 2014 by ygap, an international not-forprofit development organisation.

 

How to help

To support GemLife’s Polished Man campaign, donate here

The campaign runs until 31 October, 2020.

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