Men’s Health Week 2020 – Yarning with IAHA Member Jed Fraser (Master of Public Health, Health Promotion)

1.Who’s ya mob, where ya from and what are you studying/graduate?

My mob are Bidjara and Mandandanji, with family connections to Southwest Queensland. Although I am living and working on Turrbal and Yugara country in Meanjin. I am just about to graduate from a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion) from QUT.

2.Who are your male role models or mentor growing up and why?

I’ve had a few different role models and people that I’ve looked up to. When I was younger it was Johnathan Thurston because not only his ability to play rugby league but also how proud he is to be an Indigenous Australian. Not to mention his work ethic, competitiveness, determination and the way he held himself off the field. As I have gotten older, a person that I look up to is Professor Tom Calma AO. The more I learn of what Prof. Tom Calma has done for our people and continues to do is very inspiring to me. He is a true, strong Indigenous man and always puts our people’s intentions first. Although, Johnathan Thurston and Prof. Tom Calma AO are two people I admire, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by strong, Indigenous, male mentors. Including people like my father and other male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals. Whenever I need help, or just need a brother to have a yarn too, I know my other IAHA brothers are there for me, to offer advice, mentor me and to keep me on the right path.

3.Dealing with Covid-19, What are some positive coping strategies you have picked up during this time regarding your health and wellbeing?

I am quite a social person; therefore, I struggled a bit not having them social interactions with my colleagues and other support people. To rectify this, I started talking to more people socially via teleconferences or just by picking up the phone and calling someone for a yarn. I also love my sport, but considering that all social sport has been cancelled I decided to start running regularly to break up my day or just take a footy down the park and having a kick. Although, these are things I wasn’t doing a whole lot before COVID- 19, it definitely helped me by connecting socially and getting physical, two things that are important to my health. 

4.What positive message would you like to share for our Deadly Indigenous Men and Fellas for Men’s Health Week? (15th-21st June)

The first message would be don’t feel shame or anything to have a yarn with someone. We all have to look after each other particularly in such unique and sometimes heavy circumstances going on in the world. The other message would be to look after your own health. If you are healthy, then you can support your family, your mob and community.

June 18, 2020


Posted by: Renae Kilmister