Mark Roberts from Dunoon, growing a mo (and some horns) to raise money for men’s health.
Mark Roberts from Dunoon, growing a mo (and some horns) to raise money for men’s health.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Mark Roberts is one of thousands of men around the world growing a mo to raise money and awareness for men’s health.

The organisers of Movember have seen this unusual phenomenon grow from 30 men in 2003 to more than 170,000 last year. In the past six years they have raised over $62 million in the fight against prostate cancer and depression in men.

Mark said he jumped on board four years ago because the issues were close to home.

“Three of my uncles have got prostate cancer and another one died from it,” he said.

Mark’s father-in-the-law also has prostate cancer and his best friend took his own life after a long battle with depression.

“That was a real turning point for me,” Mark said.

After his friend’s death Mark made some serious lifestyle changes. He had been working on building sites for 25 years, eating meat pies for breakfast and drinking beer in the afternoons.

But he has cut back his building work and thrown himself into looking after his own physical and mental health. He now competes in triathlons, is studying exercise science at SCU and runs exercise classes in Dunoon four times a week.

“I guess it (Movember) is something that is close to my heart,” he said. “It’s not just men’s health. There’s breast cancer awareness in October, then Movember for men. It’s something that was well needed. There was nothing for men before that. There should be a month for kids’ health as well.”

Last year he raised about $1200 and his team of mo-growing mates raised nearly $5000.

They organised a group bike ride to Wollumbin and came up with the idea of the ‘Mo-lice force’, who fined people for whinging about the ride or the climb. This year he has initiated a ‘Mo-bay’ (like ebay) at the Dunoon General Store, where people can bid on artworks by Reg Gregor and photographs by Martin Jacka, as well as a month of exercise classes and a fitness assessment from Mark.

The auction will continue until the end of the month and bids can be made at Dunoon store.


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