Keeping blokes connected

Published 5:00am 24 November 2023

Keeping blokes connected
Words by Jodie Powell

Billed as a community within a community, the Griffin Blokes Society is far more than a social group for men.

Since firefighter Nick Bentley started the society in 2020, it’s grown into a powerful way of connecting blokes and helping local people and organisations.

“I moved here in 2015 and I have always been a very community focused bloke – it’s part of my job,” Nick explains.

“I just wanted to get a few boys together back in the day when mental health started to be a thing.

“Community Facebook pages are always whingeing and I thought I would start a group for dads.”

Nick put the word out on social media and quickly realised there was a need just waiting to be met.

“(Member) Derek (Colgate) messaged and said ‘can I join even though I’m not a dad?’.

“So we changed the name to the Griffin Blokes Society,” Nick laughs.

Helping the community

Keeping blokes connected

Members started meeting over barbecues, but within a very short time the gatherings expanded beyond mere social outings.

“We did a fundraiser for a family in need – we gave them $800, and we’ve done one or two a year since.”

This year the Griffin Blokes Society donated $1000 to The Smith Family/Officeworks Back to School appeal and raised $2000 for the family of a mum is battling breast cancer.

“It’s really good for the community and it’s pretty casual,” Nick says.

“We also have a good relationship with (City of Moreton Bay Councillor and Deputy Mayor) Jodie Shipway – we’ve made her an honourary member – and Luke Howarth comes along as well.

Local support

Keeping blokes connected

Derek – who’s now a dad – says the society’s grateful for the support of local businesses such as Anytime Fitness and BLK Box Coffee.

“We did a Facebook post for all our local businesses to give us a spiel about what they do and that got shared to the neighbourhood page,” Derek says.

“And we ask local people to donate (raffle prizes) and our mates are butchers.

“Everything we do goes back into the community to help pay for our next event.”

Ready to listen

Nick says most of the group’s 753 members have full time jobs and young families.

“We promote physical and mental health and do a blokes check-in on the first Tuesday of the month.

“We tell them it’s not weak to speak. Usually it’s a big thing with blokes because they don’t want to talk. All we can do is listen.

“We also do driveway beers – the best conversations we’ve had are with driveway beers, which we started during COVID lockdowns and we’ve carried it on.”

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