Inverell's Sunrise Country Women's Association (CWA) branch held successful 'Boys Matter Too' events recently.
With a goal to educate and empower adolescent males in the local community, and those who acts as mentors, a dinner and workshop day was held.
A cross-section of the Inverell community attended the dinner where James Grant spoke about Clontarf Academy.
CWA's Pam McLeay said representatives from Armajun, Clontarf, Rotary, Lions Club, teachers, farmers and general community members enjoyed listening to James.
"He gave an outline of what Clontarf does with young, indigenous boys. Lot's of mentoring is involved with a focus on education as a prime goal.
"The academy also follows through with employment and has an employment officer available at anytime to assist boys in Clontarf."
With an impressive bio, James shared some of the techniques used by Clontarf which could be applied to local young males within the Inverell community.
Afterwards, the night's key note speaker Ben MacKenzie, a stand-up comedian, spoke about SEED Workshops.
The following day 210 young males participated in the workshops with Ben.
"He spoke about the need to develop respectful behaviours and established a 'no bullshit' relationship with the boys right away. They were allowed to say how they felt.
"He spoke about his life and everything he's been through, gender stereotypes, body image, self identity, respectful relationships and giving consent. He was upfront about sex and even talked about pornography."
At Varley Oval Ministry of Personal Training's Joey and Presley ran a boot camp focused on teamwork. They also spoke about nutrition, good eating habits and how to build muscle tone.
Pam thanked the RSM Club, Bunnings Inverell, Inverell Shire Council, Macintyre Lions Club, Woolworthsa and Lennon's Butchery for their assistance.
"It was a wonderful event. We had over 91 per cent of the boys say they would recommend the workshops which is great," she said.
One local participant said: "I thought it was interesting to see why us boys matter a lot, and how we are not alone. Both workshops were excellent. The best part was to see how much men cause violence and how serious it can get.
"I learnt about tips for relationships and friendships, and about gender equality. I definitely recommend to others. Today was amazing and encouraged me to stop being part of the 'act like a man'."
Another said: "I liked learning what to do before going to sleep. I learnt about relationships, hot tips, how to stay calm, to stay confident, and to stay energised."