Mibbinbah began as a unique participatory action research project. It built on the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders Dr. Mark Wenitong, Dr. Mick Adams and Mr. Frank Spry and their insights into improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health and well-being through strengthening connection to culture, identity and family. The Mob are grateful for the support they have had from the previous Social Justice Commissioners, Tom Calma and Mick Gooda.
Mibbinbah is headed by Jack Bulman (CEO), a Muthi Muthi man from South Western NSW. Jack, who holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy at University of Technology in Sydney. He collaborates closely with his research partner, Dr Rick Hayes, a retired senior lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Together they have several peer-reviewed publications that explore what it means to be working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to enrich culture, develop skills and strengthen pride in identity.
We would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge an Yugambeh Elder who was to be the first Chair of Mibbinbah. His name is Uncle Bernie Williams and passed away too early. He took Jack under his wing when Jack arrived from Melbourne to work in Queensland. Uncle Bernie had so much knowledge and wanted to share and teach others about his culture. We at Mibbinbah pay our respects to all Elders who have passed.
The meaning of Mibbinbah
The two words Mibbin meaning Men or Eagle and Bah meaning place come from the Eastern Yugambeh Language of South Eastern Queensland. Therefore placing the two words together gives us Men’s place. The Mibbinbah logo was designed and painted by local Tweed artist, Dean Rotumah.
CEO and Board Member
Jack Bulman is a Muthi Muthi man from South Western NSW. Through the years Jack has been involved in a wide variety of community activities. Jack, received a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in public health from La Trobe University where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male’s Health became a passion. While at university, Jack was recruited to work in Men’s Health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males in Queensland. He worked for both community and government organisations.
Subsequently, Jack set up Mibbinbah – a Health Promotion Charity for Indigenous Males that focuses on building safe spaces for Aboriginal males with
Dr. Rick Hayes. Both were mentored by Mick Gooda who was the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health at the time. Jack is in high demand as a speaker and facilitator across the country. He specialises in providing support to community groups who need to work through their governance and leadership concerns. He is one of the co-creators of the Mad Bastards ‘Guide’: Be the best you can be.
DR MEGAN WILLIAMS
Dr Megan Williams is a Wiradjuri descendant on her father’s side, and also has English and Irish heritage. Megan began working in needle and syringe programs and running blood-borne virus education projects on the Gold Coast in the early 1990s, including in correctional centres. Megan then did extra training to specialise in Aboriginal health research and evaluation, as well as teaching at UQ and UNSW. Her key research project ‘Connective Services’ was supported for a part-time PhD by the Lowitja Institute, looking at the support provided and needed to prevent reincarceration among Aboriginal people in an urban area.
Together with Murri Watch, ATSIWALAS and ANTaR Qld, Megan worked on Project 10% campaigning for renewed justice policy in Qld, and documenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples efforts to reduce prison rates. Megan is a research partner of Mibbinbah Ltd, an Aboriginal health promotion charity, assisting in the development and evaluation of the ‘Be the Best You Can Be’ group program to go with the Australian feature film, Mad Bastards. Through that she earned the nick-name MegBastard, which she uses on Twitter, as one of the team members for #JustJustice, an online campaign who have provided over 70 articles about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s leadership and solutions in the criminal justice system. Megan is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Team at Western Sydney University, continuing to research reincarceration issues. She is linked to the NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence on Offender Health at UNSW and an ARC-funded project led by UNSW and Ted Noffs Foundation looking at young Aboriginal people’s after they leave residential rehabilitation.
Antony is an Entrepreneur who has been involved in Mibbinbah since 2013. Antony has a proven track record of helping organisations grow to achieve their goals.
He is also an innovative entrepreneur who has developed and launched a wide range of organisations, companies and products over the last 15 years.
Antony’s primary focus is with his organisation Pangea Collective, which is an communications agency for social enterprises. Pangea provides campaign and strategic planning advice, project management and production resources to ensure good causes find and engage with their audience.
DR RICK HAYES
Rick acknowledges his family’s heritage with the Brothertown Indian Tribe of New York and Wisconsin. With his research and practice partner, Mr Jack Bulman, he has been engaged in research relating to Indigenous men, men’s sheds/spaces and health for a number of years. He is a leading researcher on non-pathologising approaches to men’s health in Australia. Rick’s work has repeatedly shown that men, in safe and well-facilitated groups associated with their networks, can and will talk about and engage their health related concerns.
There have been a number of sites which have been part of the Mibbinbah story over the years. We would like to thank all the Project Associates and the people who supported them on their journeys. Many of the fellas who participated in Mibbinbah have transitioned into full-time and continuing employment. Some are managing programs and projects. Others have qualified as counselors and are working with the lads in community.
- Darwin, Northern Territory: Malcolm Darling
- Mt Druitt, New South Wales – Emerton Men’s Shed
- Warrnambool, Victoria – Gunditjimara Co Op
- Heidleberg, Victoria – I’m an Aboriginal Dad
- Preston, Victoria – Aboriginal centre for males: Alf Bamblett
- Beaudesert, Queensland – Mununjali Housing
- Herberton, QLD -Herberton Men’s group: Rob Wiseman
- Lismore, New South Wales – Rekindling the Spirit
- Tweed Heads, NSW- Bugalwena Men’s Health Group: Charlie Fay
- Wilcannia, New South Wales – Wings Drop in Centre: Brendan Adams
- Western Sydney University – Aboriginal Health & Wellbeing, Centre for Health Research, School of Medicine
Over the years the following organisations have provided financial and other resources for the support of Mibbinah. We would like to acknowledge this support and thank the organisations. Any institutions or organisations wishing to support Mibbinbah into the future are urged to contact the CEO, Jack Bulman, for further details (please see Contact Page).