TOMNET: maximising and valuing the active participation of older men in our community

McGowan, Carole and Enkelmann, Lloyd and Burton, Lorelle Jane (2014) TOMNET: maximising and valuing the active participation of older men in our community. In: Community capacity building: lessons from adult learning in Australia. NIACE, Leicester, United Kingdom, pp. 105-122. ISBN 978-1-86201-722-1

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The Older Men's Network (TOMNET) is a not-for-profit community organisation established in Toowoomba in 2001 to support older men in regional, rural and remote locations in southern and south-west Queensland. TOMNET facilitates the capacity of older men to participate in and contribute to their local communities, helping members to lead rich and fulfilled lives. The network works to enhance the social connections of older men and in turn to address risk factors for suicide. A recent initiative was the successful mentoring training program with the Toowoomba Flexi School, an inter-generational concept that brought together a group of older men in the community with marginalised youth through a mentoring program focused on building oracy and literacy skills and learning outcomes for these young people. This chapter will document how TOMNET provides older men with opportunities to make active educational and social contributions to their local communities, including access to various volunteer and exchange programs that promote professional development, individual empowerment and enhanced well-being. It will be argued that TOMNET's model for supporting older men helps to build community capacity, enabling members to share their knowledge and skills and experience an enhanced sense of worth and belonging. TOMNET thereby supports older men's need for sociability and issues relevant to feelings of marginalisation; the network promotes positive health practices to help older men contribute to community and regain control of their lives.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 05:07
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 04:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: older men; retired men; community interaction; suicide prevention; self-worth; Toowoomba Flexi School
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940103 Ageing and Older People

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