New place for men in Geraldton

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Centacare Family Services' Sister Mary Ryan and Men's Hub coordinator Mark Cairn play a game of pool at the new centre.
Camera IconCentacare Family Services' Sister Mary Ryan and Men's Hub coordinator Mark Cairn play a game of pool at the new centre. Credit: Tamra Carr The Geraldton Guardian

A new program for men is expected to reduce family violence rates. In the Mid West and Gascoyne this includes 1208 assault cases, 78.7 per cent of which did not end in a court-imposed penalty last financial year.

Speaking after the launch of Centacare Family Service’s Men’s Hub, Inspector Dave Cooper described the project as “fantastic,” and a way to help drive down violent offending.

“We have plenty of good services in Geraldton for women and children but what’s been missing from a policing perspective is options for men,” Insp. Hooper said.

“About 90 per cent, maybe more, of our family violence cases are perpetrated by men, so we’re really keen to start recommending the hub to people and diverting men from violence.”

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Centacare director Sister Mary Ryan said the project was conceptualised in 2017 after she “constantly” heard there was “nothing for men in Geraldton”.

“We started looking at how we can fill gaps,” Sr Ryan said.

“But finding suitable premises hasn’t been easy.”

Sr Ryan said the men’s hub, located on the corner of Phelps Street and North West Coastal Highway, Geraldton, would be funded by her organisation for 12 months, before they requested ongoing funding from the government.

The building, which is being leased, will feature activities such as pool and darts, counselling, workshops, guest speakers and health and wellbeing programs.

“We wanted to create a place where men feel comfortable to talk and it will be continually reviewed by the community to make sure it’s working,” she said.

The men’s hub opening was Sr Ryan’s last event as director of Centacare. She officially retired on September 6 after 25 years.

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