Inspired in part by +Adrian Hempel’s impassioned post on Google+, I sent the following email to my fellow workmates:
In earlier years, I have taken part and been a strong supporter of Movember. With the chairman of beyondblue (one of Movember’s main charities), Jeff Kennett, now actively working against the stated goals of the initiative he purports to lead, I believe that Movember should follow its own aims and stop supporting an initiative that does more for bigotry than men’s health.
I sent the following message to Movember at the start of this week. As our company is planning on supporting Movember this year, I would encourage everyone to at least read more on these topics before pledging your support. I would note that Movember has thus far not commented so far on Kennett’s outlandish statements.
While Movember continues to support beyondblue with Jeff Kennett at the helm, I will no longer take part in the event.
I firmly believe that Mr Kennett is using his position as Chairman to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) on the subject of depression and mental health, as well as reinterpreting scientific reports to fit the goals of his preferred lobby groups.
I draw your attention to the following:
- An article by Kennett (in which he emphasises his role as chairman of beyondblue) [http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/children-need
-mum-and-dad-for-best-mental-health/story-e6frfhqf] which misrepresents the report [http://sydney.edu.au/law/news/docs_pdfs_images/20 -1226132579875 11/Sep/FKS-ResearchReport-Summary.pdf] it refers to (which has nothing to say about the gender of parents), as well as failing to disclose that the report was commissioned by the Australian Christian Lobby [http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/2011/09/ne w‑report-for-kids-sake-released-in-canberra-this‑w], which is actively campaigning [http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/featured‑c eek/ ampaigns/] against same-sex marriage.
- In 2008, a beyondblue-commissioned study [http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=6
.717&tmp=FileDownload&fid=1041] found a very high correlation between problem gambling and depression.
As well as being Chairman of beyondblue, Mr Kennett is the President of Hawthorn Football Club, and Chairman of Amtek, a supplier of gaming machines. [http://www.celebrityspeakers.com.au/political-spe
A few weeks ago, Mr Kennett was reported criticising the Australian government’s proposed policy of mandatory pre-commitment for players of high-intensity gaming machines, claiming that it would cut the club’s gaming revenue by 40% and “threaten the viability of some clubs, and threaten the survival of the code”. [http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/
In the event that Kennett stands down from his position or Movember should choose another charity in beyondblue’s stead, I would happily reconsider my decision. Kennett’s bigotry and misrepresentation of scientific truths offend me as an Australian male, a Hawthorn supporter and a scientist.
I cannot support any organisation that endorses views of this nature.