By Corrine Barraclough
Twenty-six supercars are heading to Mount Panorama for Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. This year, Blokes Advice is proudly joining forces with Bryce Fullwood Racing who drives for MW motorsports in the Dunlop Series.
Founder of Blokes Advice, Brocke Paulke, tells me, “The opportunity to proudly display Blokes Advice on any race car is a privilege. Motor racing has always been a blokes’ sport, but it’s also a great family sport for mums and dads to take their kids along to enjoy some adrenaline pumping action packed racing.
“At Blokes Advice we know all too well that many men won’t have access to their children over this great weekend due to family law issues. With over 500,000 members now, they wear their brand with pride. Our brand is a sign of unity. It reminds blokes we’re here for them. We’re supporting them by being part of the support network for a chat. Blokes Advice it’s a 24-hour a day network of positive and supportive men ready to lend an ear, have a beer or organise a social outing.
“The team we jumped on board with for a few laps in the Dunlop Series 2 category is very aware of what Blokes Advice is about. Many of the team are members of our group. They asked us if we wanted support to promote men’s health and why wouldn't we! We’re hoping the event will get some open conversation going in the commentary team about men’s health. Unaware to many it’s a very important issue to many viewers who will be watching so this is a way to feel connected.” Next year Blokes Advice is looking to have a marquee at every Supercar race event.
Bryce Fullwood Racing tells MLO:
“I’m proud to have the support of Blokes Advice and associated businesses for our Bathurst and Newcastle rounds, I too am a member of this awesome group and strongly support their message associated with men’s mental health.
“There are a lot of guys out there that have had catastrophic things happen to them and the mateship shown in this group is quite humbling to see.
“I moved out of a close knit family home when I was 16 to follow my dream to become a supercar driver. It’s been hard without their everyday support and at times quite lonely moving to new cities and not knowing anyone, so to have a support base like Blokes Advice to fall back on if I needed help, has been extremely beneficial for me.
“Its vitally important for blokes to be able to talk to like-minded people without the shame associated with their circumstances.
“Bathurst is also a tradition in my household and I have grown up watching Bathurst with my dad. The race means much more to me than cars going around the track, it represents family, great rivalry and many good times with mates. I hope I can create some great memories for the guys at BA and I appreciate their support to get me on the grid.”
Matt Mackelven, QLD tells MLO:
“My first experience with depression came seven years ago after a relationship breakdown. Then I was made redundant. My world imploded. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I’d lost all focus on my career. I’d been through marriage breakups before so it wasn’t like my world was totally rosy.
“It took me by surprise. I made a conscious effort not to turn to alcohol or substances. I told as many people as I could; my family and friends. The relationship stuff was dealt with in a couple of sessions, then the counsellor helped me gain a much deeper understanding of who I was. It was an exceptionally powerful process for me. I had a regained feeling of control of my life.
“The last few years have been a tough challenge but I’m going from strength to strength. I’m marrying my fiancé next year and have renewed focus on my career. I’m a high performance driving instructor. A couple of the guys asked if I’d seen Blokes Advice. I hadn’t but it quickly hooked me.
“I’ve been absolutely blown away by the depth of openness there. Blokes will say, ‘Boys, I’m having a tough time’ or ‘I’m going through a divorce’ or ‘I’m trying to give up the booze’. Everyone rallies round.
“The support is fabulous, it’s sensational. Next year at Bathurst I’m running in the new super Ute series and I’ll proudly have the Blokes Advice logo on my car. Any bloke who’s having a tough time can swing by for a chat. We’re all there for each other.”