Week 5: City Slicker Goes Bush

Hi and welcome to my blog! Over the 8 weeks of filming, I wrote about my experiences making the awesome television series, Man Up, including some of the amazing guys I got to talk to about what it means to be an Aussie bloke today. It’s been an incredible ride and I can’t wait to share it with you…

We’re halfway through shooting Man Up! It’s been a hell of a ride so far – I’ve been cattle mustering, nude yoga’ing, modelling, telling my fuck ups on stage and spewing my guts out on a boat with a bunch of soldiers.

We spent some time out in the country this week with John “China” Harper of Mate Helping Mate. China’s a genuine, smart bloke with a great sense of humour – I saw straight away why people listen to him. These are self reliant Aussie blokes who have a tough life out on the farm.

John Harper, Mate Helping Mate, Man Up, Gus Worland John Harper, Mate Helping Mate, Man Up, Gus Worland

Many of the crowd he’s talking to would rather have their teeth pulled than be told to share their problems but China’s straight talking gets them sitting up and taking notice. And the barbecue after is just as important. Always good to put a feed on and give the blokes the chance for a catch up. As he says, put men in the right situation and they’ll talk. Just try and stop them!

Next up I got down and dirty in the shearing shed helping to shear one of China’s sheep, Marmaduke. Not something I’ve done a lot of … but after a few false starts and quite a bit of help young Marmaduke had his new hair do just ready for the summer. And I had seriously earned my lunch.

Sheep, Temora, Man Up, Gus Worland John Harper, Gus Worland, sheep, Mate Helping Mate, Man Up

What’s the way to a man’s heart? Give him something useful to do … and of course doughnuts. The crew and I headed to the Temora Men’s Shed. Fred and Jack and the boys put me straight to work making a wire peg. Yeah well I thought it sounded easy too. Lets just say they are a patient lot and the doughnuts I brought for morning tea went a long way to make up for my lack of DIY skills.

Temora Shed 4 Men, Gus Worland, Man Up Temora Shed 4 Men, Gus Worland, Man Up

If you said the Men’s Shed was about mental health, you might not get these blokes to go. But by creating a group where they can come along and make things, they feel connected to something and have a chat. You’re much more likely to look after yourself if you are part of a group that you enjoy. And these blokes are going great guns.

Next week I’m going to meet Tom Harkin, a young guy who is running a workshop on masculinity at my son Jack’s school; I’m also going to meet with a super talented ad guy Adam Ferrier and get started on a campaign that I hope will convince Aussie blokes that they don’t have to hold things in so much.