Orygen researcher recognised for work on positive masculinity

Orygen researcher recognised for work on positive masculinity

29 April 2022

Orygen researcher Michael Wilson has won the prestigious annual Ilona Kickbusch award with his paper on positive masculinity. 

The Ilona Kickbusch Award for Excellence in Early Career Research Publication in Health Promotion is an annual award for best published manuscript in Health Promotion International  by an early career researcher. 

Swiss-based Professor Ilona Kickbusch PhD is known throughout the world for her expertise in global health and health diplomacy and is a sought-after senior adviser and keynote speaker.

Mr Wilson won the award for his paper Operationalising positive masculinity: a theoretical synthesis and school-based framework to engage boys and young men’.

Editor-in-Chief of Health Promotion International  Professor Evelyne de Leeuw said that it was a competitive field, but Mr Wilson’s work “clearly stood out”. 

The paper, co-authored with Orygen researchers Kate Gwyther and Associate Professor Simon Rice, as well as staff from Melbourne’s Brighton Grammar School including Deputy Principal, Head of the Crowther Centre Dr Ray Swann, explores the need to move away from traditional masculine norms (defined by stoicism, emotional restrictiveness and avoidance of vulnerability) as the only archetype of masculinity available to boys and young men. 

The work aims to define positive masculinity as a strength-based positive enactment of masculinity. It also explores what a framework for interventions grounded in positive masculinity would look like, linking male adolescent development with education and health and moving to focus on connection, motivation and authenticity as vehicles for the promotion of health and wellbeing.

Mr Wilson said that winning the award was a surprise and an honour. “It’s a real privilege to receive this recognition as an early career researcher soon to commence my PhD. It’s also incredibly exciting to see our work on positive masculinity recognised internationally, as I really believe this work has the potential to advance real change for the health and wellbeing of boys and men.”

As well as publication in Health Promotion International, winning the award comes with a number of recognitions and perks. These include an invitation to publish a mini-editorial, a meet-and-greet with Professor Kickbusch and an invitation to attend the award ceremony at the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUPE) 2022 conference in Montreal, Canada. 

We acknowledge and thank the John and Eileen King Foundation which funded this research.