New Be Wise presenter tackles toxic masculinity

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Pat Cronin Foundation presenter Alan Latu

Our newest presenter is out to tackle ‘toxic masculinity’

As a former bouncer, Alan Latu quickly learnt that “quick wits” were more important than “fast fists”.

Working at the doors of night spots with his family’s security business when he was a young man offered some valuable life lessons – including an ability to hose down volatile situations.        

“Rapid assessment of a violent situation and being able to diffuse it without resorting to aggression are not only critical to being a good bouncer but are in general, great life skills to have,” says Alan, who has since gone on to carve out an extensive 26-year background in security and emergency management.  

Alan is also an experienced public speaker and respected sports coach, and we’re thrilled to have him on board as our newest Be Wise educational presenter.

He is passionate about teaching young people to think before impulsively acting on emotions, including anger. And like all our speakers, he brings a valuable and unique perspective to the role.

Learning to ‘stop and breathe’

Old habits die hard – and “toxic masculinity” is one of them.

Some of its hallmarks include using violence and aggression to solve problems or as a demonstration of power, masking of emotions and robbing men of effective coping skills and communication.

Some of its worst characteristics are amplified in settings involving alcohol. 

“The amount of people I’ve seen being taken away to hospitals – just over what began as a low-level disagreement is especially shocking,” says Alan.

“If only they had been able to stop and breathe at that point, then it could have been a vastly different story.

The amount of people I’ve seen being taken away to hospitals – just over what began as a low-level disagreement is especially shocking.”

Alan Latu

“A lot of it has to do with toxic masculinity.

“In trying to remain calm in a situation where there is anger involved, I always ask myself whether there is a risk to anyone’s personal safety. If there is, you need to adjust your behaviour.’’

Alan Latu, a Be Wise presenter with the Pat Cronin Foundation

Helping young people identify emotions

With a natural aptitude for coaching and mentoring, Alan is the Director of Rugby at Xavier College in Kew, Melbourne, and was recently appointed to the Board of Rugby Victoria.

He also has a wealth of experience on the rugby field, including 400 games, five Dewar Shield Premierships and a stint in Spain. More recently he has been honing his skills behind the microphone as the ground announcer for the Melbourne Rebels.     

He says the work of the foundation in educating young people about the dangers of social violence – as well as the Coward Punch – aligns with his own strongly-held beliefs.

Research collected by the foundation, below, reveals the toll of the Coward Punch in Australia.*   

Coward Punch statistics for Australia

“For me, it’s about trying to educate people in how to express their emotions appropriately. That entails being able to identify them in the first place – which is a huge stepping stone, especially for the teenage mind,” says Alan.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Pat Cronin Foundation, which is an organisation with purpose. “The presentations are powerful and are backed by an incredibly poignant story, and I’m hoping that my experiences can add another perspective to that.”

As well as our Be Wise presentations in schools, The Pat Cronin Foundation delivers talks in sports clubs and community organisations. To book one of our speakers, email us at info@patcroninfoundation.org.au or visit  https://patcroninfoundation.org.au/contact-us.

*Sources:

– Olver, Ponsford & Curran, 1995; Ponsford, Sloan & Snow, 2012; Ponsford, Draper & Schonberger 2008

– Schumann, 2019

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