The Peaceful Warriors program began in 2001 to address the growing need to support boys and young men (9 to 16 years). The group mentoring program works with volunteer men and role-models healthy masculinity through discussion and adventure activities. The participants may have experienced family violence, poor male role models, family mental health, alcohol and drug use, and some also have a disability. As a result, they have limited capacity to develop self-esteem, regulate emotions, learn respectful social skills, and are often disengaged from school, family and community. The program is a significant step in preventing further violence against women.
In 2018 the program was facing closure after running for 17 years, but was offered a lifeline at the last minute thanks to the support of Tony Smith and the federal government.
The Peaceful Warriors would not have run so successfully without the commitment of participants, their families, the mentors, the Anglicare Treasure Chest op-shop, Whitehorse grants, other community grants, fundraising drives, donors, schools, Yarra Ranges local council, and other stakeholders. An amazing community achievement, made possible by many people. Thank you all.