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“Have you made your selection yet?” was not a question I expected as we wandered around the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania (NAMT) but it did make me smile.

The ‘MCT Mates Day Trip’ held last Monday brought together two groups of men from Tasmania’s North and North West who shared a common theme, caring for others.

When you spend time providing care and support to someone significant in your life, your own social, emotional and physical world changes. Taking time away from your caring responsibilities can create feelings of guilt, stress and anxiety, I know because I feel it every time I leave the house. What is also true though, is over time the more often you make time to step out of that caring role and take a break, you become a little more at ease.

Meeting outside the NAMT we introduced ourselves to one another and with everyone involved, laughter and conversations flowing, I instantly felt we would have a good day.

Promoted as the ‘Ultimate Road Trip’ the NAMT is packed full of classic cars and motorcycles going way back in time. Almost every vehicle and bike is in pristine showroom condition and the few that aren’t offer an insight into the restoration work that goes on. I was surprised at just how many vehicles and bikes are in the museum, with a story plaque and info on each one it means you could spend a few hours wandering around taking it all in.

It was good to hear the men swapping stories about family cars from when they were children or their previously owned cars that were the same or similar models to those on display. Stories about cars inevitably lead to stories about other things like holidays and work opening up conversations. I learned more about a couple of the guys while looking at the cars than I have in the past year.

The ‘MCT Mates Day Trip’ was made possible thanks to a kind donation from Terry and the board members at National Men’s Health Charity Mr Perfect. Creating community and connection is the goal of Mr Perfect and in bringing together two groups of men from different regions we think that the donation has been used to good effect.

Men Care Too would not be operating as it is without the ongoing support and mentoring from Sue and the team at Iris Foundation. Providing administrative and financial work as the charity auspicing MCT is a much valued support.

We left the museum and enjoyed a meal together in a local restaurant where our conversations continued along with the laughs. There were a few mentions of the difficulties that arise when caring for someone, they are never far from our thoughts, but these were not something we dwelt upon. The day was about taking time out and meeting some new mates which was what we did and I certainly left feeling like I had some new mates although …

… I’m still waiting on the car and bike I selected to be delivered.


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