A Passion for Community & Sport
We sat down with Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Worker, Josh Mene to have a yarn about his goals for 2018.
At first, Josh was a little surprised that we wanted to speak with him about his goals and plans for 2018. Josh doesn’t think of himself as a person who plans life goals, he certainly doesn’t set new year’s resolutions. He just rolls up his sleeves and gets on with things.
“I just take things in, my stride. But, if I think about it, I want to have a killer season with Cairns Kangaroos and to see the TIS program refunded.” It is pretty obvious when you meet Josh that he is passionate about two things - his community and sport.
Rugby League, volleyball, basketball, touch football…if it involves a team and a ball, you can guarantee that Josh has played it at one time or another.
His favourite game is Rugby League, which he has played at a semi-professional level with Northern Pride and in the training and development side for the Black Hawks, both of which are feeder clubs for the North Queensland Cowboys. Things were going well for Josh and his sporting career, but 2016 brought with it a raft of injuries that forced him to step back and re-evaluate.
It was clear to Josh that a return to the work he loved, helping his community to live happy, healthy lives was a great way to share some of the lessons he had learned while playing football.
When asked if being a role model was important to him, he answered, “I don’t see myself as a role model, I’m just doing my thing, helping people to quit smoking and educating the kids in the community to not take it up in the first place.”Josh added. However, Josh walks the talk and that clearly makes him a role model.
Josh works with the Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) team at Apunipima Cape York Health Council, a national program to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through local efforts to reduce the harm from tobacco. Josh’s role involves the promotion of a locally developed ‘What’s Your Story Cape York?’ social marketing campaign and the delivery of a school-based education program on the harms of smoking and second hand smoke.
He delivers the TIS program in communities’ right across Cape York, and that means a lot of travel. Eating well and exercising when you travel for work can be a real challenge, “It takes a little bit of planning, but I’ve done it for so long now, it’s just what I do.“Josh explained.
“When I’m in community, I’ll train at the local PCYC, or play basketball with the kids. Sometimes I’ll go for a run. I make sure I do some sort of exercise every day. Changing it up keeps it interesting too. As for food, I keep it pretty simple. Flavoured tuna and steamed veggies, it’s quick and it’s healthy” he said.
Apunipima recently asked Josh to help out another project, an educational video as part of the Sugary Drinks Proper No Good – Drink More Water Youfla campaign. “I had a great time filming the video, the kids and I had a blast.”
We asked Josh if he thought that a career in TV was something he would consider and with his signature grin, he simply answered with “You never know…”