Men of Queanbeyan leave nothing to the imagination for a good cause

Michael Weaver 14 March 2021 13
Men of Queanbeyan calendar launch

Just some of those involved in the Men of Queanbeyan calendar (L-R) photographer Rebecca Codey, Vern Browne, Bean Central Cafe owner Matt Morrissey, Jack McCallum, Rocky Burnell, Josh Bryce and organiser Gillian Southwell. Photo: Michael Weaver.

Hot on the heels and hips of the highly successful Women of Queanbeyan calendar in 2019, all will be revealed in August this year in an 18-month calendar that will show the best (and worst) of the men of Queanbeyan.

Almost 200 men were wrangled for 18 separate photoshoots, from men with a strategically placed chamois in a car wash to baguettes in a bakery. (Among them a certain Queanbeyan-based RiotACT journalist – Editor.)

There is a very serious side to the calendar, though, which will raise significant funds for a much-needed respite care facility in Queanbeyan. It’s the dream of the ‘founding mother’ of the Rise Above Cancer Support Group, Yvonne Cuschieri.

Land in Queanbeyan and government funding have been secured for the $1.5 million, purpose-built, six-bedroom facility that will be the first of its kind in NSW. It will provide short-term professional residential care for people aged 18 to 59 years suffering from a terminal or chronic illness and their carers in the Queanbeyan-Palerang region.

A petition signed by more than 2000 people, including a majority of doctors in Queanbeyan, has also pushed for the NSW State Government to provide ongoing financial support to run the facility that is expected to cost $1 million a year.

An impression of the proposed respite care facility in Queanbeyan.

An impression of the proposed respite care facility in Queanbeyan. Image: Supplied.

After the Women of Queanbeyan calendar launch raised more than $86,000 for Rise Above in one night, organiser Gillian Southwell hopes to crack the $100,000 mark for the men’s calendar at the launch on 14 August after securing the Queanbeyan Racecourse as the venue.

The 1920s-themed ball will see the community come together after more than 18 months of photoshoots that were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gillian described the photoshoots as “an eye-opener”, to say the least.

“We’ve got two photoshoots to go, and so far we’ve had 157 men from Queanbeyan. Sometimes you’re lucky if the men all turn up, but the fellas have been great. Most of them take it all off, some don’t, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

One of the images from the Men of Queanbeyan calendar featuring the bums of the men of December.

One of the images from the Men of Queanbeyan calendar featuring the bums of the men of December. Photo: Rebecca Codey.

Self-appointed ‘man collector’ and Queanbeyan personality Rocky Burnell said the men’s calendar is a classic example of the community showing, and showing off, its support for a much-needed cause.

“The Queanbeyan community is just like the postcode – it’s 2620 to the core,” Rocky said. “Any time you put the call out to organise something, the community just keeps putting its hand up to help.

“The respite centre is needed so much, and it’s going to happen, but things such as this calendar are essential to it happening too.”

Queanbeyan Tigers’ Australian Football Club’s first-grade captain Josh Bryce said it was a “no-brainer” getting players and club stalwarts naked for their photoshoot involving surfboards and a Kombi van.

“We pulled in all as many past players as we could, and there were blokes I hadn’t seen before – the old fellas literally,” he laughs. “But what was revealed was the character of the Queanbeyan community. We had a day’s notice and then everyone was there for the shoot, ready to go.”

READ ALSO: Women of Queanbeyan calendar launch strips all expectations

For Queanbeyan Blues Rugby League Club stalwart Vern Browne, who has been a part of Blues for more than four decades, their shoot was a family affair with grandson Jack McCallum getting involved for relatives who have been personally affected by cancer.

For Gillian Southwell, a cancer survivor, both calendars have been embraced in ways that will put the people of Queanbeyan on the map.

“I’ve got to know so many people through this calendar and it’s bonded people in some amazing ways,” she said. “It’s like the women’s calendar. I’ve seen parts of people I wouldn’t usually see but we’ve shared a lot of laughs for a very, very good cause.”

You can find out more on the Respite Care Centre for Queanbeyan website, or be a part of the Men of Queanbeyan calendar launch in August via the event on Facebook where the first calendars will be revealed.

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13 Responses to Men of Queanbeyan leave nothing to the imagination for a good cause
Brett Lever Brett Lever 12:58 pm 16 Mar 21

I for one don't want to see Rockys bear bum 😄

Wil L Ang Wil L Ang 8:35 pm 14 Mar 21

Rebecca Boyd Rhoda Constable Ruth Cheatham Lyndy Skazlic Claire JacksonLuba Kovac ladies do we need another calendar for the office?

Felicitie Vaccaro Felicitie Vaccaro 6:27 pm 14 Mar 21

Thank goodness for people like this who have the sense of humour and courage to get their kit off in front of a camera (and with others). The women of Queanbeyan calendar was fantastic and raised money for an amazing cause, who support so many family during really hard and traumatic times. I look forward to my money going to the next calendar. Keep up the awesome work! 👏🏻

Kerstin Mahoney Kerstin Mahoney 5:49 pm 14 Mar 21

Victoria Murphy tell john

Deborah Grahame Deborah Grahame 10:40 am 14 Mar 21

Rebecca Codey I hope you rallied some of the qbn family for a photo shoot. With some strategically placed basketball's of course 🤣🤣

Michael Weaver Michael Weaver 9:46 am 14 Mar 21

Hint: there is a very strategically placed chamois in a car wash!

Luke Evans Luke Evans 9:21 am 14 Mar 21

How difficult was it to convince the women of Queanbeyan to take off their UGG Boots?

Lisa Black Lisa Black 9:07 am 14 Mar 21

Paula Mc is this the calendar you was telling me about last year?

Kate Cuthbert Kate Cuthbert 8:43 am 14 Mar 21

Karl Roberts Janice Roberts this must have been what Joel was telling us about 🤣🤣

    Karl Roberts Karl Roberts 9:18 am 14 Mar 21

    Kate Cuthbert but not 1 of them have a suntanned bum

    Lisa Cobham Lisa Cobham 9:24 am 14 Mar 21

    Karl Roberts dam I missed out lol

    Janice Roberts Janice Roberts 11:19 am 14 Mar 21

    Kate Cuthbert I think so

    Nikki Awwad Nikki Awwad 12:11 pm 14 Mar 21

    Karl Roberts big hint from Lisa as to what you can get her for her birthday 😂🤣🤣😅😅

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