Dean Smith

Liberal Senator for Western Australia

Dean Smith

I write in support of Beacon Fight for Life’s application for a license to conduct charitable collections in WA.

It was nearly a year ago Mr Derek Best and Mr Troy Coward first approached me with their project for the Beacon Fight for Life after both losing loved ones and friends to suicide.

According to Beyond Blue, 2,320 men committed suicide in Australia during 2018-19, which represents 76.3% of the national suicide statistics.

While these statistics are alarming, I am truly encouraged by the dedication and passion advocates like Mr Best and Mr Coward show in their efforts to lower the rate of male suicide.

The Beacon Fight for Life has secured several endorsements, including eight time world title holder in kickboxing and boxing, Daniel Dawson, Bachelorette participant Mack Reid, and actor Andy McPhee, who starred in iconic Australian films like Wolf Creek (2005), Animal Kingdom (2010), and Gallipoli (2015).

I commend Mr Best and Mr Coward on their goal to significantly reduce the number of Australian men who take their own life. After all, one life is too many.

Yours sincerely

Dean Smith

Leon Ruri

Haka For Life

Leon Ruri

To whom it may concern, My name is Leon Ruri, I am a director and the Founder of Haka For Life, a Charity organisation(approval official in the coming days) that raises awareness for suicide prevention, particularly male suicide and wellbeing. I created the Anzac Day Haka For Life in Perth, which has so far had over 15 million views worldwide. I am an advocate for Men’s Mental Health & Wellbeing, and the way that men show up in life. I have a very close and intimate relationship with Troy.

I considerer him one of my closet friends, he is someone I have shared my thoughts, feelings and intentions with in both life and our joint commitment to suicide prevention in men. I absolutely give my word that my life and the lives of others have been impacted in the most empowering and uplifting way possible through Troy’s presence in our lives. I love his courage, generosity and honesty about the man is, and has being in life. I will always have respect for a man who takes responsibility for all his communication and actions in life, Troy is one of these men, that’s what has me trust him with my life. He has proven to me he is a man of his word, no matter the circumstance. He stood with my Haka For Life and Corroberee for Life groups at this year’s Anzac Day Service in Perth, as the only non-indigenous male to perform the Haka in front of approximately 10,000 people. It takes enormous courage to have yourself be so uncomfortable to perform a Haka as an Australian in front of a crowd that size, with media present. He took himself on to expand the man he is in life and totally committed to learning and understanding a language and action that was totally foreign to him. The admiration and respect that his courage had amongst both our groups was immeasurable.

I know when I speak these words of Troy, I speak for all 400 performers and support staff that created that moment. Both Troy and myself have recently completed a media promotion campaign with the Western Australia Mental Health Commission for Men’s Health Week, June 11th.17th 2018. We will again be used in the future to support further media initiatives with the commission. It was me who recommended Troy be a part of this promotion. Had I any doubts what so ever about Troy’s character, I would have NEVER recommended him to the commission, I would not want it to impact the positive relationship I have with the commission. Troy and myself are also Ambassadors for the Man Enough Movement through the Happiness Co Company, it is a movement that has men in the community share their life stories in a way that has other men see another outcome to choosing suicide as an option in life.

Troy recently accepted my invitation to reconnect to a self-development program that we have both previously completed with the Landmark Enterprise. The particular program is called the Access To Power, it has you take responsibility for areas in life, it is a very confronting course. Again, it is a course that Troy chose to have himself be uncomfortable, so he could expand the man he is, so he shows up in life, in the most powerful way possible. I can not comment on the particular incident that involves Troy, as I was not present. However, I am not into pissing in people’s pockets, so a friend of mine benefits from being on TV show, if Troy was not a man of integrity I would not waste my time writing these words. I have lives to save, I don’t waste my time talking shit when I have more important matters at hand, but I felt this an exception because of who I know Troy to be. I have seen firsthand his commitment to the way he shows up in life and also his commitment to being a part of this
show. He is absolutely committed to being the best version of himself and having this show be the best it can be.

I know the impact Troy’s presence has in any area, I know he would be an asset to anyone or organisation he connects with. I sincerely hope a decision to have Troy included in your program is made. I stand by my words, I am available to confirm and discuss any other questions that you may wish to ask about my relationship with Troy. I am committed that this is a positive outcome for both Troy and your organisation.

In Love

Leon Ruri 0422838475 Founder & Creator Haka For Life

Graham McDonnell

Director WA Institute of Martial arts

Graham McDonnell

Derek Best is an amazing ambassador for men who are going through challenging times. Whether the cause be relationship struggles, business hardship or simply struggling with the daily stresses and pressures, Derek and the team from Beacon fight for life are there to support in whatever way they can.

I have personally known Derek for the past 20 years and I am constantly impressed at his determination and unwavering commitment to fighting suicide, especially the mental health issues that men are facing which leads them down a dark path they don’t feel they can come back from. I know that his cause makes a difference and I happily support him in every possible way.

I have nothing but praise and admiration for Derek and the team but know that they cannot tackle this epidemic alone. As a Non for profit the Beacon fight for life organisation is looking at partnering with likeminded teams, individual, city councils, local and state government is the next step in really making a difference. If you have the desire and determination to take a stand against this relentless epidemic, then I highly recommend that you organise a time to talk with Derek and his team.

I wish the Derek and the Beacon fight for life project the very best with all that they are doing for our community.

Much respect

Graham McDonnell
Director WA Institute of Martial arts

Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood

I have known Troy Coward for approximately six years through his involvement with the Gosnells Police & Citizens Youth Club. Troy started out as an amateur boxer but now spends much of his free time of an evening coaching young people as a volunteer at the club.

Troy is well liked by his peers and sets a great example for the young people around him.

I am sure Troy will be successful at whatever he undertakes and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Yours in Youth Welfare

Tom Greenwood PH: 0419 929 131

Natalie Bird

Natalie Bird Community Partnerships and Events Coordinator for Lifeline

Natalie Bird

To Whom It May Concern,

Lifeline WA has had the pleasure of having Troy Coward as an Ambassador in 2018.

Troy approached Lifeline WA earlier this year, eager to do more work in the suicide prevention sector and help others.

Having lost his father to suicide as a teenager, he has generously committed to sharing his story to prevent further suicides in Western Australia. In particular, Troy is currently working with us to promote the importance of men reaching out for help and talking about mental health, in the lead up to Men’s Health Week in June.

Troy’s positive nature and passion for the cause shows in all the work he does. It is an honour to work with such a genuine and kind person who is so willing to give back.

It is with great pleasure that I express to you our appreciation of Troy Coward and his contributions to the WA community. His ongoing advocacy in suicide prevention makes him an outstanding and deserving nominee for The Most Inspirational Man Award 2018.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss Troy’s nomination further.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Bird Community Partnerships and
Events Coordinator Lifeline WA 08 9261 4414

Julian Pace

Director/Co-Founder Happiness Co

Julian Pace

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing as a referee for Troy Coward.

In my position as Director and co-founder of Happiness Co I have worked with and continue to work with Troy as part of our Man Enough Movement which we launched on the 7th of April 2018. This movement is about using the stories of everyday men with a range of backgrounds with mental health, to relate to men all over the country and help teach the skills and tools to help them overcome these stages in their life.

Troy approached us with an eagerness to get his message out and help change the lives of men who had lost loved ones, had difficult relationships and had had some hurdles in their life. I found working with him inspirational as a young man who had chased his dreams. His story is unique yet will allow a large number of men to relate.

Throughout this movement we will be working with Troy across a number of aspects within the movement including the filming and social media traction. There will also be an option for him to attend and present at many of the workshops and live events that we hold. Troy is also being instrumental in a number of partnerships that will enable us to reach more people and in turn save more lives.

Suicide is the number one killer if Australian males between the age of 18 and 45. Happiness Co, through Man Enough, is on a mission to change that, which is only made possible by amazing men like Troy stepping forward and showing that there is hope.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.

Love and light

Julian Pace
Director/Co-Founder Happiness Co
Phone: 0432 822 552 Email: julian@happinessco.org

Casey Keeley

Former Camp Hero Program Manager for zero2hero inc

Casey Keeley

To whom it may Concern,

It is with great pleasure that I endorse Troy Coward for The Most Inspirational Man Award 2018 Troy attended Camp Hero in April 2016 as a volunteer mentor and at this time I was the manager of the program. I was lucky enough to coordinate Troy’s recruitment and training as well as work closely with him while in his mentor role.

He was an excellent role model for the students as well as other mentons. He was always kind and provided positive advice and support for the young people especially young men. We received nothing but positive feedback from the students and Camp Hero team with regards to Troy’s involvement.

Troy’s positivity, passion and commitment in the area of mental health and suicide prevention makes him and excellent candidate for the award and I wish him all the very best with the outcome.

Kind Regards,
Casey Keeley
Former Camp Hero Program Manager for zero2hero inc.

Susanne Reilly

Senior Media and Communications Officer Corporate Services, Mental Health Commission

Hi Troy,

Happy for you to use the following line in your nomination

*Troy Coward is one of seven Western Australians who will be represented in the Mental Health Commission’s 2018 Men’s Health Week social media campaign. The theme of Men’s Health Week is Men and Families – Making Healthy Connections. The aim of the campaign is to promote good mental health and wellbeing for men in Westem Australia and will encourage people to connect with family and friends for good mental health.” – Susanne Reilly, Senior Media and Communications Officer: Mental Health Commission


Susanne Reilly
Senior Media and Communications Officer Corporate Services,
Mental Health Commission

T (08) 6553 0488 M 0400 616 704 E susanne.reilly@mhc.wa.gov.au

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