Perfect Gift for A Man

Sydney ad agency man Mark Pollard is a man of many parts. Strategy director, Dad, and now author, with mate Gavin Heaton he has produced The Perfect Gift For A Man – a compilation of first-person stories about men’s lives that’s just a great way to get oriented for 2010.

Subtitled 30 stories about reinventing manhood, A Perfect Gift aims to get men talking about their feelings in a bid to help prevent male suicide in Australia. All proceeds go to Inspire 2009, an organisation delivering innovative and practical online programs to prevent youth suicide.

Failure An Opportunity To Learn

The stories in A Perfect Gift come from failure and struggle, Mark Pollard says.

“What the people who contributed to the book have in common is bravery and a desire to somehow use their failures and experiences as ammunition to spark change in the world – and they’ve put themselves out there hoping that other people draw some strength and can do the same.

“Failure only breaks you if you don’t do something about it next time.”

Making A Difference

Mark is the Strategy Director at McCann Sydney (the lovechild of McCann Erickson and MRM Worldwide) and he does brand and digital planning for clients like Xbox, Mastercard, ALP, Kleenex, Melbourne Central, and a whole lot more.

He’s been a magazine editor, blogger, he’s hosted a radio show, and done a lot of thinking about what it is like being a man in the second decade of the 21st century.  He says his “biggest fear in life… is not making a difference. Life’s too short to not matter.”

He says the biggest challenge for men is understanding what “strength’ means. “It doesn’t have to mean ‘strength over others’ but ‘strength with others”, he says.

Lost Rituals of Manhood

He hopes the book will encourage men to share their stories. We’ve lost a lot of the rituals of manhood, he says.

“I know this is flippant, but the men of the village initiating a teenage boy as an adult of the tribe has been replaced by pub crawls during O-Week at uni.

There’s a free version of the book downloadable as a PDF file – already down loaded by more than 3000 people – available at

If you want to share your story, you can do it at

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