WHAT IS THE SHAKA PROJECT?
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR PROJECT
The Shaka Project was first started in January 2019 after my personal experience with Mental Health and suicide attempts. I am a Personal Trainer & Gym owner in Regional Victoria, AUS & have always been passionate about igniting the conversation around Men's Mental Health. Since starting my Personal Training business in 2010 and the Gym in 2015, i have been dedicated to running Mental Health awareness events to raise awareness & funds for major charities such as Beyond Blue, Black Dog Society and Lifeline. I really enjoyed doing this, but I also felt like we could do more for men on a more personal level.
At the end of 2018 after welcoming my daughter into the world, I noticed the lack of support for men like myself in the space. I felt like there needed to be more for men in a more interactive way- a community that men could unite & openly discuss Mental Health.
The idea of using clothing as our tool to ignite the message was to help men identify other men who may be, or may have, experienced Mental Health issues - therefore, may also be open to discussing Mental Health in an understanding and empathic way. If you were to see someone in public wearing a Shaka Project T-Shirt, an instant connection could be made - this is something we have been given evidence of through customers Australia wide.
We found this was the perfect way to start the conversation, without necessarily using words (something men struggle with)
Since starting The Shaka Project, we have been fortunate enough to grow a social media community of over 15 thousand people, whom we interact with on a daily basis. We have had over 3,500 orders from Australia, USA, New Zealand and have even reached the UK, Sweden, Italy & Germany. Our social media platform is used to continue the conversation around Mental Health and the importance of speaking up - we project this through not only our social media posts, but through weekly podcasts, video series and email platforms.
In December 2020 after a tough year following the COVID-19 lockdowns we signed a lease for a 250sqm office space in Ballarat Central, this office space was effectively named ''Shaka HQ''
At Shaka HQ we run our warehousing and orders, but our most important aspect of the office space is our open door policy into our 'hang out space''
An area that anyone can come to if they are experiencing some Mental Health issues or just need some time away. The hangout room includes a TV, XBOX, bookshelves stacked with great books and computers with internet connection to study or access resources.
In addition to the hangout space we are also working with medical professionals & local community organisations like headspace Ballarat and Ballarat Community Health in creating a safe space for practitioners to come in to give workshops & take appointments.
Our plan over the next 12 months is to expand our space and our reach around Australia - to continue to ignite the conversation and do what we can to change the stats on suicide in Australia.
On behalf of the entire Shaka team, i would like to thank you for the incredible support we have received for our project.
THE SHAKA PROJECT COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY