SpeakEasy male participants embrace.
SpeakEasy NZ strikes a cordImage by: Supplied
SpeakEasy male participants embrace.
View from behind a man at SpeakEasy NZ session.
SpeakEasy participants talking and drinking.
A SpeakEasy presentation held at The Annex in Auckland.
13 February 2023

SpeakEasy debuts in NZ 

4 minutes read time

After success across the ditch, various workplaces were offered the opportunity to take part in the very first SpeakEasy NZ sessions. SpeakEasy is a 90-minute workshop delivered by Movember in partnership with The Man Cave, that provides the opportunity to build stronger connections with your mates and equip you with the tools to support them when times get tough. The workshops were delivered across eight workplaces, ranging from media and logistics companies to first responders.

One of our SpeakEasy sessions took place at the Mainfreight factory in Auckland. Bringing together a workplace, there was a mix of genders and ethnicity, colleagues from the factory floor and the office – some who had known each other for years and others who had never crossed paths before. The facilitator encouraged everyone to walk around the space and mingle with each other. After a few minutes, he yelled ‘stop’ and asked everyone to pair up with somebody nearby. The group were then provided with a series of questions to ask their partners, such as:

-What is your favourite scent and why?

-If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

- Why did you decide to attend today?

This broke the ice and provided an opportunity for everyone to get involved and learn something new about their partner. People visibly started to relax, before sitting down to dive into the body of the session.

Across several SpeakEasy’s, stand-out topics that emerged were cultural differences in mental health, friends, family and work pressure. One participant spoke about their initial hesitation to come to the session, particularly because in his culture mental health wasn’t spoken about but he decided that the workshop could create opportunities for him to become a better manager. Expressing the desire to learn how to be more vulnerable, this participant hoped that it would encourage staff to be more comfortable coming forward if they were stressed or in need of assistance. The beauty of Speakeasy is that each session will look remarkably different, and is shaped by each person’s life experience and personality.

" We had a good turnout to the SpeakEasy event. I'm not sure I've seen a better show of vulnerability from a group of firefighters in my 17 years on the job. "

The overwhelmingly positive response at the end of the sessions, coupled with great feedback from those who attended has encouraged us to continue exploring more opportunities for these events. A Fire and Emergency NZ member commented “we had a good turnout to the SpeakEasy event. I'm not sure I've seen a better show of vulnerability from a group of firefighters in my 17 or so years on the job.” Another member from a session said “This was one of, if not the best mental health info session I have attended. I left the call feeling empowered to start those difficult conversations and as a result, I’ve sent messages to my friends and arranged to go for coffee.”

For Movember, it was truly invaluable to be able to uplift these communities and thank them for all their support with such a positive and educational experience.

No matter who you are, everyone goes through tough times. Movember SpeakEasy workshops normalise everyday challenges and encourage us all to be more open to dealing with these things that come up in our lives, especially the tough stuff. These online and face-to-face workshops will help you build skills to support those that you care about. You’ll also learn how to look after yourself and get the help you need when you need it. Get involved. And bring some friends with you. It’ll help you ‘SpeakEasy’. And that can only be a good thing. Designed for men but also inviting women as supporters of men, SpeakEasy workshops build skills that foster better social connection, helping friends and family to support each other.

If you’d like to learn more about Movember SpeakEasy or if you would like to enquire about booking a session for your workplace, please get in contact with us at: speakeasy@movember.com or head here.