About Us

Right Mate was founded by a desire to change the narrative when it comes to men’s Mental Health.

Driven by lived experience, our founders Chris & Luke are passionate about not only encouraging the conversation but understanding the actual issue and offering avenues for solutions.

Their aim is to build a community of Men who not only look out for each other but are comfortable in their skin and ultimately have the skills to encourage others to do the same.

Committee

Chris Lytas

Co-Founder & Committee Member

Chris has a passion for Men’s Mental Health which stems from lived experience and has a drive to “make people comfortable, talking about the uncomfortable.” The idea behind Right Mate was to take the conversation further than just speaking up but to a point where the actual issue is addressed and behaviours are changed. If there’s one thing that could be changed when it comes to Men’s Mental Health, it’s that we treat Mental Health the same way we treat physical health – the brain is a muscle, so we need to keep working on it to keep it strong and clear.

Luke Outerbridge

Co-Founder & Committee Member

Growing up on a Macadamia and Custard Apple farm near Byron Bay NSW, Luke made a cool-climate change to Geelong and has now lived in the area for 13 years. Luke owns a local creative agency, is a committee member for the Geelong Young Professionals and also has a passion to support local men of Geelong and their mental health.

Peter Murrihy

Committee Member

Peter is Married and has three Daughters. A Former Policeman who also spent a number of years as Home Duties and is currently a Councillor with The City of Greater Geelong. He is passionate about supporting Mental Health in the Community and sees Right Mate as the perfect opportunity to do this. “Let’s see what difference we can make”

John Sinclair

Committee Member

Hi I’m John Sinclair, Sales manager of Faggs Belmont Mitre 10. The first 22 years of my life was spent in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. My family were in transport so it was natural for me to take to the road as a truck driver, this lead me to work and reside all over Australia. Returning to Melbourne where I met my Wife and have had two wonderful children and two Grandkids. Making a sea change two years ago I now reside on the Bellarine and can often be seen enjoying what the peninsula has to offer.

Neil Hodgkins

Committee Member

Born and bred in Sheffield, England I moved to Geelong with my wife and two children aged 3 and 6 in 2008. The last 10 years have seen a full range of emotions far away from life long friends and family. Finding new friends with similar interests has proved challenging and keeping ongoing relationships with those friends over time has also proved hard not only for myself but for my wife and children too.

Simon Hastings

Committee Member

As a registered school teacher, outdoor tour guide, paramedic and new father my pathway in life has been one of a diverse nature that has allowed me to see many variations of community, lifestyle, beliefs and values.

My personal and educational ethos has evolved over time and is now fundamentally focused on assisting people to develop tools that empower them to be ok with the fact that life is hard. As previously stated , I am a new father with a 9mth old son, and through this process have seen how the steriotypes and very foundation’s of gender bias begin to unknowingly creep in through basic interactions and society views .

Being a child, boy, young man, adult or elder today has the potential to just be hard if we do not know truly where our place is within family, community and the wider society.

I am invested in men’s mental health because I have seen many a good man fall to the demands of life and the demons within, I’ve faced my own massive adversity, loss, grief and challenges that have pushed me to the edge and made me deeply look at who I am. People in have met in life have shown me the power of conversation, mateship, communication and where human factors like emotion, love and grief play a role in life.

If my personal journey can assist in starting a conversation that creates further capacity for an individual to not only acknowledge that life is hard but also that it’s ok that it is and at times it is ok to become worn out. But, as anything, we need to be serviced, recharged and assisted in some capacity to get back on track. I’m in hook line and sinker and that’s why I’m here at the Right Mate network.

If I had harry potter’s wand and could impact one thing in men’s mental health within the sth west region it would be assisting in the support and development of programs targeted at dad’s and their kids. Work to empower dad’s with foundational skills around fatherhood, parenting and being a partner, husband etc. The community focuses highly on women during this time (of early parenting ) and I feel men are left to find their way Through a wide range of challenges with little or no guidance.

Matthew Hart

Committee Member

Growing up in the East Gippsland town of Stratford, Matt’s love of camping, sports and being on the water were allowed to flourish. When he headed away to university in Ballarat he continued to keep active while studying, and it was during that time he met love of his life Loretta, they are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Football paved the way for a move to Loretta’s hometown of Geelong giving him the chance to take up a role as a gardener on a local property on the Bellarine peninsula.

Matt then found work at a local garden centre, Van Loons Nursery and over the period of twenty years he was there, he fulfilled many roles and eventually became a part owner of the business. And at the time it was recognized as the best Garden Center in Australia.

Whist this was happening Matt’s family was growing and these days his three kids are Lachlan (20), Jesse (18), and Poppy (13) have been a big part of his and Loretta’s focus and one of the key drivers to selling his share of the Van Loons to be able to spend quality time with them while they were still at home.

For the last five years Matt has been working on his passion to assist guys have great relationships with their partners, kids and more importantly them selves.

Through his business Matt Hart – Supporting Men and FB group The Growing Man, he has been running Men’s Nights In evenings and camping trips giving guys an opportunity to connect and develop some skills better equipping them to be the dads and husbands they desire.

Matt has also recently graduated as a Bowen Therapist allowing him to be able to assist people in another dimension complementing the work he is already doing. This was inspired by his time over the last two years as the clinic manager at Geelong Bowen and Remedial Therapies and seeing the amazing results from many of the clients at the clinic. Life long learning is a value that has opened up many opportunities for growth over the last 10 years.

Dealing with a number of serious back injuries since 2005 and coping with the loss of close family members including his son Flynn, has given Matt a unique perspective from which he approaches life these days, and it’s the many stories through out this time and where he is headed now that he uses to connect with many of the men that seek his company.

Living in Ocean Grove, Matt can be regularly found at the beach, surfing or running with mates, and when not there, his garden is one of his places of relaxation with the radio on and the fire going.