Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland)— In June, Australians commemorated Men's Health Week - an important annual international event to raise awareness of the key issues in men's health and provide men with important health information.

Men, family and friends, community groups and workplaces are encouraged to get involved by taking part in daily activities, sharing health information and encouraging men to look after their health. This is important because sadly, a boy born in Australia in 2010 has a life expectancy of 78 years while a baby girl born at the same time can expect to live to 82.3 years.

Right from the start, boys suffer more illness, more accidents and die earlier than their female counterparts. Men also take their own lives at four times the rate of women. The health status of many Australian men is far worse in marginalised groups including Aboriginal men, refugees, men in prison, or of low socioeconomic standing.

We must work together to identify what causes these outcomes and turn them around to create positive environments for men and boys. Most importantly, let's encourage men to get their health checks, to live long, healthy and happy lives.