Painting a picture of mental health : That is Nigel Gould, a fierce advocate for men’s mental health and the winner of the Safety Advocate of the Year award at last night’s Prospect Awards.
The Rio Tinto plant operator understands first-hand how isolating mining jobs can be and has dedicated his time to different charities in order to help as many people as he can.
“In mining, you’re in a cab for hours and then in your donga and it can be really lonely. Men are sometimes not the best at communicating and it can get bad fast,” Gould told Australian Mining.
“So I just try and get people to talk, and I’ve been fortunate to save a couple of lives just by talking to people.
“I’m no expert, all I do is listen and not judge, but sometimes that’s all someone needs.”
Gould has been an ambassador for Movember, a charity aimed at raising awareness for men’s mental and physical health, for over a decade.
“It’s not just men’s mental health that Movember focusses on but things like prostate and testicular cancer, too,” Gould said.
Mental Health : “It helps men to be aware of themselves and get those much-needed check-ups.”
In an effort to raise more awareness for Movember, Gould sat for a portrait for the esteemed Archibald Prize.
The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art. Letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia” by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The portrait captured Gould’s character, mining experience and mental health advocacy.
“The portrait is the whole story of my career involvement,” Gould says.
“You’ve got the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Movember big mo. The big wad of money because it’s not all about the money. Even though that’s at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.
“There’s a lot of meaning in the portrait.”
Speaking on his win at the Prospect Awards, Gould said it was “an absolute honour”.
“I’m very fortunate to be know around the mine sites as someone people can go to for help.”