PROUD AND STRONG: Hayden Thomas and Nathan De Waele believe Dalby is a great place to grow up.
PROUD AND STRONG: Hayden Thomas and Nathan De Waele believe Dalby is a great place to grow up. Michael Doyle

Toxic masculinity? Not for these boys

THERE is no better place to grow up as a young male than Dalby, according to teenage boys Hayden Thomas and Nathan De Waele.

The community vibe, multiple social clubs and safe environment make it an ideal location.

The pair said they had never thought of Dalby men as aggressive or violent, despite what a recent study suggests.

A report published in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing this week said anger in young men in regional Australia was being fuelled by the belief they must behave aggressively, along with experiences of alcohol use, territorialism, issues at school and peer pressure.

For Nathan, this study does not hold up to his experiences.

"Growing up in Dalby I had a lot of good influences with my brother and mum and dad,” he said. "I never had a lot of people constantly displaying a bad reputation.

"I would like to think that most young men are really nice and welcoming.”

It is a similar story for 16-year-old Hayden, who said he'd never considered the Dalby community as violent.

"If you have the right role models around you it can be the biggest influence in being a good person,” Hayden said.

"I feel safe walking down the street, I do it every

day.”

From sport to charity work in Cambodia, Hayden and Nathan have contributed plenty to the community already.

Dalby PCYC police liason Mick Hughes said the pair represented the average young male in town.

"Dalby is full of wonderful people who will take the opportunities given to them,” he said.

"I do not think we have a huge problem with youth.”


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