By Noah Amiry
Content warning: mentions of mental health.
September at The Australian National University (ANU) saw warming temperatures, blooming flowers, the end of stupol season and a surge in mullets around Kambri. It's official! Mullets are back and better than ever. Many of these filthy hairdos belonged to Fenner Hall ressies, who were participating in the Black Dog Institute's campaign 'Mullets for Mental Health'.
Mental health and wellbeing are very important to us Fenner residents. According to the Black Dog Institute, 1 in 5 of us will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year, which in Australia is around 5 million people. What's more, roughly 60% of these people won't seek help. So, for the month of September, the Fenner Hall team pledged to sport a mullet to show support for mental health research and raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. Everyone at Fenner came together to support the mulleters and each other, empowering everyone to look after their mental health.
This initiative started at the end of August when some Fenner Hall residents had the fabulous idea of combining the things we love most; COVID safe social gatherings, mullets and raising money for a worthwhile cause. We gathered a team of 17 mulleters, created a page on the Black Dog Institute’s website, spread the word, and the donations started rolling in. And so, Bunnies with Mullets began.
After a week of hardcore fundraising, the day had arrived. 5 September was a date we would all remember for years to come. After a delicious sausage sizzle, we set up stools on the Fenner Hall balcony, scrambled to find as many hair clippers and scissors as possible, donned masks and blasted some tunes as the sun set on what was a haircutting marathon. It was astounding to see how the Fenner community came together to make the event work. The hairdressers were all Fenner residents and many others came to watch their friends get some incredible hairdos. The atmosphere was overwhelmingly supportive, fun and inclusive. It was truly an ode to what Fenner Hall does best- looks after each other.
The COVID pandemic has been very harsh on everyone, particularly our mental health. It also undoubtedly affected our ability to run social events, and many residents commented on how much they’d missed events such as this. We would just to express our gratitude for anyone who helped out with the event, anyone who donated, anyone who shared our page or the event, and everyone who supported us. We are happy to announce that we managed to raise over $6,000 in a very short period of time! We hope to make this an annual event.
With love from the Bunnies with Mullets team,
Noa Amiry, Ben Coultas- Roberts and Angus Macdonald