Shane Hors­burgh

Youth mentor

Shane Hors­burgh

Youth mentor

What might the world look like if we redefined mas­culin­ity?

Shane Hors­burgh shares his per­son­al jour­ney from a false iden­tity of hyper-mas­culin­ity to a new under­stand­ing of what it means to be a man.


Spend­ing 17 years as a police officer at state and fed­er­al level, Shane Hors­burgh thought he had a good grip on the world around him; includ­ing the per­spect­ives he held, and the iden­tity he formed as a result.A highly trained oper­at­ive in spe­cial oper­a­tions and domest­ic

A highly trained oper­at­ive in spe­cial oper­a­tions and domest­ic coun­ter-ter­ror­ism, Shane exper­i­enced firsthand the dev­ast­at­ing impact of viol­ence and intol­er­ance in soci­ety; espe­cially those involving inno­cent chil­dren. He would often look at chil­dren impacted by viol­ence and/or crime and think, ‘gee I hope someone comes along and shows them a dif­fer­ent way of look­ing at life, so they don’t think this is all it has to offer’.

It wasn’t until he had left the police and headed to war-torn Iraq that a for­tu­it­ous con­ver­sa­tion with an eld­erly Iraqi Muslim (known as the ‘Pro­fess­or’) lif­ted the veil on his own, lim­ited per­spect­ive. Little did he know…what he had wished for oth­ers was exactly what he needed?

Real­ising the macho laden, ego-driv­en world he was oper­at­ing in did not define who he was, he set about mak­ing massive changes in order to live a more peace­ful exist­ence. Iron­ic­ally, in the mid­st a war-zone Shane’s con­ver­sa­tion with the ‘Pro­fess­or’ ini­ti­ated a re-acquaint­ance with long-lost per­spect­ives and prac­tices; pre­vi­ously dis­guised by the mas­cu­line façade he thought he needed to make it in today’s world.With loc­al ACT char­ity Menslink, Shane is cur­rently deliv­er­ing a pro­gram to schools across the ter­rit­ory entitled Silence is Deadly. This ini­ti­at­ive encour­ages young men to talk about any prob­lems or hassles they may have as a nor­mal part of grow­ing up; aim­ing to reduce teen­age pres­sures and the dis­turb­ing stat­ist­ics on young male sui­cide in our com­munity. Shane also talks to the young men about the image of what a ‘real man’ is, with the inten­tion of bust­ing man­hood myths to cre­ate a more inclus­ive, accept­ing soci­ety.

Shane is cur­rently deliv­er­ing a pro­gram to schools across the ter­rit­ory entitled Silence is Deadly. This ini­ti­at­ive encour­ages young men to talk about any prob­lems or hassles they may have as a nor­mal part of grow­ing up; aim­ing to reduce teen­age pres­sures and the dis­turb­ing stat­ist­ics on young male sui­cide in our com­munity. Shane also talks to the young men about the image of what a ‘real man’ is, with the inten­tion of bust­ing man­hood myths to cre­ate a more inclus­ive, accept­ing soci­ety.

His pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers stay on the roller-coast­er ride of life has res­ul­ted in the pub­lic­a­tion of his auto­bi­o­graphy, Fight­ing Blind, in 2012.