Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 11-11-2014 Contents 15 - Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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Value of support, hazard of silence
Menslink volunteer mentor Michael Aichholzer outside Menslink in Griffith.
Photo: Melissa Adams
Michael Aichholzer became a
volunteer with Menslink to make a
tangible contribution to society.
In 2012 he started a two-year
mentoring program and said the
experience now has him wanting to do
The decision to become a mentor
stemmed from his own experiences
He suffered from abuse inflicted by
his father, the divorce of his parents
and the social isolation of moving to
Australia from Switzerland at a young
"I had a pretty rough upbringing ...
I trod a wavering path and a couple of
times that path started to sail pretty
close to the wind but the people who
were around me at the time pulled me
away from that, he said.
There was a lot of life experience
there that I really wanted to share ...
[and] hopefully help a young fella take
that road in a much easier fashion than
Michael said, as a mentor, he always
tried to influence through
"It s a very passive way of
influencing young guys, just through
the way we conduct ourselves in their
presence, he said.
We re very mindful about the type
of language used, the sorts of things
I never drank in front of him, that
was a choice I made, because there are
those sorts of pressures on them
already and it wasn t something that I
wanted to expose him to."
Michael said the most challenging
aspect of being a mentor was
constantly initiating contact in the first
"The biggest highlight for me was
the day he called me, Michael said.
That was the day I got that
feedback, I got that validation."
"That first year of the relationship
when you re constantly initiating the
contact, you re constantly calling him,
you re not getting a great deal of
feedback and you start questioning if
you re having any impact at all, but
you have to put that aside."
Michael said he saw a positive
change in his mentee throughout the
program and the pair have remained
"I certainly saw him grow as a
person, he said.
We all hope that s the impact we
We started off as strangers but we
left, and we still are mates."
Now focusing on other areas of
volunteering, Michael has become
involved in the Silence is Deadly
campaign to stop young men suffering
The program is being rolled out
across ACT high schools in
collaboration with the Brumbies and
rise in car cover
NRMA will increase its compulsory
third party premiums for ACT drivers
by 1.8 per cent from December 1.
ACT Compulsory Third Party
regulator representative Karen Doran
approved the increase, the first by
NRMA in more than two years.
Third party insurance laws require
licensed insurers operating in the
territory to charge premiums to fully
fund present and future liabilities, but
which are not excessive.
Ms Doran said approvals of new
premiums follow an extensive
actuarial review process.
NRMA had a monopoly on third
party insurance in the ACT until July
2013, but now competes with
Suncorp s GIO, AAMI and APIA.
The new premium for a family car
insured by NRMA will be $588.60 --
a small increase of $10.40 or 1.8 per
cent from the current premium of
$578.20, Ms Doran said in a
This is NRMA s first increase
since September 2012.
In 2012, NRMA Insurance s third
party premiums rose by about $52 to
Under the new NRMA premium
categories, all third party premiums
will increase by between 1.7 per cent
and 2.1 per cent. Rates for commercial
goods vehicles will increase by up to
2.1 per cent.
Goods vehicles under 4.5 tonnes
will be see premiums rise to $673.10,
while those over 4.5 tonnes will
increase to $2454.90.
Hire car premiums will increase 1.8
per cent to $2354.40 and motorcycle
premiums will rise to between
$117.70 and $529.70 according to
engine size. Taxi premiums will
increase 1.8 per cent to $8829.
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