GoodfellasTM

Conversations with young men that matter.

Our Presenters

Martin Harper

Since graduating from NIDA in 2009, Martin has worked extensively in Theatre, TV, Film and Corporate Training. Martin's work within the performing arts is enhanced with over 10 years experience as a trainer and manager within the Australian Army. Graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 2001, Martin has been responsible for the command, training and development of Australian soldiers in logistical and humanitarian support roles.

Martin remains active in the Australian performing arts and entertainment industry, having recently completed the national tour of the Sydney Theatre Company's The Long Way Home.

The breadth of Martin's experience gives him a unique and interesting perspective on communication styles and the ability to relate effective teaching points in a wide range of employment streams. Martin holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting), Cert IV Workplace Trainer and Assessor and an Associate Diploma of Personnel Management.

Martin Harper

Ben Barber

Ben Barber is a committed and inspired leader for change. Dedicated to the empowerment of boys and young men, he is a proud member of the Goodfellas Team.

Growing up in Warrnambool, on the windy western coast of Victoria, Ben is no stranger to the cultural pressures laid upon boys to "toughen up", and "be a man". With a fresh outlook on masculinity, Ben provides his own experiences, personal stories and unique skill-set, to offer a new and healthy approach to owning individuality, and a balanced emotional life.

An actor, singer and musician since he could speak, Ben developed a strong love of the Creative Arts, particularly in Theatre. After school, however, he dived headlong into basic training for the Australian Army Reserve, for what he believed to be the beginning of a long career in the Infantry.

But after 2 years, he realised that life had other plans. Ben's passion for creativity led him back to the stage, and then on to the National Institute of Dramatic Art, where he completed his Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in Acting. Since then, Ben has appeared in a wide variety of roles for Theatre, Film and Television, including Home & Away and Neighbours, as full time cast member Dr Rhys Lawson.

With 7 years professional acting experience, Ben is also a skilled Acting Teacher, working for NIDA Open Program, International Screen Academy and Off The Beaten Track, delivering numerous theatre and screen-acting courses for children, teenagers and adults.

"One thing that never ceases to amaze me, is how radically our lives can be transformed for the better with a simple shift of perspective and attitude. This has been demonstrated again and again in my life, and has left me with one definitive belief: anything is possible.

For me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the light shine in the eyes of empowered and proud young men who have experienced that shift, and felt their world expand as a result."


The Goodfellas Program recently trekked to Queensland to visit our school at Redbank Plains State High School. From pre-event organisation to program delivery on the day and follow up post visit, the Goodfellas team was nothing short of amazing – they presented to a cohort of our Year 9 boys and delivered engaging and insightful information into debunking a number of damaging myths young men face and deal with regularly during their journeys through adolescence. I had the pleasure of sitting in on presentations by both Ben and Jack – two respectable young men who captured the attention of our cohort and engaged our students throughout their presentations. What a fantastic supplemental program to our social wellbeing and resilience program that we deliver at Redbank Plains State High School! A big thank you to the team at Goodfellas for value adding and providing our young men with not only strategies to debunk further myths they may face, but key messages about the importance of being a strong male in society – a “Goodfella”. We look forward to you returning to our community in 2018.

Thanks,

Lucas Nicholls
HOD – Junior Secondary School
Redbank Plains State High School


As a large comprehensive High School we find it difficult to find presenters and workshops that engage boys in that Yr 9/10 age bracket. The boys usual response is to rubbish it before it starts. In the middle of the year we enlisted 'goodfellas' to work with over one hundred boys. We deliberately did not tell the students too much about the day as we did not want them coming in with pre-conceived ideas about the level of relevance to them. After 10 minutes Ben Barber who ran the program had them hooked. This level of engagement flowed onto the rest of the workshop and we even had the boys asking if we could have them back at another time. For me a lot of the presentations I book are a bit like washing your car, you know when you have done it, but you don't see much evidence after a month. Although the group of boys were not bad in any way they needed a lift and some identity to the school and I can say that the 'goodfellas' program has done that nine months down the track, and we can still see the effects of this program. I recommend 'goodfellas' to any school looking for a worthwhile positive program for teenage boys.

Adam Lawson
Pastoral Programs Co-ordinator
Holy Spirit College.


The Goodfellas presenters were brilliant - so engaging and approachable! Many of our students find school a challenge but the feedback they gave us showed they connected to the program in a deep, and thoughtful way. Our event was simply amazing!

Elizabeth Schuring
Year coordinator
Redbank Plains State High School.


My favourite parts were the interactive ones. I learnt that we aren’t all heartless Neanderthals, violence against women goes unnoticed and not all guys just want sex. I would like adults to know that we aren’t as dumb as we are depicted. - Ben, Yr 11
My favourite part of today was when we got up and did stuff because it’s fun to create things and make it funny. Today I learnt that myths are not helpful and that both genders can be similar.
- Jason, Yr 9
I wish all adults would understand (like you do) that boys also feel pressure. Girls might seem all weak (which is sexist) but even boys have emotions. We aren’t all those buff power houses like everyone thinks. - Dalai, Yr 7

99% of boys who have completed Myth Busters say they would recommend it to other boys. 99% of boys say the program was either 
Very Good or Excellent* - *Based on evaluations from 800 boys across 3 schools ranging in age from 12 - 17 years.
Visit again soon for our updated site!