Zerosuicide Community Awareness Program would like to invite you to attend and assist with the promotion of 2500 Empty Shoes. It is this year’s largest visual presentation of men’s suicide to ever take place in Australia – and quite possibly the world.

We endeavour to create a ripple effect of positive awareness through education on the men’s suicide situation in Australia.

This visual presentation is being run over two days during parliament sitting week, on Thursday 16th and Sunday 19th November. Day 2 on Sunday, 19th November, coincides with International Men’s Day.

This visual presentation is provided free of charge to the Australian community and for all organisations and members of parliament to attend. See the addendum below for the timeline!

Empty Shoes and Statistics

At the 2022 event, we laid down one shoe for each man or boy who died by suicide as reported. This was 2358 empty shoes. We laid down 2500 shoes as road deaths and drug overdoses are not always recorded as suicide.

The 2500 number has become very significant, with rises of between 8–11% in male suicide from the data from the first two states to release their reports in 2022. If this increase continues for other states, we will see over 2500 shoes being laid down in memory of these men and boys.

We are currently losing between 40 and 50 men and boys a week, with annual data showing men’s suicide has been double the entire Australian road deaths for many years now and is now nearly triple the Australian road deaths in 2022.

2500 Empty Shoes cannot happen without your support. We need media attention and support from community organisations, as this is the only way we can get this message out. It is everyone’s responsibility to endeavour to try and save lives where we can.

This is not a protest. This is a memorial event for the families to have recognition of their lost loved ones. It is a time to come together and educate Australia on key factors that can reduce the sickening suicide numbers and raise more conversations around this issue. The Male Suicide Visual Presentation allows a greater opportunity to present what work is currently being done – and to highlight that more needs to be done. The increasing numbers show the current methods are not working for this gender.

We say always be kind – and with this invitation, we ask you to be kind and help us raise awareness about men’s suicide by attending Canberra Parliament House ACA Lawn on Thursday, November 16th. We also need help to promote the public event for Sunday’s International Men’s Day 2023, November 19th, at the same location. On Thursday, we have many Senators and members of parliament attending and speaking alongside leaders in the field. Together, we are all working to raise awareness through these empty shoes.

This event will continue running every year and will be the marker for suicide prevention and awareness in our country. It is also an annual opportunity to raise awareness and have our politicians and leaders in the field announce changes and positive outcomes that occur throughout the year in all suicide-related topics affecting Australians.

Over 75% of all suicides are men and boys, and by working on this main factor, we raise awareness of situational distress/mental health issues that affect our entire community.

Kind Regards,

Paul Withall on behalf of the leadership team of Zerosuicide Community Awareness Program, the Australian people and these 2500 souls.

Addendum: Event Information and Timing for 2500 Empty Shoes Male Suicide Visual Presentation 2023

Thursday 16th Schedule

What: Formal presentation with members of parliament, VIPs, media and service providers, etc. The presentation includes promotions for International Men’s Day on Sunday 19th November – day 2 of the shoes event.

7:30 am. Site arrival for volunteers to set up shoes and signs, etc. This takes two hours with seven people. Drinks and breakfast will be provided for volunteers on both days.

10:00 am. Jewell Drury (host) opens the event and speeches will commence. Please note: At any stage during the speeches time politicians have priority over timed/booked speeches. We are privileged to have these people taking their time out of their workday and timing will be tricky for politicians to have an opportunity to come down so we MUST allow for this.

12:00–1:00 pm. Zerosuicide 2500 shoes remembrance walk takes place. A walk around the shoes including ribbon tying.

1:00 pm. Talks/speeches on “situational distress” and mental health funding and services from the people on the front line of this issue.

3:00 pm. Maximum time limit for event. Volunteers please assist with packing up shoes and placing them in truck for storage to be laid down again on Sunday.

Note: This event is two weeks away from the timing of this information. Layout of speeches will be completed closer to the event. Also, announcements on special guests ,etc. will be part of publicity/promotion closer to event date. This is the locked in timing of how the day will run as a general overview. The key to this event being on a parliament sitting day is Australia’s best chance to make Australia aware of this issue and promote International Mens Day and the main event on Sunday for the public while making Australia aware of male “situational distress” suicides (the hidden factor in suicide ideation on males) and the lack of a minister for men’s health and welfare. We have already confirmed seven MPs attending at the time of this note.

Sunday 19th November: International Men’s Day

This day will have the same timing of above yet is including some ceremony and organisations meeting with the public on a less formal basis. This is a public presentation and memorial day with lived experience speeches taking priority in a family friendly environment to mark International Men’s Day 2023. Overview for Sunday is still to be released although the times will be identical to Thursday’s.

About the Author: Paul Withall

Paul Withall leads Zerosuicide Community Awareness Program which hosts 2500 Empty Shoes Male Suicide Visual Presentation each year on the lawns of Parliament House. His passion to help men and turn the tide of male suicide in Australia.


  1. Lea November 16, 2023 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Congratulations on bringing a visual recognition of this very tragic statistic to the public (as the media seems unable to do so). Parliament an excellent location and hopefully one/some parliamentarians will support this very sad event as well.

  2. Peter Kilrain December 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul, just seen your International Mens Day campaign at Canberra and the reality is tragic for all of society.
    I’m currently involved with the Family Court in WA and have been for around 5 years and I have 5 children. Hannah 18, Nathan 17, David 15, Stephen 11 and Joshua 7 and have experienced first hand the sex discrimination and failing to act in my children’s best interests, actions and attitudes of the courts, government agencies, child protection, schools and society in general. As a Man I’ve been treated like a criminal, even with a clean AFP for 40 years and a current unrestricted WWC card for WA.
    I’m a Christian and discovered a couple of years ago that there is an underlying agenda behind the government and courts agendas, which is to contaminate marriage, destroy marriage and remove marriage from society and people can choose whatever living arrangement they like and children are raised by the state. It gets worse and the root cause is spiritual in destroying marriage, families and children’s lives.
    The secularisation of Australian has opened the door for this diabolical destruction of society as God has intended for it to be and given rise to the corruption of morality and decency in society.
    I have some material on the Spiritual nature of the issues and more importantly the Spiritual solution to these and all of life’s issues.
    Be great to hear from you and hear your perspectives.
    Regards, Peter Kilrain. Mob: 0407882370.

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