That’s The Thing About Fishing (TTTAF) was started by Glenn Cooper in the Mornington area, several years ago. Due to an injury, Glenn had time on his hands. Fishing has always been his passion and he came to realise that many younger people did not know how to fish and, probably, would never know how to fish. Glenn teamed up with another fisherman, Brian Rowley, who shared his vision of wanting to teach people about fishing and promote the sport.
Along the way, they also saw a need to assist with people battling mental health issues, disability groups, youth in trouble, men and women’s health groups and people suffering depression. For these people, fishing could be used as a therapeutic way of changing their lives by giving them a better quality of life and enjoying the benefits that fishing has to offer, both socially and personally.
On 30 March 2015 TTTAF was incorporated in Victoria as a not-for-profit Association, no A0065074G, under the name ‘That’s The Thing About Fishing with Guru Glenn and Nui Inc.’ This was formally changed to ‘That’s The Thing About Fishing Inc.’ (a little easier to say and write when dealing with official departments!) on 21st October 2018.
Being registered in this way gives TTTAF a legal status that protects its members from individual legal action and will assist in getting grants and funding from government and other sources.
Since their beginning, Glenn and Brian have developed relationships with many organisations including those caring for disabled and disadvantaged persons of all ages as well as holding regular weekly clinics with extra sessions run during school holidays.
- To build programs, using fishing as a conduit, that will encourage people of all ages to spend quality time outdoors. This also allows people to regain social skills that they may have lost by becoming stuck in front of a TV, technology or social media and housebound, helping them engage in society again. They will learn to fish and hopefully, this will encourage greater social interaction by associating and interacting with the association’s volunteers and others fishing with them.
- To increase self-worth and learn how to fish as well as learning other new skills along the way, meeting new people in a safe, supportive environment and/or volunteering to help others down the track.
- To create opportunities to allow TTTAF volunteers to work with organisations in the mental health and disability sector, to use fishing as a way to improve lives.
- To work with law enforcement and schools to assist youth in trouble/at-risk teens by establishing programs in schools and elsewhere utilizing the benefits of fishing.
- To engage any groups or individuals that need an outlet because of the pressures of their life due to everyday issues.
- To use fishing as a stepping stone to improving and changing lives.
- To allow organizations to refer the association to disadvantaged people, mental illness, homeless, disability, youth, family violence prevention groups, indigenous people and any groups that would benefit by teaching positive behavioural patterns, social skills, anger management, drug prevention and suicide prevention.
- To set up “how to” projects to impart knowledge on such things as
fishing rod and reel repairs
boat repair and maintenance
marine engine servicing and repairs
and social and environmental education.
The association will continue to run fishing clinics and offer one-on-one support. The aim for these clinics is to attract a large number of children and their families, plus all other groups and persons mentioned above, who will be taught the basics of fishing. We believe this will give a person and groups a sense of purpose and will assist with mental health, social skills, and motor skills.
Teaching a person to fish is more than just learning to fish. It gives a person a sense of purpose and assists with mental health and motor skills. Our vision is also to alleviate boredom which can lead to senseless crimes, depression and, in the worst case, suicide. It is about teaching patience, building friendships and networks and giving our youth something productive to do.
TTTAF also acts in a mentoring role for at-risk teens and is happy to talk to other groups about the methods which we have adopted and found successful.
All the clinics run are staffed by volunteers, all of the equipment is supplied through donations but, at this time, the group has little funding and relies largely on the generosity of the communities and fellow fisherman. The clinics are open to everyone and all abilities and backgrounds are catered for.
“Changing lives, one life at a time”