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Studio portrait photograph of Marco Renai

Founder, Men of Business
Queensland | 2024 Australian of the Year

Marco Renai believes that family, food and doing good can make a difference. When he realised there were no programs to support young men struggling with school and life, he established Men of Business (MOB).

He started running an eight-week program in schools and in 2020 opened the doors to the MOB Academy, a senior secondary school providing education, work pathways and engagement with the community. Marco and the academy aim to empower young men to build the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead happy, healthy lives.

When you rock up to our academy there’s a guy at the front door who’s going to shake your hand, look you in the eye, and ask you how your day was. There’s music playing, there’s a barber in there, there’s breakfast and lunch served.

We've taken boys who were disengaged from education, had no futures, who had been torn down. And we're showing that unconditional love can be the centre of our new education system and that, when we create a place of belonging, they're open to change.

Men of Business brick

Marco sells bricks like this one to raise money for Men of Business, the charity he founded after meeting at-risk young men and hearing their stories. Over the past 13 years, Marco’s programs have had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of young men. Students also receive a brick when they graduate from the Men of Business Academy, symbolising their work in laying a solid foundation for adulthood, building opportunities for their communities, and imagining new futures.

Photo of a red brick with the letters M, O, B on it in black

Men of Business brick from Marco Renai

This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council. Portrait images supplied by the National Australia Day Council.

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