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Jimmy Niggles declares Beard Season open

Calum Stenning

Historically, Movember has stood as a lone sentry for men’s health, and those spring moustaches have held the fort well.

But there’s more health to be taken care of, and facial hair to be grown. Beard Season is a not-for-profit charity that aims to promote skin checks for melanoma. You may recognise the founder and face of the company, Jimmy Niggles – or at the very least, recognise his ample beard.

Jimmy Niggle by Brock Elbank

Jimmy Niggle by Brock Elbank

Beard Season’s concept is simple: grow beards, start conversations, get skin checks. The charity was inspired by the premature death of one of Niggle’s friends from melanoma and aspires to bring the number of Australian melanoma-related deaths down from an astounding 46,000 per year, with gentlemen between 18 and 45 the most at-risk.

Niggle’s friend, Wes Bonney, was only 26 when he died and it was at his wake that the Beard Season founders decided to find a way to bring more attention to melanoma, and encourage more people to have check-ups. They settled on beards as their conversation starter.

Jimmy Niggles at QT Canberra

Jimmy Niggles at QT Canberra

QT Canberra in NewActon recently held a ‘Gentleman’s Evening’, promoting the charity with the beard’s perpetual companion, whisky, and an exhibition of photographs by award-winning photographer Brock Elbank. The collection features 54 photos of bearded people from around the world, including actor Sir John Hurt, fashion icon Nick Wooster and Beard Season’s own, Jimmy Niggles.

It is an exhibition of raw and stirring portraits, which is sure to leave all (both those capable and those not) inspired to grow their chin whiskers into a curated follicular feature, or at the very least, encourage someone else to grow theirs.

Visit the Beard Season website to find out more about the cause, how to check yourself for melanoma, and for upcoming events. You can catch Brock Elbank’s exhibition in the lobby of QT Canberra until mid-July.

Feature image: Brock Elbank

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Calum Stenning

Calum Stenning is Her Canberra’s newest and most male (read: only) intern. Three years spent living overseas has given him a renewed appreciation for Canberra life. Every day starts with coffee and the Sydney Morning Herald crossword at a favourite coffee haunt, as he is wary of the perils of dementia, and thinks crosswords are a viable safeguard. If he lives to a dementia-appropriate age (evidence says he won’t), he’ll let us know. More about the Author

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