Wallabies flanker David Pocock has called for a new conversation about what it means to be a man.
The Rugby World Cup player met Wednesday with boys from Sydney’s Waverley College and took the opportunity to share ideas with students.
“It was great being able to sit down and explore this idea of what is real strength and how do you cultivate this strength to care, " he told SBS.
Pocock wants young people to consider sexism, homophobia, domestic violence and the way we treat our environment as issues we are all responsible for and all have a part in affecting.
He says boys and young men are taught not to express their feelings and emotions, and that’s only making the problems worse.
Pocock came to Australia as a teenager with his family from Zimbabwe and found Australian life underpinned by a patriarchal society just as much as in his homeland, if not more.
“[I moved] to a culture where my privilege was further enshrined... being a white heterosexual male who's good at sport,” he explained.
But instead of being in the sport simply for the glory, Pocock is using his status to raise awareness of where he believes society can do better.
Pocock and his girlfriend Emma are highly vocal advocates of equality in marriage for gay and lesbian couples, to the extent they refuse to marry in protest.
“Yeah we'll wait. I think for us its something we don't really want to be part of, if all of our friends don't have that same opportunity if they want to get married,” he said.
Pocock is planning on taking a sabbatical from rugby next year to work out what he wants to do after his playing career. But before then, he’ll be a central figure in next month’s three test series against England.