27 September 2012
of the Legislative Council
NEW MEN’S SHED AT EXETER
(Rosevears) - I want to talk about men's sheds because they are a
demonstration of community cohesion and they are truly a grassroots
initiative. There are presently 30 men's sheds in Tasmania.
have two in my electorate, Gravelly Beach and Exeter, and one in the
pipeline at Beaconsfield. It is the Tresca Men's Shed at Exeter which
I will be opening shortly in their new premises. I think the date is
7 November. I want to talk about the Tresca Men's Shed today. It
began eight years ago in an old outbuilding that could only
accommodate four men working comfortably but generally had to squeeze
in six to eight men to work together. The Tresca coordinator of the
Men's Shed project, Jenny Gee - yes, a woman - spotted the needs and
she began a process to gain council permission to get the funding for
the new shed. Jenny was then followed by Rhonda Legge, another woman,
and they both worked very hard to bring this project to fruition.
of the problems with these projects, as you can imagine, is that
title of men's shed. It is a bit too much like an exclusive club.
However, the Exeter Men's Shed, and numerous others around Australia,
now have programs for women if enough interest is shown. The Tresca
shed is going to be open four days a week and the fifth day is going
to be set aside for use by women.
Legge said that the shed would be able to accommodate 20-40 men on a
rotational basis. I recently went to have a look at the way that it
has been developed and built. It is a fantastic structure. There is
the old shed and here is this thing about four or five times bigger -
beautiful and modern - and they are going to have really good
equipment so it will go ahead in leaps and bounds. They will attract
a lot of new members.
the men who use men's sheds are generally retired, often with many
skills and many years of experience with a trade, they have much to
pass on to younger people and they have special programs to enable
them to do that. There is a link, on video, to all sorts of
activities like bird watching, cooking, dementia and so on. It is not
just about developing carpentry skills that people might think of as
the men's shed.
Australian website is www.mensshed.org and the Tasmanian website is
www.tasmensshed.org, which is very informative. The website has
helped to promote the men's shed movements around Australia. They act
as a hub of information exchange and they also help link up projects
around the country. They are also established as part of the health
infrastructure that supports programs to improve men's health and
wellbeing. Very much needed.
men in communities such as Exeter have been made redundant or retired
so this is very much about programs to maintain their sense of worth
through the sheds' activities and the mateship. Men's sheds must also
be mentioned in the assistance of suicide prevention, which is very
important in our communities. The men's sheds stress the subject of
would like to read from the website:
sheds are now established as part of the health infrastructure that
supports programs to improve men's health and wellbeing.
focus of Mensheds Australia is on building the sustainability of
men's sheds. We believe that the sustainable shed will have assured
financial resources and that their own commercial activities will be
an important element. Men's sheds are a social enterprise that create
value and that value should form the basis of assured revenue from
those that benefit from shed activities.
men's health program is crucial for all sheds. Sheds need to find the
men's health niche in their community and build their programs to
achieve health outcomes. That will require resources and partnerships
with the many health agencies and other community organisations.
Australia works to understand the objectives and needs of the sheds
and matches that to support resources from the business and public
reorientation of our efforts will be reflected in the website as it
is redeveloped over coming weeks. In the interim, we encourage sheds
and potential resource providers to join us in this journey.
is a not-for-profit Australian Public Company, Limited by Guarantee,
dedicated to supporting and resourcing men's sheds across Australia.
Tasmanian base of men's sheds is in Campbell Town, which has its own
men's shed. It does not take a great deal of imagination to
understand how men's sheds promote community cohesion but also save
many men from loneliness and that lack of purpose that sometimes
occurs after retirement.