WHAT IS A MEN’S SHED?
The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard that has long been a part of Australian culture. Men’s Sheds are springing up all around Australia. If you looked inside one you might see a number of men restoring furniture, perhaps restoring bicycles for a local school, maybe making Mynah bird traps or fixing lawn mowers or making a kids cubby house for Camp Quality to raffle. You might also see a few young men learning new skills and maybe also learning something about life from the men they work with. You will see tea bags, coffee cups and a comfortable area where men can sit and talk. You will probably also see an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or they can learn how to contact their families by computer.
So what is so special about this type of Men’s Shed? Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions. There has been little encouragement for men to take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they don’t usually ask for help. Probably because of this many men are less healthy than women, they drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men find it hard to deal with on their own.
Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends and maintaining an active body and an active mind. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man that safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old fashioned mateship. And, importantly, there is no pressure. Men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa if that all they’re looking for.
Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life. The bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and they would like something meaningful to do with that time.
A good Men’s Shed has a coordinator who has both technical and social skills to develop a safe and happy environment where men are welcome to work a project of their choice in their own time and where the only ‘must” is to observe safe working practices. All in the spirit of mateship.
Because men don’t often talk about their problems, these problems have consistently been either ignored or swept under the mat by both our health system and our modern society. It’s time for a change and the Men’s Shed movement is one of the most powerful tools we have in helping men to once again become valued and valuable members of our community.
Come and see for yourself. The Fassifern Men’s Shed project is receiving active support from local Scenic Rim Regional Councillors, Kathy Bensted and Heather Wehl along with with Mayor John Brent, who is assisting to find a suitable site to establish the shed.
The Fassifern Community Men’s Shed Provisional Committee is holding a public meeting on Friday, December 10 at 1:15pm. The venue is the Fassifern Community Centre, Boonah.
This meeting is to formally start the organisation, elect Office Bearers and committee members and prepare for incorporation.
Please come along and add your wisdom to the meeting.
Fassifern Men’s Shed
WHAT IS A MEN’S SHED?