SHED UNVEILING: Opening of the Men's Shed in North Rockhampton at the CQUniversity campus in 2015, with chairman Jim Lawler at the front.
SHED UNVEILING: Opening of the Men's Shed in North Rockhampton at the CQUniversity campus in 2015, with chairman Jim Lawler at the front. Sharyn O'Neill ROK180215sshed1

Politicians are unanimous in their Men's shed support

A CHORUS of CQ's local politicians have thrown their support behind the good work that the Men's Shed does - not only to overcome social isolation but to contribute to various projects in the community.

Many have indicated their intention to attend the grand unveiling of the plans to upgrade the Rockhampton Shed, set to take place Thursday, September 14, between 9.30am - 11.30am at the Frenchville Sports Club.

BIG PLANS: The new Men's Shed complex will have room to grow.
BIG PLANS: The new Men's Shed complex will have room to grow. Contributed

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said there were a number of Men's Sheds across her electorate, including Emu Park, Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

"These local Men's Sheds are important spaces for local men (of all ages) to learn new skills, work in teams, share stories and provide support to one another,” she said.

"I thoroughly enjoy visiting our local Men's Sheds and talking with members.

"The local Men's Sheds work on a variety of projects.”

SHED MEMBERS: Randy Tiegs (left), Bob Crozier and Keith Mann at the Rockhampton Mens Shed at CQ University.
SHED MEMBERS: Randy Tiegs (left), Bob Crozier and Keith Mann at the Rockhampton Mens Shed at CQ University. Chris Ison ROK070317cmensshed1

Mrs Lauga expressed her appreciation for Emu Park Men's Shed building a Buddy Bench for Emu Park State School.

"A Buddy Bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground,” she said.

"It's marvellous that the Emu Park Men's Shed is helping to spread the message of kindness and inclusiveness to our younger generation by building a Buddy Bench for the local school.

"The Men's Sheds also work on a range of projects which are then sold at local markets and the income helps support the Shed purchase materials and equipment.”

She acknowledged the many local businesses and community organisations who were actively supporting Men's Sheds through donations of materials and equipment and urged that goodwill to continue for their upcoming project.

"I will be attending the unveiling of the Rockhampton Men's Shed on 14 September,” Mrs Lauga said.

"I have been working with the Rockhampton Men's Shed on their masterplan for their new shed and community centre and I will continue to work with the Men's Shed to make their vision a reality.”

EXPANDING: The Rockhampton Men's Shed's Jim Lawler in the shed at CQUniversity.
EXPANDING: The Rockhampton Men's Shed's Jim Lawler in the shed at CQUniversity. Allan Reinikka ROK030817amensshe

Rockhampton Regional Council's chair of communities, Cr Rose Swadling said the Men's Shed program was a wonderful opportunity for men and women to come together and discuss things like mental health, depression and prostate cancer and at the same time go out and do things in the community.

"The Men's Sheds are much more than just a place for men and women to go, it's about social inclusion and mateship, which is why it has proven to be very successful in communities,” she said.

"I do believe that what they are doing is filling a void in the community.

"It's a place where they can share their skills and be there for each other and that is very important for their general health and well-being.”

Cr Swadling said she was very keen to see their project's vision realised and strongly encouraged the members to look at every opportunity for funding so they could continue to expand their activities to help more men and women in the community.

UNVEILING SHED: Opening of the Men's Shed in North Rockhampton at the CQUniversity campus in 2015 with vice chancellor Scott Bowman unveiling the shed sign.
UNVEILING SHED: Opening of the Men's Shed in North Rockhampton at the CQUniversity campus in 2015 with vice chancellor Scott Bowman unveiling the shed sign. Sharyn O'Neill ROK180215sshed3

Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne was supportive of the aims of Men's Sheds and the positive impact they had in the community saying he had previously made donations to local Men's Sheds in the region.

"Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the unveiling of the masterplan but I look forward to learning more about the proposal,” he said.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said Men's Shed developments had been important for a number of reasons, but particularly in getting retired men out of isolation which in turn benefits both the individual and the community.

"From my discussions with Men's Shed groups around Capricornia, the 'side by side' philosophy has made a massive difference to how men communicate,” Ms Landry said.

"I was at the Sarina Men's Shed in late July and was amazed by the program they run, from restoring furniture through to holding health checks, they have a very full agenda.

"In Sarina, they have managed to achieve their master plan over time

and I would recommend the same to any Men's Shed Group.”

Ms Landry said there were a lot of community grants available within government and through other programs and said she was happy to guide people to what was available.



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