House debates

Monday, 14 July 2014

Statements by Members

Port Pirie Men's Shed

4:19 pm

Photo of Rowan RamseyRowan Ramsey (Grey, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Over the last few months I have visited a number of men's sheds. In May, I had the honour of opening the Uniting Care Wesley's new facility at Port Pirie—and a wonderful set-up it is, with a new kitchen, conference room, computer and internet room and two workshops, including one which is running a youth engagement program. It is a great set-up, currently running five days a week, with the support of about 20 dedicated volunteers. They have about 140 attending each week.

In Booleroo last week I visited their very successful shed, marshalled by the highly enthusiastic president Robby Robertson. Servicing the townships of Melrose, Murray Town, Wilmington and Booleroo, they operate one day a week. Some come to play cards or pool, others to test their skills in the workshop and yet others for a cuppa and a chat. We often think that rural communities are very stable but I was taken by the diversity of origin, with many of the participants not being lifelong residents of the community. For them, the men's shed is a key to opening up new friendship and support bases. The financial and in-kind support for the establishment of this shed from the community has been astonishing.

Later the same day I opened the newly established men's shed in Jamestown with a great crowd attending, including representatives of sheds from neighbouring communities. Ably chaired by Trevor Young with supportive secretary Max Prior, this new shed is going from strength to strength. Housed in the recently vacated community kindergarten, now leased to the men's shed for a peppercorn rental from the Northern Areas Council, it is a fantastic facility and this group will undoubtedly further adapt it. Like all men's sheds, they are all different but doing great jobs for their communities. (Time expired)