House debates

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Ryan Electorate: Men's Sheds

10:31 am

Photo of Julian SimmondsJulian Simmonds (Ryan, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise in the chamber today to talk about a number of organisations in the electorate of Ryan who are doing great things to support the mental health of men in the electorate, and that is our local Men's Sheds. They've done a tremendous job during COVID to adapt and make sure they are continuing to keep in touch with their members. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to meet together or they have been meeting together recently in limited numbers, but they have been making sure that they reach out to all their members and check in on them via Zoom meetings. I have had the privilege of participating in a number of them. There are over a thousand Men's Sheds across Australia now and there are a number in my electorate of Ryan. They are fast-becoming the pre-eminent organisation in terms of supporting men and men's mental health. The Men's Shed is a particularly powerful tool in bringing gentlemen together to talk about issues that they otherwise wouldn't, with men who are in a similar situation. The operation of the Men's Shed, the way they undertake different activities, is what is particularly appealing about this model. I had the great privilege of being involved in putting together the Indooroopilly Men's Shed. There is a wide variety of activities, including metalwork and woodwork, which you would expect, but there are also reading clubs, IT clubs and bike-riding groups which allow a diverse range of men from across the electorate to get together, talk about important issues and work on their mental health and mateship.

The Morrison government provides a significant amount of funding to support Men's Sheds across Australia. We provide funding of over a million dollars a year to the National Shed Development Program, which supports local Men's Sheds. The Indooroopilly Men's Shed in the electorate of Ryan recently got a grant for $1,310 to purchase a new welder to help them with their work, which was fantastic. They use the tools to repair and manufacture things that they then donate to schools, hospitals, welfare and disadvantaged groups, so they are out there supporting their community as well. I would like to pay tribute to the Men's Sheds in the Ryan electorate, at Kenmore, Indooroopilly, Moggill, Bellbowrie, Ashgrove, The Gap and Ferny Grove. I congratulate and thank all the men working in those Men's Sheds for the way that they've kept in touch with each other during COVID. It was only last night that the chamber voted through a bill to make it easier for Men's Sheds to achieve tax deductibility status so that they can take donations and further their work in the local community. I'm very pleased and proud to support the Men's Sheds in my local community of Ryan, just as the Morrison government is proud to support Men's Sheds right across Australia.