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Motion - Role of Men's Sheds in Tasmania

Tuesday 15 November 2022, Motion

[11.42 a.m.]

Ms HOWLETT (Prosser)- Mr President, I move -

That the Legislative Council:

(1) notes the important role that Men's Sheds play in the overall wellbeing of many Tasmanians;

(2) notes the contributions that Men's Sheds make to the community;

(3) acknowledges the role that volunteers play within Men's Sheds; and

(4) thanks the Tasmanian Men's Shed Association for the work they do promoting and supporting Men's Sheds across the state.

[12.58 p.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I, too, thank the member for Prosser for bringing on this very important motion. We know many men love this shed, the place where they can create, be inspired, be left alone sometimes and to chill out with their mates. The Kings Meadows Men's Shed started in 2009 and since then, it has gone from strength to strength as a truly grassroots organisation. It provides support and a place of refuge for men of all ages to come together, relax and build their skills to make wonderful pieces of furniture and art. I have one of their lovely tables made out of Huon pine in my office. They do some wonderful work at very reasonable prices and it is great for people to purchase from them.

As a joint project by the Rotary Clubs of Youngtown and Kings Meadows, this Men's Shed is truly a place run by the community for the community. The absolutely gorgeous craftsmanship that goes into the furniture and other objects made at the Men's Shed emphasises the way that men can channel their energy into creating beautiful things. The connections that are made at the shed are even more valuable than the things they make. It is so important to have a place of safety and refuge, free of judgment, that provides men with the opportunity to feel understood and to connect with other men. When men have a place to go where they feel welcome and included, it benefits everyone. It refutes the narrative that men do not have the need to express themselves or connect with others and provides an opportunity for intervention for men of all ages at risk of poor mental and emotional health outcomes.

Members at the Kings Meadows Men's Shed include former police officers, veterans, armed services, plumbers, surveyors, mechanics and all walks of life. According to David Brooks, the shed's president, this experience is enabled to be given back to the community. It cannot be understated how vital the Kings Meadows Men's Shed and -

Sitting suspended from 1.00 p.m. until 2.30 p.m.

Resumed from page 32.

[2.35 p.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - As I was saying about Men's Sheds, their focus is on camaraderie, friendship and woodwork but they are also widely credited with encouraging men to talk. Opening up about your problems in front of others is difficult for some men but doing it in a non-judgmental place, like a shed, where you can be creative, have a laugh and a chat and enjoy a hot cuppa, helps to make their conversation a little easier.

The shed in Launceston in Nunamina Avenue has been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its founder, David Brooks. He says it is a place where men, young and old and in between, can come together and do their thing without pressure from anyone else. They can work on a project if they wish or watch others create and hang out with the fellows.

It cannot be overstated how vital Men's Sheds are, all Men's Sheds, and how important they are in our communities. I thank the member for Prosser for bringing this motion on and I support it entirely.


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