As people retiring often downsize their living arrangements, the back yard shed or workshop is lost, resulting in a loss of personal space for our men. Additionally, many men are reluctant to talk about their emotions which means they usually don’t ask for help. Because of this, many men are less healthy than women, drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Department of Veteran Affairs together with the Phillip Island RSL recognised a strong need in our local community, and in 2010, the Phillip Island RSL Community Men’s Shed became a reality, initially opening with a woodwork shed and in 2013, a metalwork shed. During the course of 2017, the two workshop sheds were joined creating an additional 40 square metres of working space.
While the Shed is the initiative P.I.R.S.L. there is no requirement to be a member of the R.S.L. and is open to men of all ages. There are no prerequisite skills required to become a member of the Shed.
The Shed is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9 am to noon.
The Shed, like many more across the length and breadth of Australia, provide men, particularly retired men, the opportunity of coming together to participate in a wide and diverse range of projects. The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of “the back yard shed” or “man cave and is a real part of Aussie culture.
While the bulk of the projects undertaken by the Shed require the use of power tools, of which the Shed has a vast array, some projects only need sanding and painting.
Equipment available for use includes:
- Power and hand tools, wood turning lathe, saw benches, rills, sanders, planers
- Dovetail machine, air compressor, paint, welding, metal bending, sheet metal tools
The Shed membership consists of men, who during their working life have been employed in various disciplines e.g. Professional, Industrial, Trade etc. This mix provides the opportunity for men to pass on to others their individual knowledge and skill.
The Shed provides a mecca for local members of the community to meet regularly to work on all types of projects from: small tool boxes, picnic tables, planter boxes, stage props, penguin boxes as well as repairing and restoring furniture and engaging with primary school children teaching them new skills.
Members are encouraged to bring their own projects to the Shed where they can either work alone on them or seek help from another member.
While it is not the intent of the Shed to take work away from local business, community members are welcome to request the Shed to assist them with repairs to furniture etc, much of the work the Shed has undertaken since opening their door has been repairing furniture etc. Monies raised from these activities were recently donated to 3DHands – Mat Bowtel.
If you are sitting at home with time to spare, and no “shed to play in”, why not call into the Shed to see what we do.
Terry Heffernan. 03 59526955, 0438808428.