It is with great pleasure that I rise tonight to acknowledge and thank the members and committee of the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed for the support they give to the men in my community of Bonner. They generously volunteer their valuable time and their caring is second to none. It had become increasingly evident over recent years that there was a great need for a range of activities and services that support men in the Bonner community, particularly those in the 50 to 85 age range. Some of these men suffer from a number of issues such as social isolation, loneliness, mild depression and general issues associated with ageing and adjustment to retirement.
A few dedicated men formed a steering committee in 2009 and these men worked tirelessly, with the help of other community groups, who assisted either financially or in kind, along with numerous dedicated volunteers to get the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed up and running. The hard work and dedication has paid off with wonderful results. This month 169 men are proud financial members of the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed, an indication of the huge effort carried out to establish this facility by these committed men and volunteers.
There are approximately 700 registered men’s sheds in operation across Australia, and I am incredibly proud to say that the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed is one of only a very small number in Brisbane. It is wonderful to see men getting together to support each other and the community and I look forward to working with them to support the broader Bonner community over the years to come.
I had the pleasure of visiting the committee on 28 August for a progress check on their new facility and again on 3 September to present them with an Australian flag that has hung in this great House to be prominently and proudly displayed in the building upon completion. As the federal member for Bonner, I am extremely proud of this group of men who have achieved so much. Much of the success of this organisation is directly due to the energy and drive of the executive members of the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed. I wish to pay particular tribute to and acknowledge Brian Wheeler, President of the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed. Brian makes an incredible contribution to the community. I thank him for all he has done for the men in the Mount Gravatt area.
Other members of the committee whom I must mention and who deserve our praise are the Vice President, Keith Samuels; the Building Manager, Bob Pope; the Chairman of the Community Projects Sub-Committee, Arthur Muhl; and the Chairman of the Welfare Sub-Committee, Elwyn Jackson. All these people contribute so much of their valuable time to our local community and it is only fitting that they receive our acknowledgement and heartfelt thanks. I know that the sentiments that I have expressed today are shared by all those they assist in the wider Bonner community.
As many in this chamber would agree, community groups like the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed cannot continue to run effectively solely on the blood and sweat of volunteers; they also need the practical support of funding from the community and government. Owing to the invaluable commitment and support that this wonderful group of men provide to the local Bonner community, it is my intention to fight to secure the funding of $130,000 needed to complete this project. With this much needed injection of funds I have no doubt that the Mount Gravatt Men’s Shed can continue to be a beacon of hope and support to the men of the Bonner community and to the wider community in general.