The following is a speech given by Steve Minnikin State Member for Chatsworth on February 12 2013.
Tonight in this chamber I rise to talk about my visit late last year to the Men’s Shed Carina. During my visit to the Men’s Shed, I had the privilege of attending their planning meeting, which is held every six months. As the famous business saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Therefore, it was wonderful to see all the members defining the next six months ahead for the Men’s Shed. Without the commitment and dedication displayed by all members, those sorts of voluntary organisations simply do not prosper.
The Men’s Shed Carina had humble beginnings, which started as the vision of Mr Georgie Hickey. Just over twelve months ago, eight financial members met underneath Georgie’s house. Fast forward to early 2013 and the Men’s Shed Carina has not only over 80 financial members and a massive new shed located at the back of the Clem Jones Centre, but also a variety of equipment, tools and materials. With its active website and monthly newsletter, there is no doubt as to why this Men’s Shed membership is rapidly expanding and is on the cusp of opening four days a week to accommodate that expanding membership base.
The reason I wish to highlight the work of the Men’s Shed Carina tonight is to draw attention to not only the great work of President Mal Weir and the rest of the shed’s executive, but also what the Men’s Shed delivers in terms of practical benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of men in the Chatsworth electorate and surrounds. On average, men are not comfortable talking about their feelings, emotions, health or life issues so the men’s shed concept provides a nurturing outlet, combined with keeping busy in an environment with true-blue Aussie mateship at its core. That is why it is no surprise that many prominent mental health organisations such as Beyond Blue sing the praises of organisations such as the Men’s Shed Carina.
In its first twelve months, the Men’s Shed Carina has already given back to the Chatsworth community tenfold, from making possum boxes to building footstools for children studying the piano and wooden toys for the Cracker Jack Carnival, as well as assisting other community groups with projects or repairs. Without a doubt, there is a wide range of skills and knowledge amongst the Men’s Shed Carina membership. However, that does not stop the members from continuing to learn and enhance their toolbox of skills and knowledge through CPR training to demos and various presentations from organisations such as the Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation and many others over the year. Indeed, it is inspiring to see a big emphasis on tool skills, safety procedures and furniture restoration, which all contribute to ensuring that members get the most out of the shed. It is with great pride that, as the member for Chatsworth, I recognise the outstanding work of the Men’s Shed Carina.