Men’s Sheds more than just woodwork

Men’s Shed: Derek O’Leary, Severin Duhring and Josh Lee. Photos by Megan Fisher. Photo by Megan Fisher

Members of the nine Men’s Sheds across Greater Shepparton came together for their annual gathering to demonstrate the projects each were working on and to share ideas.

High-tech: Graeme G’Day using the 3D printing machine. Photo by Megan Fisher

The event is a chance for the different groups to get together and celebrate the role of Men’s Sheds in the Greater Shepparton community.

Men’s Sheds aren’t just about making making things, they are a place for isolated men to find company within the community.

Bend it: The men of the shed demonstrated their metal craftsmanship. Photo by Megan Fisher

“We’ve got people here who just need an outing. They’re here first thing when you open (the shed) up, and last to leave,” Mooroopna Men’s Shed president Severin Duhring said.

The public perception of a bunch of old fellas getting together and doing woodwork to pass the time is only a small part of what Men’s Sheds bring to the community, Victorian Men’s Shed Association chief executive Derek O’Leary said.

Craftsmen: Ernie Garboon and Peter Dixon show off their handiwork. Photo by Megan Fisher

“What we really do is almost mental health by stealth,” he said.

“It's really more about getting guys together for social inclusion. To get them out of a house.

“A very big part of what we do is social connection.”

If you want to chat with men, you don’t do it face to face, you do it shoulder to shoulder.

“There's a lot of medical research that's proven that when men have health problems, they won't talk to their wife or their partners about it,” Mr O’Leary said.

Gathering of the sheds: From Mooroopna Men’s Shed, Ken Rau, and from Shepparton East Men’s Shed, Tony Papallo. Photo by Megan Fisher

“But they'll come and talk to a mate about it. They might say, ‘I've got prostate cancer, what I do?’

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for guys to network together and share ideas, look after their mental health and physical health, and stay busy.”

It’s a circular economy, community development officer Josh Lee said. The Men’s Sheds provide community for the men, and the men in turn work for the betterment of the community.