140805 Guests Gary Misan & Brian Marshall
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140805 Guests Gary Misan & Brian Marshall

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GUEST SPEAKERS: Associate Professor Gary Misan and Brian Marshall talking on the Whyalla Menís Shed. Gary started off asking, ďwhatís a menís shed?Ē Then he answered his own question with: a place or space for blokes to go and do blokey things and get away from the trouble and strife. (thatís rhyming slang for their better halves). There you get friendly socialisation without a purpose (unlike Rotary or the 4WD Club). Menís sheds started in Broken Hill and Victoria in the 1970ís. The first SA sheds started in the 1980ís. There are now 1000 sheds Australia wide and 70 in SA. Whyalla is one of the last towns this time round to get a shed. In Australia the average age of attendees is 68.The benefits of sheds are: the company of other blokes, fun, do or not do as the whim takes youósome say itís just like at work but without the boss breathing down your neck. Blokes can renew old skills and improve their feeling of identity and purpose. What makes a Menís Shed successful? Community partnership is key. Also Work Health and Safety must be the aim. However, the cross-section of interests in the participants can sometimes feel like herding cats. Brian told us that he got the call from Gary to start the shed in Nov 2012. The public interest meeting attracted 44 blokes, of which 19 wanted to go onto the committee to get things rolling. With no money it was no use looking at all the empty sheds in Whyalla, but a wonderful benefactor materialised in the shape of our own John Cagney who offered the back of his Priceline Pharmacy on Norrie Avenue, for the princely sum for $1.10 annually (thatís $1 plus GST). The Whyalla Menís shed may be unique in that is receives no funding at all. It has received some grants that have paid for services upgrades, machinery and furniture. Saturday Sept 14 is the grand opening. Currently there are 44 members who each pay $50 per year, and the Shed is open for business Monday to Thursday 10 til 3 and Saturday 10 til 12. Two of the members have mentioned to Brian that they have no where else to go, which is motivation enough to keep this Menís Shed alive. By the way, there are 2 or three honorary female blokes attending and nobody seems to mind (or is that notice?)

Item Code: 05 Aug 2014

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