Shed­ders gather

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - Simon Rup­pert

Be­nalla played host to the Vic­to­rian Men’s Shed As­so­ci­a­tion’s (VMSA) AGM on Fri­day.

More than 138 mem­bers of 38 Vic­to­rian Men’s Sheds de­scended on Be­nalla to at­tend the event, which in­cluded guest speak­ers and pre­sen­ta­tions from the VMSA Com­mit­tee and in­di­vid­ual sheds.

VMSA pres­i­dent Lind­say Oates said the AGM was an im­por­tant event where shed­ders could hear about the di­rec­tion of the statewide or­gan­i­sa­tion and its re­la­tion­ship with sheds from other states.

‘‘We had a very ex­cit­ing speaker to­day, Stan Alves. He spoke on men’s health and well­be­ing and ev­ery­one was highly mo­ti­vated hear­ing him talk about his foot­ball, his per­sonal life and his ex­pe­ri­ences,’’ Mr Oates said.

‘‘We then heard sto­ries from all the dif­fer­ent sheds. We had rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 38 sheds, which was great.’’

Men’s Shed As­so­ci­a­tions across the coun­try are grow­ing with 365 sheds in Vic­to­ria alone.

‘‘We are ac­cept new said.

‘‘At the mo­ment we are adding three to four sheds a month. And we’re re­ally grate­ful to the State Gov­ern­ment Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices for helping us achieve that.

‘‘It’s a bi­par­ti­san ap­proach and they as­sist us with grants of al­ways happy to sheds,’’ Mr Oates $60 000 for new sheds or $30 000 for re­fur­bish­ments.’’

As well as of­fer­ing a so­cial set­ting and pur­pose for many men across Aus­tralia, Men’s Sheds do a lot of good work for char­ity.

‘‘We raise money through things like bar­be­cues and other sim­i­lar events,’’ Mr Oates said.

‘‘And Vic­to­rian Men’s Sheds con­trib­utes some­where be­tween $30 to $50 mil­lion per year back into the com­mu­nity.’’

More than 11 000 men at­tend Men’s Sheds each day in Vic­to­ria, and each shed is unique.

‘‘Sheds across the state vary and are ex­tremely di­ver­si­fied,’’ Mr Oates said.

‘‘Some will be into wood­work, some will be into re­pair­ing and mak­ing fur­ni­ture.

‘‘Some build cars and car­a­vans, some are into fish­ing and some fo­cus on bush­walk­ing.

‘‘Other sheds are just a place where men can go and sit around a ta­ble to talk. So we have a rich di­ver­sity across Vic­to­ria.’’

VMSA AGMs ro­tate be­tween met­ro­pol­i­tan and re­gional ar­eas, with Be­nalla se­lected this year.

‘‘We love Be­nalla, we think it’s right to be up here and to pro­mote the sheds here,’’ Mr Oates said.

‘‘A lot of these shed­ders are stay­ing and hav­ing a look around all the art that is go­ing up to­day. So ev­ery­one has re­ally en­joyed be­ing in Be­nalla.’’ right

Proud hosts: The Vic­to­rian Men's Shed As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers at their re­cent AGM held in Be­nalla’s Lake­side Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Marvel­lous: Moorn­gag Mower Ma­nia was one of the high­lights of the Be­nalla Fes­ti­val.

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