Real men still need to shed their creative tinkerings

Jo Ann Miller, Brad Strong from the Salvation Army, Shayne Neumann and Ipswich Men's Shed's Dean Olafsen at the opening of the new Bundamba shed.
Jo Ann Miller, Brad Strong from the Salvation Army, Shayne Neumann and Ipswich Men's Shed's Dean Olafsen at the opening of the new Bundamba shed. Rob Williams

ALL Aussie boys need a shed.

So the saying goes... and it seems that they need one even more as time goes by. The Bundamba Men's Shed was opened on Monday and looks set to be an oasis for men looking to shoot the breeze and engage in creative activities.

Ipswich Men's Shed steering committee president Dean Olafsen said the shed "is a place you can do things with your hands and also open up your heart as well". He said the shed catered for men from 18 to 80 but "predominantly the target group is post-60".

"They are retirees who often get lonely, depressed and bored under their wives' feet," he said.

"There will be a range of activities such as woodworking, metalworking and tinkering with cars for those who were petrol heads when they were younger. We hope to have social programs, bus tours and lunches...and a health system where guys can get checkups and listen to talks from dieticians. I've got a dream that over time we'll be able to extend the shed and have an annexe where there can be counselling and support. A lot of guys carry hidden and buried grief."

The shed is a joint project with the Salvation Army of Bundamba who have made the building available. Mr Olafsen said funding was provided by the Mayor Paul Pisasale, Cr Bruce Casos with assistance from Federal MP Shayne Neumann. The shed was flood damaged and has been restored by workers from the former State Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

"We have a dozen graduates who did a fantastic job building this shed. But unfortunately this Tory government has stopped the funding for this," Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said.

Mr Neumann said $750,000 of Federal Government funding went to the Australian Men's' Shed Association every three years and the Bundamba Men's Shed was eligible for up to $10,000 in the current round of funding.

"I am supporting them in their current application," he said.

Yamato's Ray Regeling, 69, said the shed was a much needed space for the mature man.

"Guys our age can't fish every day. You've got to have something else to do," he said.

Topics:  bundamba, dean olafsen, men's shed program, salvation army



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