Tuesday 8th February, 2022
Author:   Michael Kenny

If you keep your eyes open in Maffra and surrounds during 2022, you might see a little bit of motoring history passing by along the road, or perhaps adding some interest and colour at local community events.
Maffra Men’s Shed has recently acquired a vintage milk cart, which will play a small but vital role in a much larger project. With a deadline of December 2022 to vacate their existing site, Maffra Men’s Shed will be relocating and building entirely new facilities on the site of the existing Maffra RV Park. Maffra Men’s Shed will be revving up to top gear to make this all possible, with the support of some major sponsors and local volunteers.
In 2021, Maffra Men’s Shed was fortunate to acquire the milk cart from the Gippsland Vehicle Museum. Maffra Men’s Shed volunteers and local businesses have since been working hard to get it back on the road, with work including a bit of mechanical maintenance, an updated tray and new signwriting, to round off the vintage finish.
Maffra’s local economy is heavily dependent upon agriculture, being one of many rural communities that has been impacted by drought and floods in recent years. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, communities across Gippsland and elsewhere suddenly faced numerous restrictions, limiting social contact. Community organisations and groups, particularly in regional areas, became even more important than even as community hubs of activity that help to reduce isolation, promote positive wellbeing and social connection within local communities.
Maffra Men’s Shed has been a valuable part of the local community for some years, providing men of all ages with a supportive and friendly atmosphere, access to skills, and opportunities to get involved with projects in the local community, or the space to work on something of their own. Like Men’s Sheds across the country, Maffra Men’s Shed continues to provide local residents with access to an important social outlet, creating opportunities to participate and contribute to the local community.
An exciting feature of the new facilities involves the potential of partnering with other local groups in co-share use of the site. The site also lends itself for the conduct of local Community Markets and to be a Staging Area in the case of local emergencies. This approach will ensure that the new site becomes an important hub of community activity and partnerships, for many years to come.

In 2022, you will begin to see Maffra Men’s Shed members travelling around in their vintage milk cart, letting people know what they do, encouraging new members to come along and letting the community know about what the new Men’s Shed and community facilities will look like. If you see them out and about, be sure to say hello and check out the milk cart. While you’re there, find out what’s on offer at Maffra Men’s Shed and what they have planned for the local community in their new home.