Tuesday 14th December, 2021
Author:   Michael Kenny

Now that restrictions have eased for the most part, it’s a great time to get active again. For smaller communities around Gippsland, that can mean popping down to a Men’s Shed and seeing what’s happening.

Until recently, Gippsland’s Men’s Sheds in Wellington and East Gippsland Shires sat in separate districts, with contact information scattered over several places.

Although Men’s sheds in Wellington Shire and East Gippsland traditionally operated as separate regions, they long maintained informal network connections, something that has recently been given a boost.

Following a recent change in State Government boundaries, seven Sheds in the Wellington Shire were ultimately left out of new promotional campaigns and brochures, left separated from Men’s Shed networks in West and South Gippsland, and overlooked in recent community building support directed towards fire-affected communities lying further east.

With such strong historic, geographic and social connections in common, the idea of including Wellington Shire Men’s Sheds with an East Gippsland regional network emerged, building upon the strong sense of the identity and connection these communities have long shared. Howard Williams, from Bairnsdale Men’s Shed, has since taken on a leading role in putting together a series of events, brochures, coordinating advertising and open days, to reach residents across both East Gippsland and Wellington Shires.

Developing a project plan and funding proposal via Connect Well, Men’s Sheds in Wellington and East Gippsland will be out there over coming months, flying banners, holding open days and community events to encourage new members, promote upcoming activities and opportunities, hear about what the local community wants, and learning firsthand what other sheds in their region are doing.

With a focus upon social connection, positive health, wellbeing and friendship, Men’s Sheds are a place to share skills, be active and support local community networks and organisations. With so many communities affected by fire, drought and COVID-19 and finally able to get active again, now is a great time to learn more about local Men’s Sheds, get yourself or someone you know more involved, connect with others and be a part of a wider community Gippsland network doing projects that benefit the local community.

Keep your eyes open in coming months. Attend one of the various open days across the region, pick up a brochure, follow on Facebook or just contact a Men’s Shed near you to find out what’s happening and learn more about how you can get involved.

Where to find a Men’s Shed

Men’s Sheds across East Gippsland and Wellington Shires can be found at Bairnsdale, Bemm River, Bruthen, Cabbage Tree Creek, Cann River, Golden Beach, Heyfield, Lakes Entrance, Loch Sport, Maffra, Mallacoota, Nowa Nowa, Omeo, Orbost, Paynesville, Rosedale, Sale, Stratford, Swan Reach and Yarram.

Further information can be found on Facebook where a number of sheds have a page or by contacting a local Men’s Shed directly.