Federation Chamber – CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS – Barker Electorate: Naracoorte Men’s Shed

Mr PASIN (Barker) (10:33): Can I associate myself with the remarks of the member for Hindmarsh regarding Viv Maher. Viv spent much of her life in Mount Gambier, and she is well known to me. We spent a lot of time on polling booths together. I always looked forward to manning a booth with Viv because it was always good fun—the way it should be. We had the kind of banter you would expect in a campaign. The member for Hindmarsh is exactly right—she was a champion for the community and a lion of the Labor cause. So vale Viv—my thoughts are with Jim, Kyam and all the family.

Last Friday I attended the official opening of the Naracoorte Men’s Shed. We are lucky to have so many fantastic men’s sheds in Barker. I enjoy them, as they are a reminder of how members of the community can come together and make a massive difference to the health and wellbeing of individuals, which in turn makes for happier, healthier communities. They do so quietly, without fanfare and fuss, but the impact these organisations have on our community is outstanding.

Men’s sheds help men, particularly as they get older, to connect with each other and prevent social isolation and preventable health conditions. They provide a sense of community, a safe and friendly environment where men can work on many projects at their own pace, in their own time and in the company of others. This may not seem groundbreaking stuff, but I have seen firsthand how these simple things can make a massive difference to the health and wellbeing of individuals. The men’s shed movement has now become one of the most powerful tools in addressing men’s health and wellbeing. The men’s shed movement helps to raise awareness of mental health issues, because, let’s face it, Aussie men are not that good at looking after themselves, either emotionally or physically. Men’s sheds are vital community investments. These community based organisations deliver activities that foster community spirit, cultivate social collectiveness and contribute to building a more inclusive Australia.

‘Shedders’ devote most of their time to worthwhile community endeavours that deliver great benefits to the wider community, such as undertaking major projects, donating arts and crafts, participating in community events and actively promoting men’s health and wellbeing. Through local partnerships and community collaborations, men’s sheds create stronger local communities.

The Mannum Men’s Shed, in my electorate of Barker, is another fantastic example. They work with 25 community organisations within the Mannum region, meaning that not only does the shed directly benefit those involved with it; it also benefits the community. Shedders deliver great benefits to the wider community through major projects and other activities. As a member of every men’s shed in the Barker electorate, I’m pleased to be in the parliament crowing about this movement, particularly as we approach Men’s Shed Week, scheduled to commence on the 25th of this month