All Australian boys need a shed according to singer/songwriter John Williamson and for at least 37 men in Coolum, that couldn’t be truer.
The men have recently united to form the official ‘Coolum Men’s Shed’ and while there’s an abundance of members, enthusiasm and tools – they are short one tin shed.
A Men’s Shed steering committee, which investigated the community need in September, recommended that the group be formed as soon as possible and the first official Coolum Men’s Shed executive committee was sworn in just one month later.
“Councillor Stephen Robinson and Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson have been kept up to date and are both fully supportive of the Shed,” said new Secretary Don Knopke.
“We had over 30 enquiries from men in the Coolum area when we first put the call out, and there are undoubtedly many more waiting back to see what happens. There have also been many offers of tools and equipment.”
The new group is now applying for incorporation and affiliation with the Australian Men’s Shed Assoc. but to date, have been unable to secure a location or venue for their new venture.
Although the men were hopeful of securing a temporary home at an unoccupied building in central Coolum, negotiations with the owners have fallen through and they are now on the hunt for suitable premises to set up their ‘Shed’.
“To date no venue has been secured, but we are hopeful of finding temporary premises in the near future,” Mr Knopke said.
“This is a minor speed-bump on the road to success and we are already looking at alternatives.
“But if anyone out there is aware of a suitable building in the Coolum area that we can use as temporary home – we’d love to hear about it. It doesn’t have to be flash, just serviceable.”
The Australian Men’s Shed Association was established in 2007 and with over 720 Men’s Sheds already registered, AMSA is now the largest association in Australia focused on male health.
The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of the backyard shed that has long been a part of Australian culture.
The Shed acts as a hub for men to share their skills, and it is common to see men all of ages gathering to restore furniture, fix bicycles and or lawnmowers, build nesting boxes or even work together on a kids cubby house for a charity project.
It’s also an outlet for men young and old to learn about life, share experiences and provide ‘no pressure’ support to one another through good, old-fashioned mateship while working on meaningful, valued projects.
The newly elected Coolum Men’s Shed office bearers are:
President Trevor Ryan, Vice President John Robertson, Secretary Don Knopke, Treasurer Geoff Loats, Committee members Tony Atkin, Frank Bates, Russell Lunn, Vince Amor and Lions Liaison Officer Mark Sallaway.
“The community response has been tremendous, and we are looking forward to getting up and running,” Don Knopke said.
“There has even been a request to have a Girls Day at the Shed when it opens.”
Anyone interesting in joining the group, donating tools or other items – or has a building they could utilise – should contact Mr Knopke on 5446 3269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.