Saturday, March 1, 2014

Karen McNamara MP - Member for Dobell Visits Bateau Bay Men's Shed

Karen McNamara accepted an invitation to join the men over morning tea to gain an insight as to the set up of the shed, the companionship amongst the members and to see some of the work carried out in the shed.

Following her visit she spoke in the House of Representatives of her visit and how much she enjoyed her time talking with the men.  A copy of her speech is presented below.

Member for Dobell

27 February 2014



Last month I was invited to tour the Bateau Bay Men's Shed and share in some morning tea.

Upon my arrival I was greeted with the message, 'You'll need to have thick skin to survive here'.

While this may be true, from the friendly banter between the men at the shed I quickly learned the tremendous role played by the Bateau Bay Men's Shed in the lives of its members.

The Men's Shed movement began as a means to provide retired or unemployed men with social engagement through activities and male companionship. In my electorate the work of community groups such as the Bateau Bay Men's Shed makes a tremendous difference to the lives of men seeking activities and social interaction out of the home.

When I asked how the Men's Shed operated, I was advised men can arrive when they want, stay as long as they want and leave when they want. When I visited the shed, it was packed with 30 men, all of them eager to have a say and enjoy their morning tea.

Over morning tea I learned and witnessed firsthand the importance of the shed to its members as they shared stories of their work, friendship and activities outside the shed, and shared a couple of jokes.

New South Wales Men's Shed Association Director, Mr John Sharples, said:

The philosophy of the shed is that, it is good for members to spend a third of their time working on private projects, a third helping to maintain the shed and a third on community activities.

Engagement with the community is an important emphasis and the men enjoy working to add value to the lives of individuals and the activities of many community groups.

I would like to commend all those involved with the Bateau Bay Men's Shed and congratulate them for their contribution to our local community.