THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Federal Member for Port Adelaide
14 February 2011
Older and disadvantaged men in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia will soon have more help to meet and find social support with Australian Government Grants for Men’s Sheds.
New sheds will be established in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales with another 16 established Men’s Sheds around the country to receive a grant to assist them to develop and upgrade their workspaces and buy equipment and tools or to employ staff help manage a shed’s operation (see table attached).
Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said Men’s Sheds play an important role by providing meeting places for men to stay connected within the community, while helping their physical and mental wellbeing.
“Based on the traditional backyard shed, Men’s Sheds provide a relaxed place for men to meet and continue a hobby, learn new skills, or just pop in for a chat and a cuppa,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Isolation, loneliness and depression are major health issues for many Australian men, which is compounded by the male culture of not talking about feelings or emotions and not taking as active an interest in their own health and wellbeing as they should.
“Men’s Sheds can play a significant role in reducing these problems by connecting men with each other and their communities without pressure. Most sheds also undertake community work, so there’s an opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and make a positive contribution to the community.”
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, and Federal Member for Port Adelaide, Mark Butler, welcomed more than $3,300 in funding for the new Zebra Finch Men’s Group at Kura Yerlo in Largs Bay.
“The Zebra Finch Men’s Group is an Aboriginal group focusing on cultural art and craft and intergenerational teaching and learning to pass on the skills of artefact making, with a strong focus on learning and participation,” Mr Butler said.
“I am delighted that this Australian Government grant will help purchase tools, equipment and a computer for this terrific local organisation.”
Funding for the 20 Men’s Sheds was provided under round one of the Shed Development Program. Under this program, the Australian Government is providing $750,000 over three years through the Australian Men’s Shed Association to provide financial assistance to eligible men’s sheds across the country.
The funding to support men’s sheds is part of the $16.7 million committed by the Australian Government to improve male health under the National Male Health Policy. The Policy, which was released in May 2010, provides a framework for improving the health of all males and achieving equal health outcomes, particularly for groups of males at risk of poor health.
More funding will be made available in the second round of the Men’s Shed Development Program which will open in late February 2011. For information on how to apply, please see: www.mensshed.org
Please see the attached table for a list of the successful Men’s Sheds across Australia.
Minister Snowdon’s office – 02 6277 7820
Minister Butler’s office – 02 6277 7280