THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
22 August 2011
The Australian Government is funding new grants for twenty-five men’s sheds across the country to purchase tools, conduct building and maintenance and employ shed coordinators.
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, who has responsibility for male health, made the announcement at the 4th National Men’s Shed Conference in Brisbane.
“Men’s sheds have long been recognised as meeting places where men can find social support and camaraderie. They can play a significant role in improving men’s heath and wellbeing by connecting them with each other and their communities in a pressure-free environment.
“Men often form friendships as they work together, doing things that are traditionally done in sheds, like building furniture, fixing machinery and working on small projects to help other local community groups.
“With Australian men still dying four to five years younger than women, we know we have to support grass roots initiatives like men’s sheds to get males of all ages engaged in ways to improve their health and wellbeing,” he said.
Mr Snowdon said Round Two of the Australian Government Shed Development Program announced today is funding sites in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania up to $10,000 each.
Some of the successful recipients include Shed West in Queensland, which will use funding, and skilled shed members, to make repairs to homes damaged from the Queensland floods.
Also, Wagalgau Garkaziw Zageth Inc, located on Moa Island in the Torres Strait will receive funding to purchase blocks, trusses, iron and cement to build an extension on the shed for planned social gatherings to engage males in the area.
A number of the sheds will be funded to employ a shed coordinator to assist with tasks such as overseeing and supporting projects to engage males in the shed environment or to facilitate discussions with relevant and interested groups.
Mr Snowdon said there was considerable support expressed for these funded Men’s Sheds during consultations for the National Male Health Policy.
“Men’s sheds’ demonstrated success in reaching marginalised and isolated males and contributing to improvements in male health and wellbeing,” he said.
The National Male Health Policy included $3 million to the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) to support Men’s Sheds across Australia, including $750,000 for the Australian Government Shed Development Program.
All Men’s Sheds throughout Australia are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in Government assistance.
Round Three of funding will open in late August 2011 and interested Sheds should monitor the Men’s Shed website http://www.mensshed.org for updates.
Please see the attached table for a list of the successful Round Two Men’s Sheds across Australia.
Media inquiries: Mr Snowdon’s office (02) 6277 7820