Federal Government funding supports men’s health

Men’s Sheds on the Sunshine Coast can now access funding to support men’s health through the Federal Government’s National Shed Development Programme.

Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives Andrew Wallace MP encouraged local Men’s Sheds to put in an application for a share of $500,000 nationwide.

On a visit to the Maleny and District Men’s Shed, Mr Wallace said that the grants of up to $10,000 have previously been used to purchase lifesaving defibrillators, IT equipment and to provide essential training.

“Since 2013, the Federal Government has provided more than $6.4 million to support Men’s Sheds through the programme,” Mr Wallace said. “Since becoming the Federal Member for Fisher, I have been proud to announce over $500,000 in funding for Men’s Sheds across the electorate.”

“The Federal Government will continue to support Men’s Sheds as part of our comprehensive approach to improving the health of Australian men and I urge our Men’s Sheds to put their hand up for this round of funding. Applications are closing very soon.”

Maleny and District Men’s Shed Secretary Lindsay Hay said a rising number of retirees in the region has seen increasing demand for the important benefits that the Men’s Shed movement provides.   

“These benefits include opportunities to learn new skills or mentor expertise, build a social network and pass time meaningfully in the company of mates,” Mr Hay said. 

“But more importantly Men’s Sheds provide a collegiate network of support, advice, and fellowship for men of all ages around their mental and physical health, aspects of wellbeing that men are sometimes reluctant to address.”  

The Maleny and District Men’s Shed, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2021 and has over 50 members, will soon commence construction of a second facility, a shed donated by the Australian Defence Force and previously used in Vietnam, and an extension to their parking lot to include disabled parking. 

“This new resource will allow the expansion of the Men’s Shed services into alternative clean activities such as leatherwork, lead lighting, cards, computers etc, as well as a breakout space for meals and information sessions,” Mr Hay said. 

“These cannot be practically conducted in the current shed which is dedicated to wood and metal work.  Moreover, the existing shed has reached effective capacity.” 

Mr Wallace said there are more than 1000 sheds nationwide, including seven in the Fisher electorate, and they provide a safe and friendly environment where men can work on meaningful projects and build social connections.

“Men’s Sheds play a vital role in preventing social isolation and mental ill health,” he said. “They are an integral part of their local communities and support men of all ages in many ways.”

The Federal Government awards grants to Men’s Sheds in three categories – health and wellbeing events, shed improvements, and tools and equipment.

The NSDP provides funding to Men’s Sheds through a competitive grants process. Applications for Round 23 of the NSDP close on February 25, 2022.

More information can be found here: https://mensshed.org/development-grants/

Federal Member for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives Andrew Wallace MP is presented with a gavel from Warne Wilson and Kevin Trevarthen. The gavel was made by Mr Wilson at the Maleny and District Men’s Shed.