I rise today to acknowledge the work of the Australian Men’s Sheds Association and the sheds they represent across my electorate and indeed Australia. In fact, Australia’s very first Men’s Shed was established in my local area. The Lane Cove Men’s Shed began back in 1998 and continues in operation to this day.
From these beginnings Men’s Sheds have grown, and the association now represents nearly 1,000 sheds in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Lane Cove is always an international trendsetter.
In my electorate the Lane Cove shed has been joined by others in North Sydney, Willoughby and Hunter’s Hill. I had the opportunity to visit the Willoughby Men’s Shed last month and was impressed with all that they’re achieving. So successful have they been that they need a larger home than their existing facility in Northbridge.
In all four of these sheds the tradition of community service and individual health is a living tradition. ‘Shoulder to shoulder’ is the motto of Men’s Sheds, and shoulder to shoulder they work alongside each other in the spirit of camaraderie.
I’ve been particularly impressed with their work for the local community through projects such as the Lane Cove Toy Library, repairing furniture and toys in Wollstonecraft, the pencils and toys donated to Operation Christmas Child by the Men’s Shed in Willoughby, and the toys made for donations to the local hospitals, toy libraries and refugees in Hunter’s Hill.
Last year the Men’s Shed Association celebrated its 10th year as an organisation. I am proud of the fact that the Men’s Shed movement had its genesis in my electorate, and I wish them even greater success in the years to come.