10 May, 2023
Fresh start for men’s shed
Space for Indigenous men to gather, yarn, learn and share skills is vital
NEW life has been breathed into the Yarrabah Men’s Shed. Like many clubs and services around Australia, COVID impacted heavily upon the willingness, availability and passion for the Yarrabah Men’s Shed.
However a public meeting in the community has reignited the passion and drive to reopen the shed and start to cater for the growing number of men seeking cultural and social connection.
Resident Brent Pearson has campaigned strongly for the reopening of the community’s men’s shed.
“We need a space for our men, a space where they can gather, yarn, learn and share their skills and experiences,” he said.
Mr Pearson said the Yarrabah Shire Aboriginal Council had provided a building a number of years ago for the group and a meeting had galvanised the community to rekindle and reopen the building.
“We want to run programs that inspire our men, allowing them to learn new skills, create new industries and most importantly support them culturally and emotionally,” he said.
Mr Pearson said a lack of employment and training opportunities were the unfortunate reality faced by many of the men in the community.
He said the men’s shed planned to create a space where the men could learn new skills, gain valuable experience as well as acquiring much needed employment pre-requisite accreditations and qualifications.
“We will work closely with many of the programs already in community – Gindaja Men’s Warrior Program and Gurriny Yealamucka’s Men’s Health and Wellbeing Program – broadening the reach of these programs and being more inclusive of our men,” Mr Pearson said.
Gurriny Yealamucka’s family wellbeing coordinator Father Les Baird was excited about the rejuvenated men’s shed.
“I work with our community members who are in the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, presenting our family wellbeing empowerment program,” he said.
“Having the Yarrabah Men’s Shed operating will allow us to continue this life-changing work with them when they return to community.
“Our family wellbeing program is vital in Yarrabah as well as at Lotus Glen, with such a large number of our community affected by the stolen generation and multi-generational trauma, our program supports them and gives them the tools to cope and change their life outcomes.
“The men’s shed – it’s for the men, and by the men.”