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$3 million for men’s sheds

The Australian Government is funding the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) to offer new grants for 25 men’s sheds to purchase tools, conduct building and maintenance, and employ shed co-ordinators.

The National Male Health Policy included $3 million to AMSA to support Men’s Sheds across Australia, including $750,000 for the Australian Government Shed Development Program.

The Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon, who has responsibility for male health, made the announcement at the fourth 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 health 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,” Minister Snowdon said.

Round Two of the Australian Government Shed Development Program announced its 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.

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 co-ordinator 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.

Minister Snowdon said “Men’s sheds’ demonstrated success in reaching marginalised and isolated males and contributing to improvements in male health and wellbeing.”

“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.

All Men’s Sheds throughout Australia are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in Government assistance.

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