Magnetic Island North Queensland
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January 25th 2012
Calls for a Magnetic Island Men's Shed

The idea has been “tossed around for some time” but a meeting has now been called to start a Men's Shed on Magnetic Island.

So, what is a Men's Shed? Without pre-empting the direction an Island shed group could take, men's sheds are generally places where blokes, more often retired or mature aged, can work on hobbies and projects, often for charity purposes, that require equipment that these fellas may no longer have access to. As often happens, people retire and downsize their accommodation and no longer have a shed of their own or they simply don’t have access to the tools and equipment they need to complete a job.

Of course when a bunch of blokes get together to work, or for fun making stuff and possibly sharing some old tradie tricks, they also have a chance to share a cuppa and have a yarn - getting to know other locals a bit better in the process.

Men's Sheds have been appearing across Australia since 2007 and are seen as an important way for men to make friends and, as is increasingly a problem, even on Magnetic Island, help counter the isolation and depression which can strike people, particularly as they get older.

Kim Pierce, Coordinator of Magnetic Island Community Care has suggested a meeting on February 1st at 10.00 at their premises at 7 Apjohn St, Horseshoe Bay.

One of the interested shedders, Chris McGuinn told Magnetic Times, “Now we have the opportunity to gauge interest in putting a working group together".

Chris is hoping that locals who hear about the meeting, “...may know others who would benefit from a ‘Shed’. They all are welcome to come and put ideas forward on how to get one for our Island.”

Story: George Hirst

To learn more about the Men's Shed movement (Click here)
Chris said, “Could you please let me know if you are able to attend?  Also, if you know of anyone else who may be interested in helping out, they are also most welcome to attend.” Chris can be contacted at

Calls for a Magnetic Island Men's Shed
January 25th 2012
Ahem, some of us girls do work around our homes and can't see why it can't be "peoples shed". I'm not a rabid women's libber but you would be surprised at the number of single/widowed/divorced whatever females who have their own homes on Maggie which they maintain themselves and would appreciate swapping ideas and hints.
January 25th 2012
I hope this idea comes to the real thing, no doubt there would be plenty of interest here on this beautiful Island,So go for it Guys,Good Luck to all concerned.
January 25th 2012
would be better if its not just for men.. kinda sexest.. what about all the women who would like to to??
January 25th 2012
Nice try ladies but it is called "Men's Shed". It is not about whether woman can do the same roles or there been a need amongst single women etc. As the article states it is " an important way for men to make friends and, as is increasingly a problem, even on Magnetic Island, help counter the isolation and depression which can strike people, particularly as they get older". Woman generally socialise better, interact in groups & hence prevent isolation. This is a proven tool (pardon the pun) to get men interacting, mentoring and preventing isolation illness such as depression. Woman are brilliant developing social networks! Men need help to socialise, "Mens Shed" is a great, alcohol free environment to do so!
January 27th 2012
alan its not just men who have these problems, i don't see why men can not be friends with women, if its a people shed, it would benefit alot more people.. its easy to say women socialize better.. but are you a women do you really know , i doubt it.. i see no reason why a people shed would not be as good as a mens shed. i really find it quite offensive to generalize women. they need something like this just as much.., but alot of women do not want to go to knitting groups and so on, they want a people shed!!!!
January 27th 2012
Gabbie, Ella....
I think you have a great point about being able to do your own maintenance and needing handy hints and tips the tradies have...maybe instead of crashing the guys party you could ask them to have education days were they teach everyone (ladies, kids) handy tips about changing a tyres, tap washers and general home maintenence stuff....
You might need to bring a plate of food/cake etc and you could make a day of it once a month.
Better to comprimise than start a war :-)
January 29th 2012
how is that a compromise. ermmm,,,,, seriously i doubt that many women would get in to the shed thing, but it should be open to all who would like to, the island is isolated and alot of men and women do not socialize it would be good for everyone, not just men..
January 29th 2012
Dear Ella
I couldn't agree more with Stuart. Men's Shed is not anti-woman. These men would just more likely attend a Men's Shed. It is a nationwide success & has Govt backing. Maybe you can be the pilot for "Women's Shed". If you feel so passionate maybe you can attend the meeting & suggest a different day for the gals. Most of these men would probably love to donate time doing maintenance jobs for woman disadvantaged. Sorry but "People's Shed" just not cut it. I have not intended to offend you about my general social comment of woman, but it was general . Go to the meeting, it would be great to get this going for all the community.
January 29th 2012
Good idea Stuart. Don't know about the cake baking aspect though, not when you can buy one. I wish they had home maintenance courses for me when I was at high school, sure worth more to me than getting a B for French.
January 31st 2012
All of the comments are very constructive and encouraging, I think to fully understand the concept it will help to look at
I guess because the first Shed was "simply" named due to how it was formed, the name stuck because it was easy on the tongue, certainly better than PeopleShed. I implore all interested people to attend the meeting on Wednesday Feb 1st at the Community Care Center in Apjohn Street, Horseshoe Bay.
Women are very welcome noting that as the concept did grow out of the "backyard shed", activities have tended to centre on sheddie type stuff. Women can come and learn tradie skills and men may wish to learn many home skills. However if we think that we can break what has been a phenomenal success story, almost 600 sheds in 10 years by trying to form a just a social meeting place on Maggie we will need to look elsewhere for an organisation.
The Australian Mensshed Association AMSA is a nationally recognised organisations with affiliations to Beyondblue, our Prime Minister is a major supporter and her partner Tim Mathieson is together with Jeff Kennett the former Victorian Premier a Patron.
Please consider that in general simply as a function of age, men are retired or made redundant earlier and may have many years of use to the Community left, the MensShed is one way of utilising their talents for the good of all.
Kim Pierce
January 31st 2012
Just to let you know that according to the Australian Men's Shed Association, "Women are welcome in most sheds". What the Magnetic Island Men's Shed ends up looking like in terms of its activities, membership, location etc will be decided by the working group in the coming months.
Peter F Hughes
January 31st 2012
I was recently involved in the formation of the Woomelang Men's Shed in the Mallee, Victoria. What impressed me was the way the community, men and women, came together to get it started. Men doing the things they do best and women, well, doing those things men often leave out.
One lady wrote 100 letters to various organisations and corporations in the district, asking for donations. Imagine the joy of the men when tool vouchers, plumbing supplies and an electrical rewiring of their shed followed (Old Woomelang Courthouse.)
I spoke with a member of Parliament in Canberra last year about men's sheds. John Forrest MP talked about suicide rates for men being much higher than women in the bush. He encouraged me to help organise the shed.
Now I am hearing about one on Magnetic Island. It reminds me of my favourite shed there which often had issues of men's mental health as the topic of conversation for many years. Ofcourse I am talking about an old mate's shed who has sadly departed. I am sure Peter Legrand would have had his thoughts behind it.
Why not dedicate it to him!
Peter F Hughes
Lorne, Vic
Vicki Walker
February 2nd 2012
I understand Ella and Gabbie's comments on the men's shed, but people aren't invited to every party in life - and this is one party that should happily remain the men's. Let's not be selfish.
Most women are better at socialising and enjoy pottering around at home on their own. Men don't have to be single, widowed, or divorced to be lonely.
When I was young, there were years when I worked in hotels behind the main bar. I discovered that many men don't spend hours in pubs because they love the grog - they are very lonely, and just want company.
So give the men a fair go in the Men's Shed.
May it have a long and happy life!
February 2nd 2012
Its a good idea but I thought there were several 'mens sheds' already on the island in the form of pubs?! During my time living on the Island I always felt that as a twentysomething female there wasn't really a place for womenfolk to go. I always wished there was some sort of welcoming coffee shop or something like that where as a single lady you could go and sit, have a coffee, relax in a comfy armchair and read a book or do some knitting or other activity. There are lots of cafes and pubs on the island however I always they were all quite uninviting for women and not particularly welcoming....anyway thats just my view.
Helene Rankin
February 2nd 2012
I agree that a Mens Shed would be a great idea for Magnetic Island, a way for "blokes" to come together and support each other in their own space. Of course women could be made welcome on occasion, or when they have a keen urge to drill and hammer; but I think it's great if the guys have a space where they can relax & share, without the potential pressures of women folk. It's not sexist ( in my view ) to care for individuals in a way suited to their individual needs. Women are good socializers and often have great friends & support networks ; men, especially slightly older men are more likely to be isolated and could greatly benefit from a chance to gather with other blokes.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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