If you are a "Bloke" of any age, in any condition, you are welcome to come along and join in the Newstead Mens Shed, in just about any way you wish.
The members of our Shed community come from all sorts of professions and backgrounds and participate simply because it is great to mix with a bunch of interesting, good blokes.
What they or you, actually do, whether that is lots or nothing, does not really matter. Just being part of this group and being good to each other, does it for us.
YOU WILL BE MOST WELCOME!
The Newstead Men's Shed is a Social Support activity operating independently, as a separate unit, but under the auspices of the Newstead Rural Transaction Centre lnc. (The RTC is a Not-For-Profit incorporated body, Reg'd No: A0056345W, with ABN 56 497 359 808.)
It provides facilities and services for our community such as the Community Bank Agency site; Centrelink Access point; Internet cafe; Laundromat; Library; Photocopying; Opportunity Shop; Children's Play area; Retail Outlet for local crafts; and Meeting rooms). Our banking is done with the Maldon & District Community Bank with our own separate accounts incorporated within the RTC books.
Newstead Men's Shed is a registered member of the Victorian Mens Shed Association and therefore also part of the Australian Mens Shed Association whose membership fees give us access to information and advice that accrues from the experiences of other Sheds. They also cover us with insurance for personal injury or Shed property losses.
Our premises are located in a high profile position on the Pyrenees Highway at 4 Lyons Street. They consist of a new 197 square metre workshop equipped for a wide range of wood working and light metal trades, plus a recreation room with kitchen for relaxation and purely social meeting. Our workshop and equipment is now owned outright and we lease the land with recreation building from the Mount Alexander Shire at a nominal annual rent.
The Shed is staffed by one volunteer every morning (except Saturday) from at least, 10.00 A.M. until 12.00 Noon. Thereafter, the premises may continue open for as long as you like, provided we have the safety of at least two men present.
A regular get-together occurs every Tuesday A.M. from 11.00 and usually continues with "Shed" or personal projects in the afternoon. A monthly business meeting is held on the 2nd Tuesday each month.
From time to time, a guest speaker or professional presenter might be arranged to speak on any subject of special interest to our men. Social occasions or outings are arranged as the need or mood arises. These have included wives and partners at events like a BBQ, a Cup Day picnic or a really enjoyable Christmas Dinner.
Expansion and operating costs have been covered by grants, appeals, donations and the sale of our own products and services. The annual membership fee of only $30.00 is to cover our insurances. A $2.00 coin per visit goes toward maintaining the kitchen, tea and coffee facilities.
Membership is unrestricted to any male of any age, size, race, religion, complexion or interest.
However, men who have visited and stayed on, are not those who enjoyed the free timber and tools, but those who loved the opportunity to give with their varying skills and life experiences. It is among these men that you will find your new friends.
WHAT IS A MEN'S SHED?
The Mens' Shed concept is NOT about a place for men to indulge themselves in wood or metal work. It is a community social support activity that can, literally, save lives.
A man retires or ceases work at his normal trade or profession. His kids are grown up and don't need Dad. His wife is not so interested in sex anymore. He starts to feel a little superfluous and left out - Mum continues to have her work and existing network of friends and colleagues. Most of his disappeared with his job.
Our man no longer gets a regular wage to prove he is worth something. On top of that, things are heavier than they were and move/change a lot faster than they did. Health issues arise with his age that he has not encountered before. What does he have left?
Now they accuse him of being a ”grumpy old man”!
At the Mens' Shed our man discovers that things may not be so bad. Other guys seem to understand, even without saying much. Soon they learn that if they do confess to problem, that they are in perfectly good, normal, company.
Morale increases - optimism returns. Ways to help others and become a valued contributor again, are seen.
Depression and unspoken feelings, even about suicide, are eased. We start to cope much better. Next, our men move from from surviving to thriving. Working with wood, metal or a community project, is of less significance than the sharing and helping each other to do these things.
This Mens' Shed, your Community Mens' Shed, needs and will benefit from your participation. Whoever you are, and whatever you can do, will be valued.
HISTORY OF THE NEWSTEAD MEN'S SHED
We welcome your interest in our local Men’s Shed. We trust that the information herein is helpful. If you have any further questions, just ask anybody.
In 2010, John "JR" Rowland, Barry Lacey and Rheese Rodgers were three fellows each facing a number of health and ageing issues. With a positive attitude of "We must be able to do something about this," they decided to form a mens social support group. Within a year, by embracing anyone else who liked the idea, the concept of a Newstead Men’s Shed was born.
Meeting weekly at a local cafe and burning sausages once a month, a small group dreamed and schemed about how they might find the resources to get started with some premises.
"JR," our official founder and local tradesman with plenty of drive and connections, was primarily instrumental in securing the derelict old single truck fire station for us as a meeting room. This, and the land it occupied, was then leased to us by the Shire at a "peppercorn” rent.
With our own "Cubby House”, more members and growing enthusiasm, funds were raised by making timber items for sale, receiving payment for practical projects for other local groups and organisations and blatant door knocking of businesses for help. Applications for grants and equipment were submitted wherever possible, some of which were successful. (An Honour Board acknowledging those donors hangs in the Shed).
Planning and permits took a lot of patience and hard work, but in 2013 a 197 sq.m. steel building was ordered. The members rolled up their sleeves or put aside their walking sticks and built our current magnificent shed. Professional tradesmen were engaged for some of the work of course, but most of the design, construction and outfitting has been done by our own fellows.
In July 2014, the John Rowland' Newstead Mens Shed was officially opened. lt was a grand occasion with over 150 guests, public officers and parliamentary dignitaries.We continue to work (and play) at adding improvements to our facilities. However, having fun in the process, is still more important than a building outcome.
Want to become part of our further history?