Burleigh Community Men’s Shed

3 Aug | '2022

I am pleased to rise to talk about the fellas at Burleigh Community Men’s Shed in Miami. I joined them on 7 July, just last month, for morning tea. As we know, men’s shed plays a really important role in mental health outcomes for our community, and I thank the fellas there at Burleigh men’s shed. It was a great opportunity to meet with the members to see what they’re working on and hear about the fantastic work that they do in our community. You should see some of the woodwork, Mr Deputy Speaker. As I left, they gave me a beautiful little gift which sits in pride of place in my office in Surfers Paradise.

Rob Livett talked about a marvellous partnership program that the Burleigh men’s shed has with the Broadbeach State School, which is a beautiful school in my electorate. The deputy principal there, Wayne Jenks, has been a driving force behind this particular partnership, so I take the opportunity to applaud Mr Jenks, as he’s known by his student body, for thinking outside the box and always going that extra mile when it comes to his beautiful school there in Broadbeach.

The program is still relatively new. It’s been named ‘Boys to Men’, tentatively, and it’s so far seen two successful rounds. Boys to Men runs every term and provides opportunity for six to eight impressionable young men, or boys, to visit the shed. It’s during those visits that the boys are taught woodwork, machinery safety and, most importantly—certainly at men’s shed—the value of mateship, which is so important. The students form lovely relationships with the fellas there, who become, of course, their role models and mentors, which is so important. The shed provides a new and different way to learn and socialise in a setting outside the schoolyard and allows for students to grow and thrive. So far the outcomes and the feedback have been tremendously positive within the school community and at the shed, and I’m told that across the schoolyard, at Broadbeach primary, an increasing number of students are raising their hands to be considered for each new round of the Boys to Men program. They, of course, want to go to Burleigh men’s shed. Rob has told me that girls also wish to get involved, which is good news, but the program may need a bit of a name change to be for all genders.

I greatly commend both Burleigh Community Men’s Shed and Broadbeach State School for launching the beneficial and positive Boys to Men program. I also want to take this chance to give Secretary Jim Caswell, Vice President Stuart Kapper, Shed Coordinator Ray Deverson and all of the fantastic members of Burleigh men’s shed a shout-out for welcoming me to their cup of tea on Thursday morning. I can’t wait to come back and see you fellas soon.

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