Making a difference | Maroochy Men’s Shed

Two men inside Maroochy Men’s Shed

Maroochy Men’s Shed is located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

Beneath the shed’s surface is a thriving support network for men of all walks of life, offering companionship, craftsmanship and above all, a good time.

This is the recipe for success enjoyed by Men’s Sheds across the country, and Maroochy Men’s Shed is no exception.

Enjoying a range of activities, Maroochy ‘shedders’ can engage in woodwork, metalwork, the photography group, reading (the shed comes complete with a library) and much, much more – the shed also boasts a world-exclusive craftsman in residence; matchstick sculpture maker Len Hughes.

There are also, of course, the obligatory cups of tea or coffee.

It’s over a cuppa when some of the most important work is done.

Isolation is a serious issue and is often a motivating factor for those who join a Men’s Shed.

Although much work has been done to break down the stereotypes around men’s emotional wellbeing, there is still much to be done and this is where organisations like the Maroochy Men’s Shed come in.

Older man smiling

“It’s a health thing for men. You know, they’ve worked all their life and then they get to retirement and they feel they just can’t sit down and read the paper.

“You know you only read it once and morning TV is nothing flash is it?” says Maroochy Men’s Shed president, Graeme Giles.

No longer do men who may not have anyone at home need to sit in solitude – they can come to the shed, get some work done and make new friends to boot.

“We’ve got so many cases where men really are at their wits’ end at home and getting them out into a place where they can chat with others… they don’t have to do woodwork or metalwork, they can just sit down and chat and a lot them do that,” said Graeme.

It’s the social interaction that can be the biggest drawcard.

“We see the need for this Men’s Shed as bringing people, men, together to just sit down, have a yarn.

“If they want to be active they can get in the workshop and make something, create something or repair it,” he said.

Maroochy Men’s Shed has been fully embraced by the local community and the popularity of the organisation has meant that they need to find a bigger premises in order to keep up with the demand.

The group will be pleased to have a shed of their own.

At time of writing, members were busy preparing for the big move to their new shed.

“Shortly we’re going to have our own shed and it will be much larger, and we will be able to increase our membership, perhaps to well over 100, perhaps 200 within the foreseeable future.

“I’m sure that will fill a great need and there will be no shortage of takers,” says secretary, Otto Alder.

Otto, like many members, found the organisation through a friend and it has since become an important part of his life.

Two men holding books smiling to camera

“One of the existing members of the Men’s Shed, whom I used to know when I worked in Darwin, asked me if I’d come along with him to the shed and I agreed to do that one day and I’ve never looked back,” he says.

With the Sunshine Coast a popular spot for retirees, Graeme expects that the popularity of Maroochy Men’s Shed will only continue to grow.

“The last census, the figures on the coast in our targeted area were about 15, 16,000 men over the age of 60 and of course that’s increasing every year,” he said.

“We believe more sheds will be required in the future.”