By Sean Car
The Melbourne Men’s Shed was officially opened on Monday, September 7 at Federation Square – a first for CBD residents.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Minister for Families and Children and Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos were among a number of distinguished guests who joined Melbourne Men Shed chairman Alan Seale to unveil the new facility.
Funded by the City of Melbourne as well as both past and present state governments, the Melbourne Men’s Shed offers local men a place to repair toys for the Royal Children’s Hospital, information about healthy living and take classes in a range of activities.
Having been operational since March, the centre is already home to more than 30 members and is open to everyone, including retired, unemployed, disabled and socially disadvantaged people.
Minister Jenny Mikakos praised the work of shed members who had contributed more than 400 hours of volunteer labour to make the project possible.
“I have to say, as someone who’s visited a number of men’s sheds right across the state now, I think this has to be the flashiest men’s shed that I’ve seen to date!” she said.
Located on level one of the Federation Square car park, on the corner of Flinders St and Russell Court, the Men’s Shed is housed inside the former home of Travellers Aid.
In February last year, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle joined former Victorian Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge to announce council and State Government funding for the project.
Federation Square, Monash University, the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne, the East Melbourne Group and Woods Bagot Architects also contributed significantly.
The shed is open on Mondays (10am – 2pm), Tuesdays (10am-1pm) and on the second Saturday of each month (1pm – 3pm).
The shed has been many years in the making and is the result of a convergence of demand from within the Melbourne municipality.
Cr Beverley Pinder-Mortimer was instrumental in harnessing and directing support for the project from East Melbourne residents and brokered a meeting with the Lord Mayor back in 2012.
“I am elated to see the City Men’s Shed come to fruition and excited about the opportunity to meld the generations through engagement with schools and other youth organisations,” Cr Pinder-Mortimer said.
For further information see www.melbournemensshed.org