Community & Business

15 June, 2024

Shed more than just a building

A NEW metal working facility that has taken years of planning and fundraising has finally opened its doors.

Members of the Malanda Men’s Shed and Tablelands Deputy Mayor Cr Dave Bilney (right) at the facility’s opening last week.
Members of the Malanda Men’s Shed and Tablelands Deputy Mayor Cr Dave Bilney (right) at the facility’s opening last week.

Malanda Men’s Shed has opened the new facility in Park Avenue after eight years of planning and fundraising by founding members, with support from the local community, businesses and elected representatives of the region.

The new shed will host metal work (welding and fabrication) to complement existing activities at the Mary Street venue where leatherwork and woodwork are conducted.

MMS president Graham King invited shed patron Cr Dave Bilney to officially open the new shed by cutting the chain with bolt cutters.

“This occasion marks a significant milestone for our community, one that signifies unity, growth, and the fostering of strong, supportive relationships,” Cr Bilney said.

Mr King said the shed was not about the facilities or activities but about the members, who “came from all walks of life to laugh and learn from each other”.

He said the social isolation of older men could be overcome in the “shed environment”.

The new shed cost an estimated $160,000 of which about $75,000 was from grants, including Ratch and the Community Benefit Gambling Fund, with Mr King thanking former “Shed executives” and treasurer Graham “Digger” Downes for the strong financial position of the Malanda Men’s Shed.

“Most of the plant and tools in the new shed have been donated by the local community and refurbished by members under the stewardship of coordinators John Warren and Don Evans,” he said.

Cr Bilney spoke with great passion at the opening about the new facility and what the shed provided to men in the community.

“This shed is more than just a building; it is a symbol of camaraderie, resilience, and community spirit. It serves as a sanctuary where men from all walks of life can come together, share their skills, learn new ones, and most importantly, support each other,” he said.

“In today’s fast-paced world, such spaces are invaluable for fostering mental health and well-being. Here, friendships are forged over shared projects and laughter fills the air as stories are exchanged. 

“The Men’s Shed offers a place where men can find a sense of purpose, belonging, and pride in their achievements, whether they are building a piece of furniture, making some leather items, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee with mates.

“The impact of the Men’s Shed and in particular the Park Avenue Shed, extends far beyond its walls. It strengthens our community by providing opportunities for mentorship, skill development, and social interaction. 

“It creates an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome, and everyone’s contribution is valued.”

Both facilities at Mary Street and Park Avenue are open from 9am to midday on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. New members are welcome to drop in for a look at 12 Mary St, Malanda or contact the Secretary on


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