Page 3943 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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Wherever I am in west Belconnen, I am always running across members of the Melba shed. They provide positive male role models in primary schools where they visit to build Meccano; they are participants and leaders of community walking groups; they are active members of the Holt Community Parkcarers, of church congregations and community councils; they fundraise at Bunnings and support their Neighbourhood Watch. To put it simply, they are just a bunch of good blokes.

Until you have seen it, I think that it is hard to understand the importance of the shed in tackling serious issues, from men’s health to community infrastructure, and also the commitment they show to lifelong learning and their great respect for each other’s skills and talents. But I think one of the key strengths that has seen the Melba shed thrive over the past five years is that amongst the seriousness, they also make sure that every meeting has time for a joke and a song.

Whilst some of the jokes that I have heard there might just be a little bit bawdy for this Assembly—I know some of the blokes think they are definitely too bawdy for mixed company—I would like to share their song with you. It was written by Ted Tregillgas from the shed and it is sung with much gusto at the start and end of every men’s meeting. I, however, will do us all a favour and not sing it here today. It goes like this. It is really hard not to sing it, actually, because the tune is quite famous and it is a song that everybody will sing on their way home in their cars tonight. Anyway, here it goes:

There’s a place we all know

And it isn’t far to go

It’s called the Melba Shed

Where the wattles are growing

The Ginninderra’s flowing

And a well worn path we tread

Where my friends and good mates are waiting for me

Where there’s always a welcome and a coffee or tea

It’s a place we all go

And it sets our hearts aglow

It’s our very own Melba Shed.

I think the Melba shed is fantastic and I wish I could spend every Friday morning there. But since I fail on many of the membership criteria, I will just have to look forward to seeing all of its members around the neighbourhood and visit from time to time in the years to come.

Reclaim the night

Education—ACT teaching awards

World Teachers Day

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (4.45): Just going to Ms Lawder’s comment about reclaim the night, I think it is a fabulous thing

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