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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) . . Page.. 3562 ..


Road Transport (General) Act—Road Transport (General) Application of Road Transport Legislation Declaration 2017 (No 5)—Disallowable Instrument DI2017-201 (LR, 17 August 2017).

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation—Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Child Safety Equipment Approval 2017—Disallowable Instrument DI2017-203 (LR, 17 August 2017).

Veterinary Surgeons Act—Veterinary Surgeons (Board) Appointment Revocation 2017 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2017-202 (LR, 17 August 2017).

Work Health and Safety Act—Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulation 2017 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2017-24 (LR, 17 August 2017).

Community services—men’s sheds

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lee): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Cheyne, Ms Cody, Ms Lawder, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Lee, Ms Orr, Mr Parton, Mr Pettersson and Mr Steel proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Lawder be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of men’s sheds in enhancing community wellbeing and social inclusion.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.54): It is a pleasure to rise today to speak of the importance of men’s sheds in enhancing community wellbeing and social inclusion in the ACT. When I was a child growing up, sheds in the backyard were very much the male domain. Your dad would go out to the shed, often after dinner, to what was then termed as the escape from the kids in the house—probably more likely to escape from the washing up—and undertake these men’s activities which were a bit mysterious to me at the time. They often involved woodwork and metalwork and things like that. Sometimes my dad’s friends would come around and they would work out in the shed together. They may be fixing a motor, doing up an old car, getting a boat engine to run, all sorts of different things. So men’s sheds are very much part of the Australian culture.

The men’s shed movement is, if you like, an updated version of that traditional men’s shed in the backyard environment. What we found over the past 20 or more years was that men were not very good at asking for help. They were not very good at acknowledging when they had health issues, including mental health issues. They were not very good at identifying when they did not have friends, when they felt lonely, when they had problems and they did not feel able to share. Sometimes it was instilled in them from a young age that men should be the strong part of a relationship and they had to put on that brave front, the stiff upper lip.

Hopefully, things have been changing more recently, with a focus on the need to seek help, that it is okay to seek help and it is okay to talk about your issues with someone


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