Page 3572 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 12 September 2017

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interests, develop and share knowledge and skills, serve the community by working on various local projects, and build friendships and connections.

Community-run men’s sheds are a prime example of what effective prevention looks like. Research clearly indicates how damaging social isolation can be, both physically and mentally. In contrast, those who participate in men’s sheds typically experience improved self-esteem, physical and mental health, and wellbeing.

I am grateful that two of Canberra’s men’s sheds are located in my electorate of Ginninderra. The Belconnen community men’s shed in Page is open four days a week and was purpose-built. It is fully insulated, has disabled access and is equipped with both woodworking and metalworking tools.

The Melba shed offers a weekly program of activities, including presentations and excursions, and currently hosts a walking group, a cycling group and a Meccano group. This last group goes to three or more local primary schools each week to work one on one with students to build Meccano models. This mentoring program provides boys with a friendly and positive experience with older males and focuses on the skills of perseverance, responsibility and public speaking, proving that the good things that happen in men’s sheds do not just stay in the sheds.

Madam Assistant Speaker, I am personally grateful for men’s sheds and for all they do to improve community wellbeing and social inclusion in the ACT. I encourage all Canberrans to acknowledge and support this important work.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Ms Berry) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Australian peacekeepers

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.31): This afternoon I rise to mark Australian Peacekeeping Week. Seventy years ago this Thursday, Australia embarked on its first peacekeeping mission. Our involvement started in Indonesia on 14 September 1947, with four Australian military officers becoming the first UN peacekeepers in the world. These officers were deployed to the United Nations Good Offices Commission in the Dutch East Indies. From that day to the present, 90,000 Australian peacekeepers from our defence and police forces, as well as expert civilians, have participated in 73 operations in 64 countries.

A number of Australia’s peacekeepers have lived or are currently living in the ACT. I want to take some time this afternoon so that we can pause, reflect and acknowledge the sacrifices made by these peacekeepers and join with the community

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