By Jackson Russell
Kilmore men will be able to build new friendships, learn new skills and better connect with the community with the opening of its new facility.
The Victorian Government contributed $60,000 towards the project, which will accommodate expanding membership, provide a space for meetings, training courses and enable the group to host many different social and wellbeing activities.
The construction of the new shed has also received funding of $8000 from Bendigo Bank and $20,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal through the Grants for Resilience and Wellness to build a new accessible toilet block and a bathroom while Mitchell Shire Council helped facilitate the project.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes officially opened the new Kilmore Men’s Shed last Tuesday.
Ms Symes said men’s sheds are amazing organisations and a fantastic place for men to come together, look after their wellbeing and give back to the community.
“We’re proud to open the new Kilmore Men’s Shed, which will encourage social inclusion and improve the health and wellbeing of more men in our community,” she said.
“This shed offers a welcoming space for local men to come together, pursue their interests, learn new skills and keep old skills active.”
Kilmore Men’s Shed president Neil Kelton said when the shed first moved into the site next to Kilmore Racecourse, it was just a horse stall.
“There was an old building here that we made into the toilets and disabled toilets, we put up a new lunchroom and at the moment, we’re building a new welding shed so it’s all come together since then,” he said.
“It’ll broaden the skills they’ve got and allow them to learn new skills. Each member that comes in knows something different and we just pass it from one to the other,” he said.
“Even though some aren’t able to do much work, we’ve got the facilities for them to go in, drink coffee and have a bit of a yak to us.”
Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said he has nothing but admiration for the Kilmore Men’s Shed.
“I admire them for their skill sets, I admire them for their commitment and I admire them for the work they do in other aspects, not just in manual tasks,” he said.
“I love the idea of coming along to a men’s shed and learning from some people who have life skills as well as technical skills. I also love the sense of mateship and the company that they provide.
“The voluntary work the Kilmore Men’s Shed does, as with other volunteers within the organisation, is absolutely essential to the functioning of the shire.”