About the South Brisbane Men's Shed
The South Brisbane Men’s Shed is a traditional Men’s Shed with a special interest group supporting fathers and male supporters of people with autism.
Whether you’re interested in computers, music, gardening, restoring furniture, repairing a bike, or building a cubby house for a local charity, we have a range of activities to suit our members interests. Or if there’s something you’re particularly interested in getting involved with, let us know and we’ll try to include it in our program.
We’re founded on an atmosphere of mateship with a desire to communicate, collaborate and create a supportive environment to promote men’s health and wellbeing.
Being involved with and supporting our local community is at the forefront of our work.
Our objective is to provide a safe and supportive environment for men to get involved in activities and receive advice and companionship in a stress free, comfortable and non-threatening environment. We also want to provide a place for fathers and male supporters including brothers, uncles, grandfathers, carers and friends of people with autism to come and talk with others who have similar experiences.
Promoting and encouraging friendship and community involvement alongside men’s wellbeing and good health is our priority.
Our Executive are here to guide and manage our resources, skills and activities of all members.
The establishment initiative came from the then Queensland Department of Education and Training, in particular through the Autism Hub and Reading Rooms unit of the Department, to provide social support and information for men in families managing autism within the family unit.
Our Fathers of Autistic Children Together (FACT) Group promotes activities and events specifically addressing the needs of this special interest group
Our Men’s Shed organisation, South Brisbane Men’s Shed Inc., was established as a Not-for Profit Incorporated Association in Queensland in October 2016, and opened its doors for member activities in April 2017. We were established with leasehold possession of an area of land and buildings within the Education Queensland (EdQ) property situated at 141 Merton Road, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102. The Autism Hub, Reading and Writing Centre, and the SPELD organisation are also co-located on this property.
Normally, the activities of a Men’s Shed in Australia are actively guided by the interests and capabilities of its members, and this norm was applied in the early years of SBMS. Activities and interests continue to evolve as our membership grows and matures, and fall into the following Activity Aspects.
Social / Cultural
Activities are many and varied, summarised in the following list:
● Daily / weekly informal socialisation for members over a cuppa or a meal
● Shed talks - eg. health, inductions, finance, retiree services, SBMS systems, travel, wills and more
● Community events - eg. active involvement or support provided to school fetes, Shed Open Day, Neighbour Day, BBQ&A for fathers/uncles/grandfathers of autistic children, Melbourne Cup and Christmas parties, community festivals, Bunnings customer events for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days, Easter, and Christmas
● Music - ukulele group, a capella singing groups, karaoke, performance groups
● Pool and snooker games, darts, card and board games
● Internet browsing, use of computers
● Regular walking events, attended by SBMS members and residents in the local community
● eBike riding events
● Golf events for members
● Bunnings Sausage Sizzles - while these are important fund-raising activities for SBMS, providing approximately one third of our annual income, they also represent significant involvement in our local community as well-received community services.
● Blacksmithing - forging, welding, metal fabrication
● Painting and drawing
Making and Repair Works
● Furniture and toy repairs
● External orders for making equipment or services - eg. from hospitals, research centres, community service organisations, individuals and companies
● Three-string “Biscuit Tin” guitar making workshops
●Lutelele making Workshops
● Maintenance and improvements to existing gardens and lawns
● Establishment of new gardens
● Using the recently acquired Green Bin to support Garden Maintenance
FACT Special Interest Group Activities
● Planned regular Saturday opening of the Shed, to attract new FACT-interested members, to show prospective members the facilities and activities available at the site, and to offer an environment in which they can be productive and valued members of the community, and can experience a culture of mateship, good humour and fun
● Opportunities for members to gain new skills, socialise, have downtime from their caring roles, and enjoy peer support and a helping hand if needed
● A range of activities, both on- and off-campus throughout the year to promote health and well-being
● Planned promotion of the Saturday program through schools, libraries, community organisations, disability providers, social media.