What does Sexuality and Ageing have to do with Men’s Sheds

This is just one of the secrets to be revealed at the Wheatbelt Steel Men’s Shed conference to be held at Merredin on 2 and 3 September 2017, where more than 150 representatives from Men’s Sheds throughout Western Australia will gather.

Partners of Shedders have been invited to attend the opening session to hear the two main speakers, as their message will be as relevant to women as to the men.

Dr Lorel Mayberry of the Department of Sexology at Curtin University will speak on “Sexuality and Ageing.” Owen Catto of the Regional Men’s Health Initiative will raise issues concerning “Social and Spiritual Wellbeing.”

This will lead onto a discussion of the importance of social spaces and activities at Men’s Sheds.

Trevor Taylor, the President of the Western Australian Men’s Shed Association said the organisation is currently undertaking a project aimed at increasing the inclusion and participation of men with a disability in Men’s Sheds and a report will be made to the conference.

The participants will also share their experiences of innovations at Sheds and receive some handy hints on promoting their shed, available resources, risk management, insurance, funding and  workshop operations.

Mr Taylor added, “Fifteen years ago there were only about six Men’s Sheds, all in country towns in the South-West of the state that had been sponsored by RSL Clubs or Vietnam Veteran’s Associations, with support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  Today there are 175 Men’s Sheds that are operating or planned in Western Australia from the Kimberley to the Goldfields and in all other regions.”

In addition to the interesting presentations, there will be the opportunity to obtain information from 15 trade displays, headed by the naming rights sponsor Wheatbelt Steel, which built the Merredin Community Men’s Shed.

Photos of the huge range of activities undertaken by Men’s Sheds, plus examples of some of the small products produced will also be on display.

Mr Taylor praised Lotterywest for the financial assistance provided to Sheds to support their representatives attending the conference.  He also thanked the Department of Communities and the Road Safety Commission for their sponsorship of the conference along with a number of trade displays and information tables.

The Merredin Community Men’s Shed is a partner in presenting the conference.  The President, Dennis Scaddan said there were major benefits to the town in hosting the conference.  “Accommodation is booked out with an overflow of caravans going onto the oval. The Shed wishes to thank Collgar Wind Farm, the Shire of Merredin, CBH and the many local businesses plus the Repertory Club and Bowling Club that are supporting the conference.”