New Men’s Shed in Cape York
A new Men’s Shed in New Mapoon in Cape York was officially opened today by the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and State Member for Cook, Jason O’Brien.
The shed will be a gathering place for Indigenous men from five local communities – Bamaga, Injinoo, New Mapoon, Seisia and Umagico – as well as providing mentoring and linking people with health services.
Ms Macklin said the Australian Government delivered $60,000 to the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council to construct the building in partnership with Men’s Sheds.
The Queensland Government is investing a further $200,000 over two years to employ a coordination officer and deliver support services at the shed such as proving advice to men, health and wellbeing services and recreational activities.
“The social support and camaraderie found in Men’s Sheds can significantly relieve the isolation and loneliness many men experience,” Ms Macklin said.
“Men often form friendships as they work together. Here in New Mapoon local men will be able to participate in activities to help them connect with each other, their communities and country, such as wood carving, spear making and fishing.”
Mr O’Brien said the Northern Peninsula Area Men’s Shed would also be a culture hub.
“In addition to the positive diversion programs offered on site, men will also be able to engage in cultural activities in their local communities,” he said.
“There’s been two year’s hard work on this concept, and now there is a complex of buildings and a small farm used for vegetable growing and horticulture.”
Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt said men’s sheds reduce social isolation by bringing males together in their own space to work on meaningful activities and projects.
“They also support men’s health and well-being by offering a place for men to share their stories, support each other and improve their skills, confidence and self-esteem,” Mr Pitt said.
“Local councils, traditional owners and Indigenous enterprises have all supported this great initiative, with the Men’s Shed reaching out to men in the communities of Bamaga, Injinoo, New Mapoon, Seisia and Umagico.”
The New Mapoon Men’s Shed is a significant partnership between the Australian and Queensland Governments, the Northern Peninsula Regional Council, Traditional Owners, Indigenous enterprises and Mensheds Australia.