Warrnambool Men's Shed making a difference

BUILDING: Andrew Synnes and Scott Muller are enjoying their time as part of the Warrnambool Men's Shed at SEAL Inc. Picture: Anthony Brady
BUILDING: Andrew Synnes and Scott Muller are enjoying their time as part of the Warrnambool Men's Shed at SEAL Inc. Picture: Anthony Brady

WARRNAMBOOL’S Scott Muller and Andrew Synnes could well be poster boys for both the men’s shed movement and men’s health week, which runs from June 12-18.

The two were hard at work at the Warrnambool Men’s Shed at Seal Inc on Wednesday.

For both, the men’s shed is playing an important part in their lives.

Mr Synnes, 53, joined the men’s shed just under a year ago.

“I had just given up drinking alcohol and coming to the men’s shed gave me a good focus,” Mr Synnes said.

“I had worked in rigging so I was okay with my hands but I have learnt heaps since I started coming here.

“The shed has plenty of equipment and you can work on your own project or help with bigger ones we do for groups in the community.”

Mr Synnes said the men’s shed is far from an exclusive club.

He said men’s shed members are not judged on their “tradesmanship”.

“There are no egos up here,” Mr Synnes said.

“There are some blokes who have worked in trades most of their lives and you can learn a bit off them.

“But for some others, coming to the shed is just a chance to rub shoulders with other people and have a chat.

“And that’s fine, everyone is happy, what people get out of the shed varies from person to person.”

Mr Synnes said the age of men’s shed members ranges from 20s to 70s.

The shed is also welcoming women to become involved with Thursdays set aside as ladies day for those who want to see how the men’s shed works and if it is something they would like to be a part.

“It would be great having some women involved,” Mr Synnes said.

“Everyone can bring something to the shed, whether it is a man or a woman.” 

For Mr Muller, the men’s shed plays a vital role in dealing with a serious medical condition.

Mr Muller is a long-term chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer.

The condition means he can not hold down a full-time job.

Mr Muller, 44, once worked building walls and trusses as well as a glazier.

He said the men’s shed allows him to keep those skills honed.

“It’s good to get out of the house and come to the shed and do some work,” Mr Muller said.

“I was a member of the Port Fairy Men’s Shed for two years and joined Warrnambool three years ago.

“I enjoy it, not only can you do some work but it’s good to have a chat to different blokes and talk about a lot of different things.”