Last week AVFM reported on a news story coming from Australia chronicling the legal problems of a local Menshed chapter in Sunshine Valley. Since that time the local government of has come under heavy criticism and a wellspring of support has come from the community and all over the country.
The Sunshine Coast Daily reports:
“The complainant said he felt uncomfortable with so many men near his children.
This led to community outrage and an outpouring of support for the group.
At their meeting yesterday, even after the speakers had stepped away from the mic, members were chatting excitedly to one another.
They resembled a bunch of boys in a newly built fort. Of course, most forts do not earn $1000 in support from Bendigo Bank. Shed chairman Ron Campbell said he could see “the sparkle” in the members’ attitudes.
“I’ve been surprised on two levels,” Mr Campbell said.
“One is the community response and the second – I’m just amazed by the energy of the men here.
“It would appear that we will stay here. And the material change of use is something we will deal with in the future.” ‘
While the council decision is still pending there is every indication that the Menshed in Sunshine Valley is there to stay.
Another very important development occurred last week as well. Third Sector Magazene reported on Saturday August 25th that the Australian government announced it will appropriate $3 million dollars in funding for the exclusive purpose of funding the Menshed Association. Warren Snowdon, Australia’s Minister for Indigenous Heath, made the announcement at the fourth annual Menshed conference in Brisbane.
“Men’s sheds’ demonstrated success in reaching marginalized and isolated males and contributing to improvements in male health and well being.”
“With Australian men still dying four to five years younger than women, we know we have to support grass roots initiatives like men’s sheds to get males of all ages engaged in ways to improve their health and well being,” Snowdon stated.
This will make Australia almost entirely unique in the western world when it comes to public support for men’s health groups and men’s associations.