Sebastopol Men's Shed
A determined group of local men combined with Ballarat Community Health
to initially establish the Sebastopol Men’s Shed (SMS) in 2014 , in an empty warehouse .
The warehouse was essentially an empty shell , complete with concrete floor and broken windows .
Repairs and renovations followed , with generous community support to set up and fit out the Shed .
In time , Shed members and the Committee sought a new , purpose-built , permanent building of their own .
State and federal parliamentarians provided strong support with grants , helping promote public awareness.
Essential support came from the local network of established Sheds, plus local businesses and generous individuals.
Designs for the new premises were largely driven at the Shed level , leading to the construction of a facility to cater for a range of activities:
woodwork , metalwork , mower maintenance , gardening , vegetable and flower growing and meal preparation.
The process of setting up and moving into the new shed actually took four years .
Members finally relocated to the new premises in late 2019 .
It was a proud day in March 2021 when the new Shed was officially opened.
The Shed is to a large extent self-supervised ,
working within standard OHS parameters , and within government regulations and council requirements ,
the latter being especially relevant in food preparation.
The Shed is organised through cooperation between the Shed and Ballarat Community Health,
which essentially underwrote the establishment of the new Shed. It is a non-profit organisation.
A Shed Management Committee consisting of President , Secretary , Treasurer and two additional members
meets monthly to manage the Shed administration and its programs .
They are elected by all eligible members at the Shed’s Annual General Meeting.
Current Committee members for 2021-22 are:
President : Les Shimmin
Secretary : Geoff Haw
Treasurer : Aime Petit
Members : Stephen Field and Leith Cunningham
The President provides a weekly update and report to members at our Wednesday lunchtime briefings .
Members are encouraged to participate with their views ,
and other Committee members may also provide information to members.
The Committee sees it as important to keep members informed and involved in the running of the Shed, giving them legitimate ownership.
In addition , a Governance Committee meets regularly, which includes representatives of the SMS and Ballarat Community Health,
as an extension of the Auspice Agreement , a written agreement between the two organisations ,
in which BCH , as the sponsor of the SMS , outlines the parameters of its support for SMS .
This Committee is an excellent vehicle for ensuring that at all times the two organisations
are working together in this important project for men’s health and well-being .
The Shed functions within the umbrella support of the Australian Men’s Shed Association and the Victorian Men’s Shed Association ,
and acknowledges the support provided from the Victorian and Federal Governments , especially through local MPs .