Breanna and the car – Channel Men’s Shed Heart Warmer

We have a real heart warmer report.
It started with an attempt by a couple, who have no wish for publicity, to trade in the wife’s car.
Failing to get a reasonable offer for the old vehicle (a 1999 Daihatsu Sirion) they decided to make it available for donation to a worthy cause. Generously, they also agreed to fund the replacement of the clutch which was giving trouble.The Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association passed the offer on to us and, after some

The Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association passed the offer on to us and, after some investigation, we agreed to both repair the car and to find a worthy donor. The clutch was provided free by the local Repco store and, in return, the donors agreed to extend the registration out to December.

Meanwhile, Ross Thomas our Shed computer mentor who has also been volunteering at the “Gearing Up” Learn to drive programme, supported by the Huon Council, became aware that learner driver and single mum, Breanna (and her delightful infant daughter)  would be ideal recipients.

Ross spent some 40 hours mentoring Breanna with her driving skills. This mentoring proved very beneficial with Breanna satisfactorily gaining her provisional license. RACT was approached regarding insuring the vehicles and made a welcome donation of $500 to the Shed to assist with our good work. The car insurance and a new baby seat have been purchased as a result.

Breanna has been walking 45 minutes from home to casual work at a disability care centre and, as Ross explained in his persuasive appeal to the committee, would benefit from the availability of a car to visit family on the other side of Hobart and, perhaps more importantly, would have more access to casual work with improved transport.


The CMS was officially opened on Saturday, 13 May 2017 by the Honourable Mathew Groom MP, Minister for State Growth and member for Denison.The idea for a CMS was born over a beer Friday lunchtime on 16 September between Martin Watkins and Brian Johnson both residents of the Cadbury Estate which is encompassed by greater Claremont. The idea was further reinforced when Martin told his wife Suzanne what was planned and she wholeheartedly supported it.

Searching for a likely location became Martin’s everyday activity while Brian sat back and looked at maps and Google Earth. Neither came up with anything concrete in the first few weeks until Martin happened on the President of the Claremont Golf Club who said “drop me a line and I’ll take it to the committee”.

Short story; the Claremont Golf Club had just had a new residential development approved by the Glenorchy City Council. This development meant a new maintenance workshop would have to be built. It was considered by the Claremont Golf Club to be good PR to include the Claremont Men’s Shed in that structure. Discussions then took place about the size and exact location.

While all this was going on Martin had called a public meeting at the Claremont Golf Club to assess the reaction of the residents of Claremont. To say it was met with great enthusiasm would be an understatement. Neither Martin nor Brian had anticipated the level of acceptance from the public or the corporate sector.
It was brilliant!

The big problem was that we needed a venue now, not in 12 months time. Martin, with his usual get up and go, got in touch with Martin Kelly, Manager of the Vantage Hotel Group who own the Claremont Hotel and asked what plans they had for the old, now disused, petrol station at the Southern end of the Claremont Hotel.
The answer was “nothing, what do you want it for?” Martin Watkins replied “a temporary home for the Claremont Men’s Shed” and there it is. Up and running in nine short months with a rapidly growing membership!

Message from the Executive Oficer

The Tasmanian government continues to support Men’s Sheds across Tasmania. In the 2017–18 budget,
$90,000 has been allocated to the TMSA.
This funding has been allocated to support our 55 members through the following activities:
• $5,000 to conduct training to up skill Shed leaders to improve shed governance;
• $5,000 towards health awareness programs;
• $10,000 towards TMSA operational expenses; and
• $70,000 to continue and expand the role of the Executive Officer (this includes travel costs).
There has been no announcement of a continuation of the grants program as the current funding of $550,000 over three years that commenced in 2014 does not finish until the end of 2017.

Round 5 of TMSA grants to Sheds has been completed and the successful applicants have all received the funds. At total of $113,137 was allocated (see article regarding successful grant recipients).
In addition to the TMSA grants, Sheds have received allocations from the Tasmanian Community Fund(TCF) and the Department of State Growth Community Infrastructure Grants.
TMSA Sheds that received funding from TCF:
• Spring Bay Community Boat Shed – $14,432 – Shed extension
• Howrah Men’s Shed – $4,500 – Safety and other equipment
• Huonville Men’s Shed – $79,256 – Construction of premises
• Kentish Men’s Shed – $22,249 – Shed extension
• Port Cygnet Men’s Shed – $5,286 – Equipment upgrade
The Community Infrastructure Grant recipients are not published on the State Growth website but I am aware of Claremont and East Tamar Sheds receiving considerable funding.

All of this clearly identifies the high level of support for Men’s Sheds by the Government and the community of Tasmania.
Cheers, Geoff

Geoff Marsh Executive Officer
Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association