Originally established as part of the Vietnam Veterans Federation Brisbane / Gold Coast regional sub branch Inc to assist soldiers returned from the Vietnam war, the The Vietnam Veteran’s Men Shed in Nerang is now seeing new generations of ex and currently serving military personnel come through its doors.
“The members of the Shed operate the variety of machines used in woodworking and metal working,” Shed Secretary / Treasurer Peter Cameron explains when we ask him about the shed operations.
“We also undertake many tasks for veteran’s widows including repairs to furniture and collecting unwanted items.”
Other Shed activities include splitting and bagging fire wood for sale to the public, and the training and mentoring of long-term unemployed clients. Interestingly, the Shed itself was built entirely by veteran volunteers (except for the electrical and plumbing services.)
“One of the main objectives of the Sub Branch constitution is to provide relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution or helplessness to persons who are recognisably in need of relief,” the Shed website declares.
To fund all these activities, members undertake regular sausage sizzles, and sell their works.
“Also, the Shed members maintain several bee hives and gardens, and the honey and produce are sold to members and the public,” Peter tells us.
One of the current projects that members of the Shed are working on is actually several magazine stands for Blank’s print magazine. And if that’s all not enough, some of the Shed members recently built their third dinghy from scratch.
“The Shed is a very important part of the community as it allows members to mix and work with like-minded people,” says Peter.
“Many of our members suffer with various disabilities either physical and/or mental, and the Shed allows them to avoid social isolation and other unfavourable circumstances.”
The Shed welcomes new members, and it’s very easy to apply. You can also contact them to commission works, and find out how else you can get involved.
Visit the website at vietnamveterans.net.au for more.
IMAGE (C) Simone Gorman-Clark