One of the old Unitywater laboratory buildings is used to analyze something quite special these days – the bond between friends.
Noosa Men’s Shed began using some of the Unitywater buildings at the Noosa Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2014.
Noosa Men’s Shed Chairman Steve Phillips said the space, along with every other men’s shed across the country, provided a place for men to meet and forge friendships.
The group also encouraged good health and contribution to the community.
âA lot of men don’t talk about feelings and emotions and aren’t interested in their own health and well-being,â Mr. Phillips said.
âAs a result, they are in poorer health and suffer more loneliness, isolation and depression. “
Mr Phillips said the group aims to change that.
âBecoming a member of a men’s shed provides a safe and lively environment where men can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned camaraderie,â he said.
Masculinity and men’s health were at the center of this International Men’s Day, November 19.
The day aims to shine a light on the social issues facing men and boys, including the startling statistics that three in four suicides are men and men die on average six years earlier than women.
Katherine Gee, acting chief financial officer of Unitywater, said it was so important for men to have access to groups that encourage skill building, community bonds and the weird cup of tea.
âThis group is making a difference in the quality of life for men,â she said.
Best of all, their initiatives like repairing old bicycles and donating to schools for bicycle safety lessons mean that positive experiences are spreading throughout our community. “
Mr Phillips said the old water analysis lab had become the group’s clubhouse and a disused chlorine room housed a pyre.
Since then, the group has undertaken major site improvement work, installing gardens, an ironwork shed, beehives and much more.
“We are fortunate that due to the space afforded by Unitywater our hangar provides multiple opportunities for men to interact with other members and learn new skills beyond basic woodworking and metal, âPhillips said.
âMembers can participate in organic gardening, aquaponics, leatherworking, beekeeping, electronics and a studio for our more artistic members. We even have our own rock band. And more recently, we have daily exercises in our health and activity center.