Dereel Men’s Shed project kicks off
RESIDENTS of Dereel and the surrounding region can celebrate as the first sod was turned to mark the commencement of construction on the community’s new Men’s Shed, last Friday. Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson was on site to break ground ready for the $81,000 project to commence. “I’m proud to say that I fought for this funding as an election commitment, and I am so pleased to see this funding being delivered,” said Ms Henderson. “The Men’s Shed program promotes and encourages health and wellbeing among men and some women, particularly aged over 50. It’s a great program that is aimed at keeping participants active with a range of activities and most importantly, keeping them engaged with the community. “The Australian Government delivered $40,000 towards the project which is another example of our government’s commitment to building better community infrastructure for Corangamite. “Over the past decade, Dereel and district has experienced continued hardship with drought, floods and more recently a bushfire. This Men’s Shed is a good way of helping to make the Dereel community even stronger and more resilient.
The Victorian government contributed $34,000 to the project, with the Dereel Bushfire Relief Committee contributing $7000 and Golden Plains Shire contributing $626.
Councillor Helena Kirby praised the residents’ resilience and community spirit, touching on the devastation that the Dereel fires caused but concluded with, “This natural disaster destroyed so much but what it didn’t destroy was the community spirit in Dereel, in fact, I would say it strengthened it. For me this Men’s Shed isn’t just a construction project, it represents the community’s unwillingness to let the fire and destruction break them.”
Dereel Men’s Shed president Doug Braddy added that the structure of Dereel had changed in the two year’s since the bushfire ripped through the district. “Some people left, a lot more new people have come, we have had a big fight to get this shed and some people have had to fight to get their houses built but there are new dreams,” he said. “At the moment we are operating out of my shed, running it from a generator, but still we have raised over $7000 in the last 18 months from products we have made and sold, just by doing hard work..
“When this shed is done and our machinery is in, it will be a lot safer and I just can’t wait.”
Construction of the Dereel Men’s Shed project is expected to be completed in December 2015.