Help Wanted in Yankalilla: The Story of a Men’s Shed

Help Wanted in Yankalilla: The Story of a Men’s Shed

As part of its ongoing support of matters relating to mental health, Rivkin had the pleasure of working with the Yankalilla branch of the Australian Men’s Shed Association this year.

Unlike in some other cultures, it seems as through older men in Australia have difficulties getting together and talking through issues that might be directly or indirectly related to their physical and mental heath. As Yankalilla & Districts Community Men’s Shed President David A Shreeve puts it, “Yankalilla suffers from the blight of most other country communities, that of an accelerating decrease in good health, both physical and mental, in elderly males. Considering that 24% of men here are over the age of 65, there obviously exists a growing problem.”

Obviously these physical and mental issues affect far more than just those men who are suffering from them, with wives and families often helpless in their efforts to positively intervene and the consequences are devastating, “Depression, suicides and isolation amongst country men are twice that of their urban counterparts. Many men felt isolated in rural areas; downsized when they moved to townships and generally lacked focus. Unlike women, most men were not skilled at social networking,” Shreeve points out.

Let’s now talk a little about how the Yankalilla & Districts Community Men’s Shed project came about, because it’s an inspiring story put into motion by a group of men who are committed to tackling a perception issue head on that was probably best described by the National Men’s Health Conference back in 1995, “It’s not blokie to talk about your troubles.”

David and Ashley, Chairman and Vice Chairman, observed the need for a men’s shed in the area and took their cause to the Yankalilla Council, who showed great enthusiasm and willingness to help. A small team then set about procuring land, a shed with a toilet, kitchen, machinery, plenty of time and elbow grease as well as encouraging volunteers and sponsors to pitch and make things happen. And happen they did, with a strategic plan, a 12 x 12 metre shed sitting on a concrete slab and electricals all being built and incorporated this year.

The men found boundless generosity from the Yankalilla Over Fifties Club, who provided land, facilities and partial funding towards construction of a shed to be leased to the organisation. The Council’s Community Development Scheme, businesses from near and far, local community members as well as brands (including Clipsal) and other Men’s Sheds pitched in to buoy the project, which has taken it from dream to reality.

While they’ve made huge leaps this year, there is still a wish list that needs to be checked off, and the Yankalilla & Districts Community Men’s Shed would be very grateful for donations of equipment, time and money in the form of the following:

  • Dust extractor(s)
  • Insulation and lining for the shed
  • Windows
  • Air conditioning in time for the South Australian summer
  • A macerator linking a sink to the sewage system
  • Battery operated tools
  • Work benches
  • A shipping container for storage
  • A security system
  • Funds (of any size) for the ongoing costs of running the Shed

If you know of any businesses or individuals who can provide any of the abovementioned resources, or if you’re based in the area south of Adelaide and you’re interested in rolling your sleeves up, please contact me directly at or the Shed’s fund-raiser George Adler using the details below.

George Adler

Fundraising/procurement officer

0417 833 112

I appreciate your attention and help on this in advance.

Scott Schuberg 

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