Multicultural Men’s Shed Will Upskill and Integrate Migrant Men into Darling Heights Community

Toowoomba West Men’s Shed president Murray Trewavas, Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP and parent engagement officer Ricky Adams view plans for a multicultural men’s shed at Darling Heights State School.

A group of volunteers is working on a project to build a multicultural men’s shed at Darling Heights State School to help upskill and integrate migrant men into the community.

Darling Heights State School parent/student engagement officer Ricky Adams approached the Toowoomba West Men’s Shed last year to be involved in the project and they were happy to help.

Shed president and retired mental health worker Murray Trewavas said he and other members would run workshops teaching migrant men basic home maintenance such as fixing doors, windows and broken taps.

“It is also about meeting people, building relationships and helping them with their issues,” Mr Trewavas said. 

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP applauded the idea and congratulated Mr Trewavas on securing $26,462 through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund program to contribute to the project.

“It is wonderful when you see grassroots community organisations such as the Toowoomba West Men’s Shed reaching out and working to include everyone,” Mr Janetzki said. 

“Darling Heights is a diverse community and this is a project that will bring everyone together,” he said. 

Currently, 52% of students at Darling Heights State School were born overseas or their parents were born overseas. Students come from 37 different countries and 39 different languages are spoken in their homes. 

Mrs Adams said the project came about as a way to engage fathers with their community.

“I’m conscious of the fact that there are a lot of men out there who have nothing else in their lives,” Mrs Adams said.

“There are many men who have come from a working background but when they arrive in Australia they sit in a two-bedroom unit all day with no garden and nothing to do,” she said.

“They aren’t able to work because of their language skills so this new men’s shed will be a great place for them to visit.”

Mrs Adams said the Toowoomba West Men’s Shed volunteers would also take on the role of mentors to some children.

“Many of these children don’t have fathers as their fathers have been killed in war or are missing so this is a lovely opportunity for students as well,” she said.

The multicultural men’s shed is part of a bigger project called The Hub that the community will hear more about in future.