Ararat Men’s Shed has officially opened at its new Kokoda Park site.
The new shed gained government support, with Ararat Rural City Council providing $94,000 and the state government tipping $60,000 into the project.
Ararat Rural City Mayor Gwenda Allgood, Finance Minister Robin Scott and Victorian Men’s Shed Association president Lindsay Oates all attended the opening on Monday.
Cr Allgood said the project had been a long process, however the final outcome was a positive one for the local group.
“It is very exciting to attend the opening and stand in this impressive new space,” she said.
Cr Allgood said the council began working with the Men’s Shed group in 2012.
“In 2014 president Ray Marsh continued working with council to find a way to make the new shed happen for Ararat and in 2015 funding was provided by the state government to add to the money council had budgeted for,” she said.
Mr Scott attended the opening on behalf of Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos.
Mr Scott said men’s sheds were an important part of the community where people could come together.
“Men’s sheds are a social service and a place where people can come to and contribute,” he said.
Mr Scott said the physical structure was not the only purpose the men’s shed contributed to the community.
“Men’s sheds are great for the health and well-being of men and play an important role in bringing people across the Ararat area together,” he said.
Ararat Men’s Shed founding member David Hair said seeing the shed built was “wonderful”.
“We started as a small group 11 years ago. We were able to obtain former football club rooms which were in need of a lot of work,” he said.
Mr Hair said with the new facility the group will be able to achieve its two goals – promoting men’s health and well-being and be a service to the community.
“With the new building we will be able to provide these services to the Ararat community for many more years to come,” he said.