“It’s Not Just Making Something”

It’s the Social Aspect of LV Women’s Shed …

Logan Village Women’s Shed members: Jayne, Diane, Helen, Carol, Kaylene, Margaret, Eleanor & Denise displaying their craft

On 3rd March 2020, the Logan Village Women’s Shed Inc was established.
Prior to the group’s commencement, an Open Day event was held on 27
February by founding members Eleanor Lyons and Diane Maky. Local women were encouraged to join the group for friendship and to learn new skills using power tools, machinery, and small plant equipment.

On the Open Day, 16 women signed up with most still members to this day.
The number of members has grown to 28 over the past year and a half -with another 4 joining in the past week. Aged from mid 20’s to 80’s, with Jayne being the youngest and founding member Eleanor being the oldest member, the ladies use tools and equipment such as scroll saws, band saws, engravers, routers and laser cutters – all currently belonging to the Logan Village Men’s Shed.

The Logan Village Men’s Shed has about 30 members ranging in age from
30 to 90 years old. While the men create ‘community projects,’ such as chairs and tables for the Logan City Council, the women focus on ‘craft projects’ for local community groups and organisations such as toys for the local Kindy or bee hotels for local groups. The members make everything from etched wooden coasters, to wheelbarrows, planters, wooden baskets, shoe racks, puzzles, and toys – to name a few ideas. Founding member Diane has even made over 20 owls! One intriguing innovation was that of a bamboo holders for ‘snags in blankets’. And don’t forget, the time of the year for wooden Christmas decorations is almost upon us!

Youngest member, Jayne, takes great joy in making toys, gaining inspiration
from story books such as ‘Room On The Broom’. She said her three year old
daughter, Lysa, loves being the ‘guinea pig’ to try out each new colourfully
painted, carefully treated with lemon scented wax, ‘whimsical item’ she creates.

The women, as do the men, welcome donations of wood from which to craft
their items. Jayne receives donations of offcuts from a coffin-maker from which she makes her toys – very much a ‘cycle of life’ in some ways!

During the covid lockdown, the women greatly missed the sessions and
camaraderie with their fellow shed companions. Safety Officer Carol said “I received so many calls from women who missed being able to come down to the shed, just wanting to have a bit of company.”

Carol observed “People can suffer a bit of depression, and this is a good
outlet for them to come and have some companionship where they can feel
comfortable and not judged. There are no put downs here, especially if people have no knowledge of or forget how to use the equipment!”

The rest of ladies chimed in with “We have a good gasbag while we work!
Everybody is happy to help everyone else, we never feel bad for asking!” Jayne also said she values the advice she receives from the older members.
Eleanor comments “Our husbands support us too, some are a bit stunned at what we can actually do! But it is not just making something, it’s the social aspect!”

Operations advisor Carl from the Men’s Shed agrees “That’s the first thing, and most important!” Carl (lovingly known as ‘Con’) acts as teacher and advisor, and attends every day to help the women with operation of the machinery. The ladies’ comment, “We have learnt so much in one and a half years from Con, he is our ‘Go to Man!’”

Carl said “The women have made 1000’s of items so far. They come from near and far as there is no other Women’s Shed in the area, and the Men’s Shed is very happy to support them in their work.” Having almost ‘grown out’ of their present premises, the Logan Village Men’s Shed Inc are in the process of moving The Shed to a more suitable location in the Industrial Estate in Logan Village.

Their goal is to move two large sheds, previously built for the Vietnam War and not used, onto land generously provided by the Queensland Transport and Main Roads. In order to make the move, the Logan Village Men’s Shed need funds for each stage such as the concrete slabs, power, and dust extraction – with each stage costing approximately $30,000 to $40,000. At the time of writing, the Logan Village Men’s Shed had fortunately received a Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant of $35,000 for the concrete slabs.

The next stage of the project is for electricity costing $36,000, for which they will need extra help from the public in the form of orders. Once established, the Women’s Shed, who have also ‘grown out’ of their area, will be able to join the Men at their new premises so they can continue with their important work for the ‘community of women’. Both sheds want to say a big thank you to Bunnings Bethania for their support allowing sausage sizzles.
The women attend the Women’s Shed on Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00am to 12.00pm, the men hold their sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Youngest member Jayne with her toy creation, inspired from storybook ‘Room On The Broom’

As A Special Note:
Recently, members of the Logan Village Women’s Shed took time out from
being industrious to celebrate President and founding member Eleanor’s 87th Birthday. Eleanor Lyons had been put forward by the Logan Village Lions Club as one of the only three nominations (Eleanor Lyons, Mimi Robinson, and Mirjana Vukovic) for the upcoming Soroptomist International Beenleigh presentation – for the Stella Rickoff Award – as a quiet achiever. Soroptimist International (SI) is a worldwide organisation for women, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women in local communities. Upon presentation of the award (of which Mimi Robinson was successful), Eleanor said, “I was one of the nominees for the award, but just being nominated is very flattering!” Well done Eleanor – a very inspirational lady of the community indeed!