A Brief History of Redhead Men’s Shed
A public meeting was held at the Redhead Bowling Club in 2010. At this meeting, the general public were asked to suggest possible things that would benefit the Redhead Community. A member of the public asked if a Men’s Shed would be an option.
This idea was accepted as a project and some flyers were put in shop windows to gauge the level of interest.
A small group of men started to meet once a month downstairs in the Bowling Club. It was basically the same 6 or 7 men meeting for about 18 months discussing how we would be able to start a shed with no funds available.
The shed became incorporated on 28th June 2011 and LMCC offered a piece of land in O’Conner Park as we could not get any private shed opportunities from local businesses. We met with Council on several occasions at the Park to discuss a suitable site. When Council did some searches of the Park we found there was no access to power, water, or sewer on the Park side of the road. We also received advice that a Shed to build from scratch would be in excess of $400,000. This was a huge setback and we thought we would never succeed with the dream of our own Shed.
In December 2011 our then President had some spare time during the Christmas break and was able to apply on line to the ATO for our Tax File Number and our ABN 3/1/2012 as well as register us with Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission as a not for profit charitable organization and we gained our Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status all of which were required to gain any grants. They would also be required in the event that we were successful with the submission to Council.
Some great news was received in early 2012 that LMCC in conjunction with the State Government were restoring the old colliery buildings.
They called for submissions from community groups and private operators for a proposed lease of these buildings.
Council received 3 submissions two from private operators and our own.
John McCall, our Secretary, had put together a very professional submission and we were quietly confident that we had an excellent chance.
We pushed on and in May 2012 we changed from the standard Fair Trading Constitution to our own reworded Constitution and lodged this document with Fair Trading Australia.
The decision was announced by Council in Jan 2013 that we had been successful and would be offered a five year lease for the occupation of the whole site.
The lease took a full year to ratify and we had the use of the buildings on a monthly rental arrangement until agreement was reached. The lease was signed on Jan 20th 2014.
We were also very appreciative of our wonderful grant of $48,000 received from the Newcastle Permanent Building Soc Charitable Foundation on the 22nd Nov 2013. This really helped us to get the Shed off to a great start.
We had our official opening on the 2nd February 2014. The official party consisted of the LMCC Mayor Jodie Harrison and the State Member for Swansea Garry Edwards and our President Dave Perkins. All three cut the ribbon.
It all came together and the dream was realized with a lot of hard constant input from a lot of volunteers.