Stirling Women’s Shed – from power tools to empowerment

Women+participating+in+the+workshops+can+learn+anything+from+plastering+to+basic+handiwork.+

Madelin Hayes

Women participating in the workshops can learn anything from plastering to basic handiwork.

Madelin Hayes

If you’ve ever wanted to learn a thing or two about plumbing, composting or water-wise gardening, now is the time.

The City of Stirling has launched a 12 month Women’s Shed pilot program to consider the benefits of establishing a Shed at the Innaloo Sportsmen’s Club.

The idea stemmed from Stirling locals and city councillors, after a Council Notice of Motion was put forward for a potential Women’s Shed, shining a light on improving the skillset and mental health of women.

City of Stirling Councillor, Elizabeth Re hopes she’s found an answer to creating a greater sense of community and limiting social isolation.

“The program is empowering women, anything we can do to encourage women to be more independent and community based at the same time is a good idea,” Cr Re says.

The workshops have proven to be a hit amongst Perth residents so far, with thousands of people showing an interest through social media, but Cr Re says some barriers have been put in place.

“Only 10 spots have been allocated per workshop for participants. We’re hoping the Sportsmen’s Club will take note of such interest and expand the limit of participants,” says Cr Re.

According to Stirling Community Services Manager, Chris Brereton, numerous mental health benefits have arisen from the workshops.

“The benefits include social interactions with others, developing skills, building a greater sense of safety and security for participants and being able to carry out work in their own homes instead of being reliant on tradespeople,” says Mr Brereton.

According to Mr Brereton, the feedback from a community survey has been extremely positive, revealing a diverse field of people interested in being a part of it.

“The age range of participants in this pilot round of the Women’s Shed program are broader than that of the Stirling Men’s Shed,” says Mr Brereton.

The City’s report noted there have two other Women’s Sheds in Ellenbrook and Merriwa, so a Women’s Shed in Stirling would be a first for central Perth.