Akoonah Park Men's Shed
Projects and Clubs
Projects we are or have been involved in:
To date, Akoonah Park Men's Shed has conducted or participated in a large and varied range of activities and projects, including, but not restricted to the following:
Provided ongoing workshop facilities to allow members to practice existing skills, develop new skills, etc.
Conducted weekly get-together meetings, providing opportunities for members to socialise, and to keep members updated on Shed developments and activities;
Held monthly meetings and conduct occasional caravanning trips for members interested in RV activities
Held weekly 'jam sessions' for members interested in learning to play a musical instrument.
Conducted computer and technology training sessions for members
Engaged in targeted health programs including Spanner in the Works, Men's Health Week, etc.
Participated in community awareness programs such as Relay for Life, etc.
Participated and assisted in community events such as Berwick Show, Swap Meets, Community Markets, etc.
Held regular monthly general member meetings to advise members of ongoing activities and progress the administration of the club
Operated fundraising BBQs at local venues and businesses, including Berwick High Street, Bunnings, Masters, Officeworks, etc.
Engaged in activities with local businesses, such as assembling BBQs and outdoor furniture for Bunnings
Assisted local charities including refurbishing and painting of Pakenham and Berwick Op Shops, replaced fencing for Judy Wardell who operates a charity in India, etc.
Engaged in clearing out sheds for pensioners vacating housing
Assisted in the setting up of the Insight Education Centre for the Blind
Modified an off road trailer as a mobile camp kitchen for a Young Veterans (RSL) program
City of Casey Boomerang Bags Project
One hell of a tail
By Brendan Rees
The boys at Akoonah Park Men’s shed in Berwick certainly have their work cut out with this whopper.
Their latest project – mounting the skin of a three-metre crocodile’s backstrap tail onto timber – would even be one to impress Crocodile Dundee.
The owner of the tail, Ken Secretan, said he got the tail from a mate who owns a crocodile conservation farm near Rockhampton.
Ken, eager to decorate his back patio in Beaconsfield, said he was “over the moon” when his mate told him he had the “very thing” for him to put on his wall. “And he said ‘I’ll give it to you.’”
His mate, John Lever, told him he had a dozen of the crocodile skins “ready to go.”
“I gratefully accepted it, and thought ‘What am I going to do with it? How can I do it?’”
“I thought of the Men’s Shed so went down there and told them … they were very excited about it,” Ken says.
“I haven’t seen the tail mounted as yet but I believe it is very close to it.” Through the help of his son, Ken found a timber yard in Brunswick where he picked up a long piece of hardwood.
“Because it most of a whole tree, fairly long, we chopped it up,” he explained, so he could fit in his car.
“The wood is exactly the size I need for the tail,” he says.
Ken says he’s looking at having a second piece of timber varnished so he can display photos of his adventures with crocs.
“I’ve carted whole crocodiles with him (John Lever), male crocodiles from Darwin back to Rockhampton,” he said. “In Queensland, they can’t legally catch crocs … he’s got agreements with other territories, Darwin and so on where they can.”
Ken says sometime rangers catch crocs if it’s in a dangerous area and re-homed on farms for safe-keeping.
“John and I will go up there, pick them up, two at a time, and cart them back because they’re good breeding stock.” His mate’s farm, Koorana Crocodile farm, was opened in November 1981 and was the first commercial crocodile farm in Queensland.
Ken says his croc tail is a saltwater breed, which he believes was a female given its size.
The Akoonah Park Men’s Shed manager Maurice Hall said: “We’re really working out how we’re going to mount it – we’ve come up with some ideas”
A new nesting box for parrots
Akoonah Park Men’s Shed members from left, Jimmy Cooper, Sam Sgarioto, Philip Lardner, Derek Brown, and Maurice Hall with the bird boxes.
Four volunteers from the Akoonah Park Men’s Shed dedicated two weeks of their time building 40 bird boxes – after receiving a call for help from the Tonimbuk fire recovery centre.
The bird boxes will become a new home for wild parrots after the March blaze burnt more than 14,000 hectares.
The shed’s manager Maurice Hall said he didn’t hesitate to take on the job.
“We do a lot of community work – when it comes in we do it,” he said.
“I just said yes straight away, I didn’t even hesitate.”
Vermont Men’s Shed also donated about 320 sheets of plywood used for the project.
“Where we joined them we just rubbed some black paint on them over the joins so they don’t rot,” Mr Hall said.
“We’ve got wire inside there so baby parrots will be able to claw their way out.”
He added: “The wood’s plain inside just in case birds peck at them.”
Rex Norton, who lost his home to the fires, said all volunteers were appreciated but more help was needed.
“We need volunteers for anything desperately, to help people in their gardens, to just to be there to talk to, anything,” he said.
“We need donations of plants for people to re-do their gardens … anything like that is appreciated.”