2016/17 has been a year of consolidation for the Shed, with a steady stream of new Members applying for membership, and many new projects being started.
On behalf of the Shed, Frank Zambello and John Hunter applied for and won a grant of $30,000 from the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.
This was done with the help of the office of MP Josh Bull and is for the construction of an extension to the building. It has created great enthusiasm with the members and plans and quotes were organised. Unfortunately our plans were rejected by Hume City Council Planning Dept due to an administration error in our Lease Agreement and parking issues. After a meeting with the Council Officers, we believe that these issues have been resolved and we hope to have the permits to commence the building shortly. This will make a great improvement to the operation of the Shed.
Another great project initiated by Nat Perri was the Shed becoming a Work for the Dole Provider. This provided an income for the Shed as well as helping some of the recipients learn some new skills. Regrettably we have had to suspend this program over the winter months, as there is not enough room in the existing Shed to accommodate the extra numbers in wet weather.
I sincerely thank the Members who accepted the role of Area Coordinator when asked. This has taken a big workload off the “Boss of the Day”, and provided a stable environment within each area with regard to the layout and safe work practices which is a big benefit to all Shed Members.
The offer to be able to purchase the entire contents of the Sunbury College Metal Workshop has been a bonus. We have been able to improve and upgrade some of our existing equipment and sell the equipment in excess of our needs to recoup our initial outlay. Additional equipment will also enable Members to learn new skills and to generate income for the Shed.
I would like to acknowledge the great work done behind the scenes by Mike Newman, Nat Perri and Frank Zambello, in applying for and receiving grants that have enabled us to purchase new and/or upgrade our Shed equipment. I wish to thank Peter Wilkinson for the incredible hours that he puts into projects for the Shed. Most Members do not realise the number of jobs that Peter inspects, then works out costings, materials and delivers the finished product. Peter and his dedicated team of helpers provide a steady stream of income to the Shed, producing great timber products. Garry Pettit continues to make great tables and chairs which have provided a regular income. Likewise, Ted Riley is also very busy in the metalwork area, with many projects on the go. Trevor Dunn has been a great help with training and the running of the metal- work section. Kevin Wood has turned his electrical expertise into installing and repairing many items around the Shed, and is now burning timber in a spectacular fashion, making great art pieces. Rod Jackson used his talent to upgrade our security system after we received a Rotary Club grant. Frank Zambello continues to produce a great and well received newsletter each month.
V.P. Ian Lupson does a lot of behind the scenes activities and makes a great soup and coordinates Friday lunches. These Friday lunches are very much appreciated, particularly by many of our Members who only come to the Shed on Fridays. Barry Burbridge continues to provide a steady stream of produce from the garden area. Past President Dieter Jankovic maintains the property in good stead and Jim Moffat helps with organising sponsorship for the Shed with local businesses.
No organisation can operate successfully without a good Secretary and Treasurer and we are very lucky to have both. Our Secretary John Hunter has done a large amount of work dealing with correspondence and submissions to Council regarding our building permit problems, as well as the day to day running of the Shed dealing with the numerous and various problems as they arise.
Our Treasurer Stan Rasanayagam at times puts on his Uncle Scrooge hat and keeps some of our Members’ rash spending ideas under control. As a result, we hope to have sufficient funds available to complete and fit out the new Shed when construction is completed. Lastly, I thank all the Members who have contributed in any way large or small towards the running of this great Shed. Without your help and input we would not have the facilities and comraderie that exists which all helps make time spent at the Shed a great experience.
Kevin Swaffield, President