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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Page: 10351

Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (11:11): This is an unscheduled constituency statement, but I was inspired by the member for Perth's speech. On this occasion he was inspirational—on other occasions not so much, but this one definitely. The Men's Shed movement—and I was privileged to be there the other night to see its launch—is truly one of those examples of what a free society can create. This is a group of people who come together, often in many different parts of Australia, and are not content just to, as the poem goes, go gently into the night. They have made a massive contribution to our society and to themselves, and they do a fantastic job.

But the one aspect that the member for Perth didn't hit on—he had only three minutes to speak, and I'm sure he would have hit on it if he had more time—is the mentorship that many of these Men's Sheds provide to many young kids coming through our society in our suburbs—certainly in the suburbs in my community—who are looking for something to do, looking for some direction, and who don't always get it at home, or at school, or from their friends or from being inspired by sporting heroes. The Men's Shed movement has done so much for so many people in my community by showing them that it is not necessarily enough to be the smartest or the best footy player, because you can also do things with your hands and make a contribution in different ways, and you can find your life's work in places other than just the law or medicine or other places.

The other observation I would make is that many of the kids I have seen who have ended up assisting at the Men's Shed or going down and having a chat with the guys there are often a lot happier. The member for Perth used to be a barrister, a very good one, by reputation, I'm told, but I know a lot of miserable barristers. I don't know many carpenters who are miserable or many plumbers who are miserable. They all seem to have so much fun doing what they want, and we are on this planet for such a short time. I really do believe that the Men's Shed movement's greatest contribution to our society and our community, to a free society, is the direction and help and inspiration they give to so many kids who so often in our community are told that their choices are limited. It's amazing: there is wisdom in some old blokes.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.