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THE ORANGE WOMEN’S SHED IS A PLACE FOR WOMEN TO GET TOGETHER TO SOCIALISE BUT ALSO TO LEARN TRADES-BASED SKILLS SO THEY CAN COMPLETEBASIC HOMEMAINTENANCE IMPROVEMENTS. PROVING VERY POPULAR, THE WOMEN’S SHED IS POWERING ALONG WITH NEARLY 50 MEMBERS BUT IT CURRENTLY NEEDS DONATIONS FOR IT TO CONTINUE TO SUCCEED. donations so they can afford to put a door on the shed they use at Wangarang Industries. Wangarang Industries allows the group to use its facility for free but more funding is needed to enclose the space and put in toilet facilities. The Orange Women’s Shed concept was pushed along by Orange City Council’s Neighbour Aid and Support Worker, Paula Beattie, who was recently asked to spruik the success of the women’s shed at the Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) Australia Conference. “It was a great honour to be given that opportunity,” Ms Beattie said. Ms Beattie said the group were grateful for the support of Wangarang Industries and Bunnings Warehouse, which invites the group to attend workshops in the store. The workshops had been invaluable


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range City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair Ron Gander said the initiative, started by Council staff, had made significant impacts on the lives of women across the region. “It is aimed at women who haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to do basic home improvements, anything from fixing a hole in the wall, to building a set of shelves, filling gaps and basic construction,” “It means they don’t have to rely on male partners or relatives or hiring professionals. But for women who have lost a partner, it is a great opportunity to make sure they have a social outlet and they can speak with people in similar positions.” The women need donations of power tools, hands tools and building supplies but also cash and in-kind labour

recently because the wet weather meant the women were not able to meet in the open shed. “As you can imagine with the amount of rain we’ve had it gets pretty wet out here. We really need to get that shed door,” she said. Women’s Shed member Hawa Wright moved to Orange without knowing anyone, she quickly made friends after joining the women’s shed. “It’s where I get to meet a lot of people and learn new things like how to fix things and where to buy the right tools to fix things,” Hawa said. “Also how to find the least expensive tool for the job!” To donate tools or to join the group call 63938966 or to help with funding for the construction of a shed door and amenities please call Wangarang Industries on 6365650. MC

Members of the Women’s Shed, Hawa Wright and Bernadette Felstead

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