Helping Men’s Sheds build friendship and camaraderie
July 25, 2012

Before his retirement six years ago, Denis Chandler spent 22 years as a mine operator in a local open-cut mine. He hadn’t planned to get involved in the Men’s Shed, but Denis is now a big part of this growing movement for men as the Secretary of the Denman & District Men’s Shed.  

The group of about 35 men – most of whom are retired mine workers – meets every Tuesday, working on projects like helping the local Scouts build billy carts and putting together picnic tables for a local coffee shop. While they’re happy to repair washing machines and lawn mowers for community members, Denis says the most important part of the Men’s Shed is getting the men together to talk to one another.

“A lot of people come because they have a skill, but how many skills do you need to have a yarn and a cup of coffee?” asks Denis. Aside from the physical work and the chance to get involved with the community, Denis says “the best part is the friendship and camaraderie.” 

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NSW Mining CEO Stephen Galilee with Denis Chandler

The Denman & District Men’s Shed is one of ten around NSW that has received a $1,500 donation as part of a new partnership with NSW Mining. The other $1,500 grants have gone to Men’s Sheds in Grawin Glengarry, Warren, Cobar, Murrundi, Warrawong, Lithgow, Oberon, Grenfell and Nyngan. 

For Denis and his mates, this new sponsorship money will add to prior funding from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, and will go towards buying team shirts, computer equipment and materials to make wooden toys.  The Men’s Shed members also restore vintage machinery for the local Heritage Village Museum. 

NSW Mining CEO Stephen Galilee has been visiting local businesses and organizations supported by mining across regional NSW. “Denman’s population of just 1900 means it has a limited range of community services and therefore the local Men’s Shed is especially important for its members who gather there to share jokes and socialise,” he said.  


“Men’s Shed members around NSW are not just involved in working on projects; they are fostering friendships, developing support networks and creating strong community links and that’s why we’re proud to be a part of it.”
Men’s Sheds aim to bring men together to both work on practical projects for the local community and also just share a cuppa and talk about life. While this direct sponsorship from NSW Mining is new, companies represented by NSW Mining have been working with Men’s Sheds for years. 

For example, Centennial Coal’s Charbon Colliery has been working with the Rylstone-Kandos Men’s Shed near Mudgee. They build nesting boxes for possums and small bats, which Centennial Coal puts out on their mine site wherever trees and vegetation have been removed until the habitat can be restored. In the Hunter, Coal & Allied supports the Singleton Men’s Shed and they have also made a contribution in support of the Men’s Shed Expo which was held in Maitland in 2011. 

There are over 400 Men’s Sheds around Australia, representing around 30,000 men. NSW Mining and it’s members are proud to be a part of the program.  Check out the Men's Shed website to learn more about the Men’s Sheds and how to get involved. 

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