STIRLING could be home to the first women’s shed in Perth.
An increasing number of retired women want to get “hands on” with tools, says Cr Elizabeth Re, who has successfully lobbied Stirling council to review the demand for a suitable workshop.
Yanchep has WA’s only women’s shed, and there are about 30 across Australia.
“There are a lot of women who have retired and would like to do something hands on, especially in the western suburbs, and there are more women than men over 50 in the city of Stirling,” Cr Re says.
“Women would like to do activities like woodwork to re-upholster their lounge or dining room chairs, or make wooden dolls’ houses for their grandchildren.
“There’s women whose husbands have died, or they have been divorced, or never had a guy and would like to learn how to fix things around the house and are able to learn a skill and also to save money.”
The Balcatta men’s shed, opened in Stirling in 2011, is one of the largest metropolitan sheds in WA and cost approximately $1.4 million to build.
A year after it opened Cr Re tried to get council support for a women’s shed, but her idea failed to gain traction.
The Voice asked if she thought her chances would be better this time, following the #MeToo movement and the subsequent shift in the gender landscape.
“Not sure that the #MeToo movement is in any of the local government agendas,” she quipped.
Cr Re noted that the Innaloo Sportmen’s Club, mostly used for lawn bowls, is an ideal site for a women’s shed as it has free parking, is close to the Mitchell Freeway and would benefit from the increased activity.
“The city recognises that there has been a decline in lawn bowls membership across Australia and in particular WA, resulting in the need for clubs to diversity and identify new ways of staying viable,” stated officers in a recent council agenda.
The council report on a women’s shed will be presented on June 25.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK