Women’s Shed has all the right tools

November 18, 2021 BY

Surf Coast Secondary students Chloe Jacobs, Molly Brooks, Lola Taylor and Lola Morden hard at work with education support teacher Katrina Simpson inside the Torquay Women's Shed. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

YEAR 9 students have resumed their classes at the Torquay Community Women’s Shed and now they have the necessary tools to do so.

After a generous donation from their neighbours at the Torquay Community Men’s Shed, the Women’s Shed has received several power tools to better facilitate their weekly classes with female students from Surf Coast Secondary College.

The items donated by the Men’s Shed included a circular saw, power drill, electric planer and a bundle of additional hand tools, which will allow participants to create more advanced builds.

“These tools will allow us to use more than just hand tools or worry about whether the batteries needed for other tools are charged or not,” education support teacher at Surf Coast Secondary Katrina Simpson said.

Ms Simpson runs several weekly 90-minute classes at the Torquay Women’s Shed, with four girls from Surf Coast Secondary taking part in each class.

The relationship between Surf Coast Secondary and the nearby Men’s Shed started 10 years ago when it began running a similar project with male students.

The school found that their female students also wanted to enhance their pre-employment and job skills.

Ex-TCH coordinator Laura Connor, TCH administrator Thurid Pfeiffer, students Molly Brooks, Chloe Jacobs, Men’s Shed president Trevor Sawyer, Lola Taylor, Lola Morden, Surf Coast Secondary vice principal Rachel Barney and Katrina Simpson.


Today, the program continues to run despite a disjointed last 18 months and now the female participants have the power tools to resume their classes with a bang.

“We have got quite a lot of students at Surf Coast Secondary who are interested in the Men’s Shed and Women’s Shed so we rotate in new groups each term,” Ms Simpson said.

“We undertake many different construction projects.

“In the past, we have done bare desktops, coffee cup gardens, bird feeders, phone charging units and we are about to get underway with Christmas decorations.”

Ms Simpson believes the most important parts of the program are the shared experiences that the program creates, the ability to learn from mistakes and building better relationships within the community.

Molly Brooks, Chloe Jacobs, Lola Taylor and Lola Morden exchanging power tools with Men’s Shed president Trevor Sawyer.

President of the Torquay Community Men’s Shed, Trevor Sawyer, understands how valuable the club’s donations will be to the Women’s Shed.

“Having the right tools to build things means so much,” Mr Sawyer said.

“Girls these days don’t want to sit around and do arts and crafts, they want to learn and that’s why we donated these tools.

“People like Ms Simpson will teach them how to use these tools and then these students will have the ability to put back into the community.”

Both sheds are located at the rear of the Torquay Community House at 14 Price Street, Torquay.

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