In response to the interest of local Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Men in the local community, a group of Elders who were members of the Brisbane Northside Elders Group got together with Kurbingui staff and management and submitted an application for funding to establish a Men’s Shed in the north Brisbane for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander men over the 18 years of age.
Led by Uncle John Johnston and Uncle Alan Finn and with the support of male members of the Brisbane Northside Elders and assistance from the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Construction Trainees they set about refurbishing an area within the Kurbingui campus and created the Men’s Shed area. Although still in its infancy, the aim is to fill the identified gap by providing male clients of the various programs within Kurbingui aged 18 and above, Elders and the wider Brisbane community with a culturally safe, friendly environment for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander men to meet, participate in a Community Venture, conduct Men’s Business including Yarning Circles, and help facilitate positive wellbeing in all members.
Men’s Shed Yarning Circles are a cultural gathering of Indigenous people to share ideas, experiences or concerns and bring older and younger Indigenous men together to share culture and facilitate lasting connections. Contact with and connections between younger Indigenous men and Elders have been interrupted for many who travelled (or who were forcibly moved) off country to live and work in the Brisbane area. The North Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Shed aims to restore these important cultural significant links, educate younger men about their culture, provide meaningful activity and empower our Indigenous men.