Premier opens new Men’s Shed on showground

February 28, 2020

The State Premier, Mark McGowan, has joined dignitaries and guests from across WA to officially open the ‘Showgrounds Community Men’s Shed’ at Claremont Showgrounds.

L to R: Peter Panek (Shed VP), Trevor Gorey (Shed Chairman), Peter Cooper (Royal Agricultural Society of WA CEO), Mark McGowan (State Premier), Paul Carter (Royal Agricultural Society of WA President), Michael Chaney (Shed Patron), Dr David Honey MLA

Mr McGowan met with representatives of the new men’s shed as well as Paul Carter – President of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA – and Peter Cooper – CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA. The ceremony served as a celebration of the completion of works to transform the site, which has previously been used as storage space on the showground and had been earmarked for demolition on several occasions.

With the help of funding from Lotterywest, Rotary International and others, work was undertaken to transform the building into a modern and fully equipped workshop for the benefit of up to 300 members from the surrounding suburbs.

The initiative will provide a space for men to pursue meaningful interests and hobbies – such as craft work, DIY and cooking. The activities are designed to encourage camaraderie and friendships to develop whilst supporting members with regular sessions from qualified professionals in tackling depression and older men’s health issues. Men’s shed’s across Australia have been credited with reducing social isolation – particularly in older men.

The opportunity to establish a Men’s Shed in the Western Suburbs has long been an ambition for the area’s rotary clubs who had struggled to identify a suitable site. However, following a meeting between organisers and the RASWA – who own and operate the Showground – a plan quickly fell into place. The Men’s Shed will enjoy a 20 year agreement with the society, for a nominal annual lease.

Paul Carter, President of RASWA, said: “It is a true pleasure to be able to provide a much-needed home for this organisation and – in doing so – to support its excellent work, as part of our commitment to ‘connecting communities’ across WA.

“For RASWA, the launch marks an important step in how we foresee Claremont Showground becoming an integral part of the community. The showground has been at the heart of the Western Suburbs since the early 1900s, but we’re conscious that there is more that we can offer to help support the people, groups and organisations that live and work alongside us. We want to be sure that we use the grounds to their fullest potential.

“That is why, as part of the Claremont Showground Management Plan, we are taking steps to make spaces and venues – such as this – available to the community for work and activities which align with our values.

“The Showgrounds Community Men’s Shed is just one such organisation and has the distinction of being the first to enter into such a partnership with us.”

For more information about the Showgrounds Community Men’s Shed, visit: