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A new ‘weld’ of online opportunities for retired Aussie blokes

02 September 2016

Retirees sharpen their tech skills for virtual co-build

Two groups of men from the Australian Men’s Shed Association today unveiled the efforts of a six week innovative building project that was completed virtually via the nbn network.

Guided by expert builder and The Block foreman, Keith Schleiger, the men from Maitland, New South Wales and Ballarat East, Victoria, came together during ‘Shed Sessions’ to plan, design and build a community shelter and accompanying furniture with the help of online tools.

During these weekly ‘Shed Sessions’, the men harnessed technology and connectivity to communicate over HD video conferencing, allowing them to expand their online skill set, learn from an expert builder in the business and forge long lasting relationships.

The completion of the nbn™ Connected Sheds project marks a new chapter for the now tech-savvy ‘Shedders’ who have come together today at the Sparrow Ground Reserve in Ballarat for the physical reveal of their virtual co-build.

Resident foreman on The Block and professional builder, Keith Schleiger said:

“This project is a great example of how two groups of blokes from across the country have come together online, to create something really unique. Across the weeks of designing and planning, we’ve virtually connected two communities and brought their trade secrets into the digital world. The project also highlighted the importance of getting men to communicate with each other- blokes can shy away from checking in regularly with each other but the initiative really showed the guys’ that keeping in touch with their mates is easy.”

Ted Borradaile, Maitland Men’s Shed says:

“We’ve come a long way since our first video conference session and I’m proud to be here with our new friends from Ballarat to reveal our special project which we know will be enjoyed by the local community. Throughout the project we’ve been able to gain more confidence when it comes to technology, learn new skills and forge new friendships in the process.”

Allan Davies, President of Ballarat East Men’s Shed says:

“After weeks of online Skype meetings it’s great to have the men from Maitland along with Keith today to bring it all together. Whether it was discussing the design, planning what materials to use or sharing our knowledge of building and carpentry, or just checking in to see how the guys were doing, the nbn™ network has allowed us to work together seamlessly as if our friends from Maitland were right here with us in our shed!.”

There are more than 3 million homes and businesses around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network with every Australian set to have access by 2020.


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Notes to editors

About nbn:

  • nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from retail service providers. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • Fast broadband like that delivered via the nbn™ network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment.
  • End-user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end-user’s service provider designs its network. Access to your work network will depend on factors outside our control like your organisation’s IT policy and infrastructure.

About the Australian Men’s Shed Association:

The AMSA now have over 930 Men’s Sheds across Australia, providing men with a safe and friendly environment where they can come together and work on meaningful projects together, free of judgment.