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Fast broadband to shed light on men’s health issues

12 June 2016

New digital initiative set to teach men how to ‘Skype n Saw’  

Ahead of Men’s Health Week (13-19 June), nbn has launched a unique collaboration with the Australian Men’s Shed Association to highlight how access to fast broadband can help men build supportive friendships and better connect with friends and family.

Facilitating a connection between two groups of men in Maitland, New South Wales and Ballarat, Victoria, the nbn™ Connected Sheds initiative will see them come together in a series of ‘Shed Sessions’ run via HD video conferencing to plan the build of a gazebo designed to benefit a local community.

Guided by expert builder and The Block foreman, Keith Schleiger, the ‘Shed Sessions’ will allow the men to  learn from each other’s construction and design expertise, while also enabling them to build friendships and to discover new ways to communicate.

The initiative follows findings of research commissioned by nbn* which revealed almost half (48 per cent) of male grandparents aged 55 and older believe using the internet has assisted them to feel more connected to their friends and family. It also showed more than one in five men in the same group (22 per cent) agree that using the internet has helped them build friendships and overcome feelings of loneliness.

Professional builder and resident foreman on The Block, Keith Schleiger said:

“I’ve seen first-hand that men don’t like to talk about their feelings, but that just makes it even more important to tackle it head-on. As tough as I may seem on TV, I’m definitely a bit of a softie and sometimes the only way to deal with a problem is to talk about it with a mate. The nbn™ Connected Sheds initiative is a great example of how access to fast internet can give men the chance to reach out to other communities and connect with a much larger network of people and resources, no matter where they live or where they come from.”

Director of the Men’s Health team at the University of Western Sydney, Professor John Macdonald said:

“Connecting the Men’s Sheds to the nbn™ network has shown how men from all walks of life can come together to expand their respective networks in a positive and safe environment to learn from each other, form new friendships and contribute to the wider community. It’s initiatives such as this one, which highlight the importance of encouraging all Australian men to reach out to each other for support and companionship.”

For more information about the Australian Men’s Shed Association visit their website.

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Notes to editors


* The claims made are based on research commissioned by nbn, the company behind Australia’s broadband network, and completed by Colmar Brunton in June 2015.


About nbn:

  • nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from their retail service provider. 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 that is providing men with a safe and friendly environment where they can come together and work on meaningful projects together, free of judgment.