According to founding President Jenni Cole, starting a Women’s Shed in Tarago was a no-brainer, however not in her wildest dreams could she have foreseen the response from the community that would follow.
“I’m a member of the Tarago CWA and we have craft on Monday’s, and there’s a new lady in town and she does cyan prints and she was saying ‘I’d really love to make a picture frame’ and I said ‘I’ve always wanted to make a picture frame’,” said Ms Cole.
“We thought why don’t we have a Women’s Shed? A few of the other ladies thought it was a good idea, and it sort of went from there.
“We’ve got over 120 ladies on our Facebook page, and we have a gathering in March which we’re inviting people along for, but I hope 120 people don’t turn up,” she said.
There are a few Women’s Sheds around, including one across the border in Canberra. Some of the Tarago women involved in setting up the project will visit Canberra’s Women’s Shed soon, the expedition being a valuable fact-finding mission ahead of their inaugural gathering on 8 March, which also happens to be International Women’s Day.
The more than 120 women interested in joining the group have come from across the region.
“It’s called ‘Tarago Area Women’s Shed’ because a few people from Goulburn and Canberra have joined up. It’s not just for Tarago women but for women from the surrounding areas as well,” said Ms Cole.
In the interim, the new committee is busy organising incorporation, insurances and planning activities for the women to enjoy. They’ve agreed on the organisational objective of “a community of empowerment, learning and creativity”.
Their home will be the pavilion at the Tarago Showgrounds, a location they’ll move into once the pavilion becomes available following the Tarago Show on 6 March.
For the committee, they’re most excited by the idea of being able to provide valuable skills for their fellow ladies of the regions.
“With the Women’s Shed, we’ve got quite a few young ones interested as well. There’s a couple that have young babies, and they’re stuck at home and want to learn something different that women don’t learn growing up. We’re the ones that were stuck with the dolls, and the boys were the ones that were given the hammer and nail,” said Ms Cole.
“There are women out there that have just never had the chance to learn these skills and in some cases, women later in life are living on farms by themselves and don’t know how to change their tap washer or whatever it may be.”