Welcome to the Home Page of Melba Shed

We are a Men’s Shed located at Melba, North Belconnen in Canberra, Australia. This website was built using WordPress with the Creativo responsive Theme. Our old website is melbashed.com/oldsite and will not be updated after 7th Nov 2014

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Special Information Links




Special Notices in Date Order (generally excludes items on our Program)

Lifeline Canberra’s Autumn Bookfair is on 13-15th Feb this year. The venue is the Budawang Pavilion, EPIC. Yep same time as Multicultural Festival. Lifeline Canberra raises a major portion of the funding needed to keep the suicide prevention 13 11 14 Telephone Crisis Support service available to the community through bookfairs. Its main EPIC Bookfairs offer around 250,000 donated items for sale. They have a wide range of fiction & non-fiction books, including rare books & collectables, children’s books, textbooks & foreign language books. You’ll also find magazines & pamphlets, comics, maps & atlases, talking books, sheet music, records and CDs, DVDs, games & jigsaws. Details at http://www.act.lifeline.org.au/Bookfair/lifeline-canberra-bookfairs

Feb 2015 Long Cycles

23rd Jan 2015 – Narrabundah Pre Fabs – A unique story in Canberra’s urban history – Write up by Geoff Grimmett and pictures

16th Jan 2015 -Death of Ongath Kittiyavong: Lao Buddhist Monk. It is with sadness that I report  the death in a car accident of Ongath, the Buddhist Monk who was working towards building a temple next to our church at Melba. From The Canberra Times:   The man killed in a car crash near Braidwood on Sunday 10th was a Lao Buddhist monk studying in Canberra. Ongath Kittiyavong, 33, was a monk based in Belconnen, a spokesman from the Lao embassy said. He had been studying in Canberra for about a year after moving from Sydney. His sponsor in Sydney was arranging the funeral. Mr Kittiyavong died after his Mitsubishi sedan crashed into a tree on the Kings Highway, 10 kilometers east of Braidwood about 2.30pm on Sunday. A 27-year-old woman in the car escaped with minor injuries, but had to be freed from the car before she was taken to Canberra Hospital for observation. One of the first on the scene of the crash, off-duty tow truck driver Matthew Greig, crimped the fuel line and stopped the engine to make the situation safer for the trapped woman. Gary Watson NBUC

25 Dec 2014, Member Ray Nelson was admitted to Calvary Hospital after suffering symptoms of a mild stroke. On the 8th Jan Ray was moved to Canberra Hospital. Ray had successful surgery on Tuesday afternoon 13th Jan, with 3 malignant tumours in close proximity at the back of his head, being removed. A small benign tumour remains on the side of his head, and this will be treated by radiation. He is recuperating well. Ray is in good spirits and quite mobile but has suffered some impacts to his sight and reading ability. He went  home on Tue 20th Jan and will be an outpatient at Canberra for further treatment. The next step is to move into a phase of radiotherapy & medication which it is hoped will overcome or hold at bay the multiple breakouts of melanoma from which he is suffering. Ray is showing a lot of realistic strength in the face of this situation. A couple of his friends once labelled Ray as “Hardway Nelson” because of his determination to deal with difficulties and hardships which he sometimes faced. His friends are sure that we can all be confident that “Hardway Nelson” will give it all a good shot. Ray and Carmen visited the Ha Ha Bar on Fri 23rd Jan for coffee

New Committee flexes its muscles – They are looking for new ideas for the shed and in particular for excursions both within 1 ½ hours from the shed and others further from the shed which may involve an overnight or two

Short Talks – President Laurie has also called for members who are prepared to give a short talk of 10-15mins to members on BBQ days or other days when meeting plans go awry for one of the many reasons they can. Contact Laurie preferably at his email address or phone no listed on the back page of the newsletter

21 Nov 2014 – Assistant Newsletter Editor requests writers –  Drew asked that anyone willing to help provide articles on an occasional basis could notify him at the melbashed email address above or by phone on 6241 2201. This is only intended to be required when the usual writers are not attending an excursion or shed meeting

Editor Wanted for Shed Newsletter? Phil has been doing this job since September 2009 & it’s time for a change. The Newsletter is issued weekly & is prepared using Microsoft Word. If you have modest writing & Word skills then you can perform this role. Naturally Phil will provide required training & ongoing support. Maybe you don’t want to be permanent editor but would be happy to go on a roster with other interested members. Either way, please contact Phil on 0428 581 935 or philliplaird@gmail.com if you can assist with Newsletter releases. Its understood that Drew McD & John Edge have expressed their interest; however one or two more would be welcomed.

Echidna Mt Ainslie

Member & Friends Information

Park Run around part of Lake Ginninderra. This group offers a 5Km free fun run around part of the Lake every Sat from 8AM. They meet at John Knight park. There are similar runs at Gungahlin and Tuggeranong

Lunchtime MelodiesJoint Venture between Ginninderra Rotary & Belconnen Raiders Club – 2nd Wed each month starting 9th July between 11.30-12.30PM at Raiders Belconnen (Kippax), gold coin donation – includes various bands, choirs, individuals, films: coffee, tea & option of $9 seniors lunch after

2014 – Open letter from North Belconnen Day Centre – The Centre meets just across the way in the Church building. Any Melba Shed member is welcome to talk to Jeanette Branch on 6258 5784 at the North Belconnen Day Centre if they have friends, family or neighbours, men or women, who would benefit from the day centre activities or whose families/ carers would benefit from respite by those they care for accessing NBDC sessions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10am-2pm). Click HERE for more information

Superb Parrots Bruce


4th April 2014 – MLA Dr Chris Bourke. Chris introduced himself and explained that he was keen to experience our shed and what we do and meet some of our members. Both he and Mary Porter had a strong interest in the variety of Men’s Shed that are springing up in the ACT and what they had to offer men in our community. Chris stated that he was keen to work on seeing networking between these sheds develop over the next 12 months, being a big fan of the men’s shed movement.

General Items

​ 1 Jan 2014 – The assessment of account-based income streams has changed. See this link to the Dept of Human Services site where they outline the changes. This effects eligibility to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, the pension and Aged Care support. Any changes to an Account Based pension will cause your eligibility to be reassessed | Financial Planning Magazines review of the changes  |  SuperGuides Review of the Changes

Emergency App for Apple & Android Smartphones – This free app comes from the Federal Govt’s Attorney General’s Dept’s Triple Zero Awareness Working Group which has developed a smartphone app for iOS & Android devices to:

  • provide the caller with information about when to call Triple Zero (000)
  • provide the caller with information about who to call in various non-emergency situations such as:-

State Emergency Service (SES) (132 500) ; Police Assistance Line (131 444); Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000); Health Direct Australia (1800 022 222); or National Relay Service

  • assist the caller to dial the relevant number
  • display the GPS coordinates of the phone’s location that the caller can read out to the emergency operator.

I think the major issue for this app, is that it doesn’t show the GPS decimal lat/long correctly unless you are outside and you have the GPS facility activated. Also the GPS details are in small text and may be hard for us old fellows to read. However it does clearly define using 000 as the emergency number

ABS Aust Population Density Grid Maps and Data from 2011 – Very interesting

LED Bulbs. Greg is using a Philips 12.5W 1055 lumen B22 direct replacement for the old bayonet incandescent fittings. It’s nominally supposed to equal a 75W incandescent but he thinks the lighting is much better. He bought one from Bunnings Fyshwick ACT $16 and another from Woolworths Belconnen ACT for $17 both in mid to late 2014. They are not dimmable. He noticed lots of ES/screw fittings but only a few B22 bayonets fittings available. It says they last up to 15 years. These globes just make the CFL’s look so dim and useless.

There appears to be a range of 8 Philips globes from 4 to 14W. There is an interesting to product guide. There are alternative globes labelled A60 & A67 which are dimmable with the right Clipsal dimmer. They offer ES27/B22 connectors and have 12 or 17 watts and there is a price of around $40 for the 17W B22 version. See Dimmable Philips B22 17W LED

Testing of Solar PV Inverters. ACTEWAGL is sending out notices to those who have had solar panels installed to have their installation & especially the Inverter checked & certified as safe. Note that Greg Hutchison received one such note in Sept asking that his installation be checked by a certified installer within 60 days. Letter | FAQ & doc req’d | Appropriate list of certifiers. Note Greg is using SolarHub based in Mitchell as the certifier. The test costs $154 incl GST

ACTION’s new bus network commenced Monday 1 September 2014 For information on the NXTBUS system, which allows for buses to be tracked via online, SMS, phone and digital displays ACTION NXTBUS Live

New health Walk-in centre opened at Belconnen & Tuggers At new Health Centre on Lathlain St, Belco – open every day 7.30AM – 10PM

Our City Our Community ACT Govt Newsletter Available on line

ActewAGL have launched a FREE energy efficiency program that can make a real difference to your energy costs. They are making free Energy Saving House Calls to homes in the ACT to install products that can help reduce energy bills. These include standby power controllers, energy efficient light bulbs & door seals & are fitted by a certified installer at a time that is convenient to you. You can also ring

The Law and You: Six questions to ask before engaging a lawyer. Thanks to HerCanberra

Purple Smoke Tree

Purple Smoke Tree

Free Annual Pass to National Parks in NSW for Pensioners An NPWS Exemption Card is available for individuals who hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Veterans receiving an Extreme Disability Allowance, Intermediate Rate and Special Rate pensions. This means free access to parks. Seniors Card holders are entitled to a discount of approximately 20% on the full price of an annual pass for a vehicle registered in their name. You need to apply by fax or mail to the OEH National Parks Contact Centre and include copies of both your Seniors Card and your vehicle registration papers

BCC and Planning Issues

ACTPLA are working on an update of the Belconnen Town Centre master plan. See here Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan Update. Time to be involved and have your say. Consultation open till 30th Jan 2015. See here for information

Health Items of Interest to the Shed – see here

Prostmate – Doug Crawford provided this link to Prostmate. They provide online advice and support about prostate issues. To get support you need to sign up but its free. This then allows you to connect and talk to professional nurses about prostate problems. The site is provided by Australian Prostate Cancer Research. Urologist Professor Tony Costello at the Royal Melbourne Hospital is involved in this site and an associated Health Clinic for Men

2014 12 05 – Margo Saunders, an independent health researcher presented a talk titled: ‘Here for a good time, not a long time – the challenges of preventive health for men’. Her notes are summarised on this page

The Driving, Ageing, Safety and Health (DASH) project is an NHMRC funded project. The project evaluates screening approaches & 600 older drivers will be followed for 2 years to evaluate how well a laboratory assessment & an on-road test predicts driving outcomes. Findings from this research project will enable health professionals & licensing authorities to assist in their decision- making regarding the fitness to drive of older adults. If you are interested in participating in this study & 1). Are aged 75 years or over; 2). Hold a current driver‟s license; 3). Are a resident of the ACT or surrounding NSW regions; 4). Have no known diagnosis of dementia.

Please contact DASH on crahw.dash@anu.edu.au or on 61251457 / 61251456 to express interest. Brian Wells gave a short talk on losing a driver License as recently some members have had to stop driving. Brian is currently participating in DASH

Bowel Screening Kits – These can be arranged through Rotary – contact Ron Thomson 6258 4699 3rd Oct 2014

A member (Doug) advised us of his prostrate experiences where he used a urologist in Melbourne Tony Costello who uses the robotic method for prostate removal. He estimated with accommodation and travel costs to Melbourne his gross costs were around $18K and his net costs after rebates about $14-15K. Ouch! Still cheaper than $20K plus estimated by some other

Advanced Care Planning – check out the information on how to plan for your future before you are unable to do so. Thanks to Jim Grenfell


Computer Group Presentations & Handouts

Kayak on Lake Ginninderra 2014

Kayak Lake Ginninderra

Useful General Information – E-Book Readers and Tablets – About Kindles & Tablets

Useful General Regional Information - About the local region ie farmers markets, bookfairs, history items, etc

Useful General Environmental and Living Information - About recycling, U3A, Myna Birds, gardening, etc

Items or Services for Sale

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