Activities 2012-2014

Activities Held 2014 (2012 & 2013 Below)

The following is an outline of shed excursions and special activities that have been held.

2014-01-17 Jack Waterford


2014-01-10 Meeting


31st Jan 2014 – Visit to the Charnwood Fire Station & the SES in Belconnen

Thirty-two members heard from the Fire Chief at Charnwood that if a fire is outside the ACT then it is the responsibility of the NSW patrols, but there is communication between the two services. Within the ACT the response time is seven minutes, but can vary depending on the location of the station that responds. If you are in a shopping centre and hear an alarm, then head for the nearest exit.

Michael Blumenfeld, who is the son of Wally, one of our members, then gave us a guided tour of a Fire Truck. Michael opened the many storage doors around the Fire Truck, and then pulled out the drawers and explained the use of the items/tools within. Apart from different fire extinguishers for specific types of fires, there are tools for entering buildings, both through the doors and the walls. He then showed us the fire hoses and how they are connected to the water tank. We were able to look inside the cabin, which accommodates two in the front, and four in the back. Michael explained that their breathing apparatus is attached on the way to the fire. Each fireman is connected by wireless to an alarm in the truck which sends out a piercing sound if he needs help.

At the back of the truck are two ‘Jaws of Life’, These are similar to tin snips, but much bigger and heavier, and the jaws are curved. The fireman holds on to the handles and engages the jaws by pressing a switch. The jaws then open and close mechanically. You can see how they would chew through a car. At the conclusion we were told that the installation and checking of house fire alarms is a free service provided by firemen in the ACT.

We then drove to the SES which is at the back of Egan Court, where Project Lighting is located. Here we were instructed by Wally, Michael’s father and Shed Member, as well as another SES member.

They told us about the many services provided by the SES. As well as attending grass and bushfires, they include provision of catering, shelter, drinks, toiletry, SES member on the job! and other needs to assist during a big emergency. They are also called upon to assist in other regions of the ACT, as well as NSW and interstate. They respond to calls resulting from flood and roof damage, tree collapse and may be asked at times to assist police in searches for both people and forensic evidence.

There are a few paid staff, but the majority are volunteers. Belconnen has about forty, both retired and working. They meet weekly at Egan Court. Most employers will allow a certain number of days during the year for their SES volunteers to attend emergencies.

We were then shown around the trucks … just large utes really, with similar equipment to the fire trucks but without the variety and technology. They carry a lot of tarpaulins to cover roofs that may be damaged by storm, fire or trees. Fire Station Pictures and SES Pictures

28th Feb 2014 – Excursion to Tidbinbilla Tracking Station

A great morning was experienced at the CDSCC by twenty one of our Shed members. We were met at the assembly area outside the visitors centre by Korinne McDonnell, our host for the morning. Korinne, who holds a PhD in astronomy, gave us a very informative talk on the operations carried out at Tidbinbilla and its place in the worldwide network involved in deep space exploration. CDSCC is one of the three current Deep Space tracking stations in the world comprising NASA’s Deep Space Network. The Tidbinbilla site became the prime Australian site following the relocation of tracking facilities from the former Honeysuckle Creek & Orroral Valley stations when their operations ceased. About 90 staff are currently employed at CDSCC, comprising a wide range of skills including electricians, mechanics, technicians, catering staff etc.

Korinne explained that the CDSCC currently has three active ‘big dish’ antennas (known technically as Deep Space Stations (DSS) that receive data from, and send commands to, a wide variety of spacecraft – this being the prime mission of CDSCC . Each of these antennas is identified by a unique number according to its location in the world. The largest antenna at CDSCC is known as DSS 43 and was built between 1969 and 1973 and later extended in size. It is the largest parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere and weighs more than 3,000 tonnes, and as Korinne explained, has a surface area as large as the average football field! More antennas are being built to upgrade the facility.

Korinne gave us some background on the two Voyager missions i.e. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 that have been exploring our solar system for many years, on a “grand tour of the solar system” in her terms. Launched some 37 years ago these NASA spacecraft are still powering on. Incredibly, Voyager 1 is now approximately 18.3 billion kilometres from Earth and Voyager 2 some 15.5 billion kilometres away (amazing!). Korinne explained that it takes some 17.5 hours for the signal from Voyager 1 to come back to earth, and transmits with a power of a very weak 3 watts, and it takes about 14 hours from Voyager 2. Both of the Voyager craft are nuclear powered, and the last photos sent from Voyager 1 were in 1990 – they now only transmit data and not physical photos. Their main mission initially was to explore Jupiter and Saturn, but after successfully achieving this objective NASA decided to extend their mission, with Voyager 1 making history by exploring the region between stars and Voyager 2 having gone on to explore Uranus and Neptune. Korinne then went on to tell us about Curiosity, the latest Mars rover which was launched in November 2011 and landed on August 6 2012.

We were able to view a video showing some actual film of the control station and the reaction of the staff during the pre-landing phase of the mission, together with audio-visual representation of how the highly complicated landing process took place – a fantastic effort. Curiosity was designed to determine if Mars existed with an environment that was capable of supporting life in the form of microbes, and if it could indeed be habituated at any time.

Weighing in at 900kg and measuring 3 metres long, 2.7 metres wide and 2.2 metres tall, the nuclear-powered Curiosity began sending photos back to earth only three minutes after having landed on the surface of Mars. It landed in a massive crater some 4.5 kilometres in depth to begin its mission exploring the surface. Curiosity has an amazing array of scientist instruments, the biggest and best suite of equipment of any craft ever sent to the Martian surface. It has 17 black and white cameras and several colour cameras. Photos transmitted confirm that the surface of Mars is extremely rough and rocky, necessitating the rover to move at a very slow speed during its operations (top speed being 6cms per second) to avoid damage etc. and allow for sufficient data capture. Curiosity has a 2m long robotic arm to handle a wide variety of manoeuvres. It has been fitted with a “sample” scoop which allows for the collection of rock dust and samples for analysis, the results being sent back to earth by radio waves. To date Curiosity has also taken over 100,000 laser shots of rocks and terrain on Mars, showing detailed composition of rock material. It has driven about 5 kilometres so far in about 18 months and has about 3 kilometres to go to get to the base of the adjacent mountain.

NASA is hoping to extend the Curiosity mission beyond the originally anticipated two years, with the hope that they may be able to maintain this mission for up to 10 years. If it is ever deemed possible to have humans make a manned mission to Mars it would take up to 9 months to reached the red planet, hence the primary need to try and establish the fastest mode of transport ever developed by mankind, as the craft would need incredible speed to reach that target.

Should you wish to read more about these subjects you can view the following websites for further information, which will provide links to a wide sphere of interest:

Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC)

Curiosity Mission to Mars & NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena

This was a fascinating talk and visit. Many thanks to CDSCC, our guide and host Korinne for her insightful technical explanations, the overworked staff at the Moon Rock Café and the Shed drivers who volunteered their services to the site. See our photos

Thanks to Laurie Power for organising this trip to Tidbinbilla and special thanks to Geoff Grimmett for preparing the trip report.

14th Mar 2014 – Excursion & BBQ at Lowden Park in Tallanganda State Forest.

On this day 28 Shed Members in 7 vehicles enjoyed a great excursion to Lowden Forest Park, east of Captains Flat in the middle of Tallaganda State Forest and about 84 Km from the Shed. Hidden in a green fern gully in the forest is an old logging camp from the 1830’s. We saw not only the famous electricity generating Water Wheel from the 1930s, still turning vigorously, but also a number of historical relics more than 170 years old scattered throughout this park.

The picnic area at Lowden Forest is very picturesque and the surrounding native bush of Tallaganda State Forest includes majestic and inspiring stands of brown barrel, making bushwalking, four-wheel-driving and mountain bike riding favourite activities in the area. There are numerous walking tracks commencing at the picnic area to explore at leisure.

After an inspection and walk around the Water Wheel and among the other historic objects, we adjourned to a great BBQ which cooks Don Gruber and Stuart Allan had prepared. Thanks Gents!

Photos and a map of our journey

We left the Shed about 9.40AM and reached Lowden about 11AM. After a BBQ we headed back and arrived at the Shed by around 2.15PM.

See also Lowden Waterwheel

4th Apr 2014 – Dr Nick Abel CSIRO gave a talk on Climate Change

47 members attended and listened to this empowering presentation and its impact  Powerpoint presentation on the Shed’s Google Drive cloud location

2014-04-25 Anzac Day BBQ


2014-05-05 Greenhills Working Bee


13th Jun 2014 – Visit to the Wesleyan Church Parkwood

36 members enjoyed our June Sausage Sizzle, this time in a slight drizzle at Parkwood Wesleyan Church, with our hosts for the day, Jim and Pam Grace, giving us a potted history of the Church and the times when it was built.

Thomas and Eliza Southwell and their two small children (Thomas and Mary Ann) arrived in Australia in 1838 from Robertsbridge, Sussex, and they first settled at Cobbity near Camden. In 1840 they established themselves on the Ginninderra Creek and their first residence was shown as “Palmerville”.

Thomas and Eliza were Wesleyans and brought their religion into this area. Bible readings and family prayers were held in the home twice a day and Thomas began to read a sermon in his home. It was not long before neighbours, often walking long distances, came to hear these sermons and gather on the Sabbath. By 1848 regular services were being held at “Southwells”. Local Preachers travelled long distances to conduct services.

On 20 May 1852 Thomas’ wife Eliza died after the birth of their 9th child. In April 1853 Thomas married a widow Mary Croxton and brought her, and her two small daughters, to his home at Ginninderra Creek.

In 1863 Thomas himself built the present “Parkwood” home and as the homestead had become too small for the increasing congregation he gave a 99 year lease of 20 perches of land for a church site near the homestead. On this site Thomas built a lined wooden slab church with a boarded floor and bark roof using voluntary labour which included family, neighbours and friends. The church was ready for occupation by June 1863.

However, by the late 1870s the wooden church was showing signs of deterioration and Thomas decided to build a new church. The slab church was demolished and the new stone building erected on the same site.

The proportions were smaller than the previous building. This fine substantial stone structure with shingle roof, which Thomas had built at his own expense is what still stands today. The Church cost £150 and has been renovated and repaired on a number of occasions since. It is currently cared for by the Southwell Family Society. Thomas Southwell was regarded as the founder of Methodism in the Canberra district. He died on May 31 1881 at the age of 68 after a long and painful illness.

Special thanks to Pam and Jim Grace for showing us over the Church and telling us about its history. Thanks too, to Don Gruber for organising our visit to Parkwood Wesleyan Church. Thanks also to Drew McDonald, Bob Salmond and Don Gruber for organising the BBQ and cooking on the day. Thanks also to Roger Amos who brought along his historic 1936 Vauxhall which added quite a bit of class to our outing. See our photos

2014-06-27 Trivia Day


2014-07-04 Shed Auction and Meccano models


2014-07-11 Short Talk Day


2014-07-18 BBQ & Sing Australia Blokes


25th July 2014 – Goulburn Brewery Visit

The Goulburn Brewery complex houses much more than the brewery itself. There is also a maltings, a steam powered flour mill, cooperage, tobacco curing kiln, as well as a mews of stables and workers’ cottages – all designed as an integrated industrial complex by colonial architect Francis Greenway. The complex was reopened in 1990 and incorporates a hotel, restaurant, function rooms, cabaret theatre restaurant, art gallery and accommodation. We tasted real ales, brewed in the time honoured traditional way, with top fermentation in open-top vessels.

This photo shows bottles of ale and stout, and a “Goulburn Stubby” (it holds two litres of ale). Oddly enough, although many of our members had lived in the region for up to 40 years, some of them in Goulburn, they had no  idea that there was a brewery here. It still functions today, although there is a modern brewery “out the back” with state of the art equipment in stainless steel vats, etc. and with modern hygiene to comply with modern health and safety requirements.

Our host for the day was Fr. Michael O‟Halloran, who among other things is something of a local historian, a brewer and no doubt, and a priest. Michael welcomed 22 of our members for a tour of the first industrial estate in Australia. As he explained, when the brewery was established in 1833, it had to be self- sufficient; it was remote from Sydney, at least a week away, with dangerous river crossings and impenetrable bush land.

They had to find their own grain, so they contracted local growers; they needed to have their own granary, brewery and mill for making their own malt (called malting). Michael told us how they graded the grain, the best for ale is barley, and how they malted it before roasting it and then cracking it, to that the yeast could access the sugars in the fermenting malt, to create the finest ales. Once the brew is ready it is put into casks, each of 72 gallons, to continue fermenting for up to 8 weeks before the ale is poured into casks, kegs, firkins, etc. for sale to the public. At Goulburn, the brewery complex includes a tax and excise office with a residence, on-site. Customers could not take their ale away from the brewery until they had paid the appropriate excise tax, and then they could go on their way. Some interesting expressions hark back to the days of brewing, guileless (meaning no guile, guile being the heat and boiling going on during fermentation), taking the “piss” as the ale ferments (literally meaning one of the by-products of yeast growing as it eats the sugar and creates waste). There were many more interesting quotes, but as I did not take notes, it is unfortunate I cannot recall them.

Fr. Michael managed to include a great deal of historical detail about the local business people and their families associated with Francis Greenway (the convict architect from Sydney) and his establishment of the brewery buildings at Goulburn. Originally, the owners were the Bradley family and they and their partners were the original proponents of railways in New South Wales, starting in 1849, in order to get their wool and other produce to the wharves in Sydney for export. However, as they began to build the railway from Sydney to Goulburn and Yass, the Government acquired their business in 1855, and Bradley became one of the first Commissioners for Railways, in NSW. Today, the Goulburn Brewery remains Australia‟s oldest brewery, pre-dating the Cascade Brewery in Hobart, by about five years (none of the existing Cascade Brewery is original). The buildings at the Goulburn Brewery are the originals and they continue to operate, albeit as a museum showing the history of brewing in the area, and of Francis Greenway‟s architectural endeavours in Australia, particularly NSW. The Goulburn Brewery is a good example of some of the significant historical examples of early life in Australia, particularly in the “remote” areas. There are some interesting examples of early architecture and of building styles of the time, some of which survive today, which would be a good topic for another visit in the future.

Thanks to Bob Greeney for organising the visit and preparing this report. More pictures

15th Aug 2014 – Monthly BBQ & Sausage Sizzle with special Talks by Dr Alex Ritchie titled “Aust Buried Treasures” & Geoff Miller about his ship trip to Antarctica in 2011

There was an excellent slide presentations by Dr Alex Ritchie titled “Aust Buried Treasures” emphasising great fossil discovery at the 3 main opal sites & Geoff Miller talked about his ship trip to Antarctica in 2011. Both these presentations are available on Google Drive with Alex’s here Opal Fossils and Geoff’s here Antarctica

Note there are some large files here so we have taken out the 6 video files. These can be viewed online or downloaded

22nd Aug 2014 – Visit to Lake Bathurst Heritage Museum

22nd Aug 2014 – Visit to Lake Bathurst Heritage Museum 16 members drove to Lake Bathurst and visited this museum. This is a handout on the WWII Underground Fuel Tanks

29th Aug 2014 – 7PM Friday Labor Club in Belconnen, 6th Anniverary Dinner & Our 6th Birthday Events

This was held with spouses/partners/friends at the Labor Club Belconnen. We had a special presentation by the Tuggeranong Ukulele Group (TUGS) and Greg Hutchison gave a short talk on history of the Shed (51 people attended and an enormous 27 from the band) Pictures

Greg Hutchison gave a short overview on the Shed’s early history with a few photos on the occasion of the Shed’s 6th Birthday – There was also a great performance by the Mt Rogers Primary School Band in the Church Hall (45 members signed the book). Overview Presentation on the Sheds Creation & Development

2014-10-26 Graffiti


2014-10-27 Greenhills Working Bee


2014-11-07 AGM & Sausage Sizzle


24-26th Nov 2014 (Mon-Wed) Trip to Griffiths

14 people (7 couples) travelled to Griffith in individual vehicles. Most stayed at the Kidman Way Motel. Wal Cooper organised a visit to his brother-in-law’s farm that make prunes using hi tech equipment and an orange juice factory. Laurie was fascinated by a prune making machine and was astounded to find that it was made on the farm by the owner. Another special highlight was the visit to “The Hermit’s Cave”.

The Hermit’s Cave, situated on Scenic Hill on the outskirts of the town of Griffith, New South Wales, is in fact a complex of stone structures covering an area of 16 hectares. These structures include shelters, terraced gardens, water cisterns, dry-stone walling and linking bridges, stairways and paths that stretch intermittently across more than a kilometre of the escarpment. The complete structure and landscape was created single-handedly by reclusive Italian migrant Valerio Ricetti who made this place his home between about 1929 and 1952 during that time creating his own private “utopia” using the natural landscape and materials found in the area. The site is recognised for being a rare example of an Australian hermit’s domain and is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register.

It was a great trip. Griffith was a comfortable 5.5hr drive via Temora

2014-11-30 Voices in Forest – National Aboretum


2014-12-05 Awards & Presentations


19th Dec 2014 (Fri) Mark  Tunningley, President of the ACT Video Camera Club, talked about Home Videos & Christmas BBQ

Home Video & BBQ Pictures

Fortunately, making a good (or even great) home video isn’t hard when you know how, but with the abundance of video recording devices around these days, some sort of knowledge is required to make the home videos watchable and interesting. Mark explored the many digital camera options including iPads, GoPros, compact cameras (Panasonic Lumix and the like), SLR cameras (such as Canon EOS varieties – more expensive but better) through to movie only cameras ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

Mark then showed us a number of his own videos including ones taken with basic cameras like an iPod right through to videos shot with expensive video cameras.

These videos were very well done and clearly demonstrate the following points Mark made in his talk.

Mark’s home movie videoing tips

  1. Do use a tripod or other stabilization techniques.
  2. Do keep your shots level.
  3. Do vary your shots, angles and positions, including long shots, medium shots and close-ups.
  4. Do take shots that show motion.
  5. Do frame your shot. Use zoom to frame your shot.
  6. Do realise sound is important. Whenever possible, use an external microphone
  7. Do take “cut away” shots.
  8. Do realise as the camera moves change in light is important. Be aware of backlight.
  9. Do shoot more than you need. Shooting ratio around 6:1 to 10:1.
  10. Do keep target audience in mind.
  11. Do keep your lens clean.
  12. Do have spare batteries.
  13. Do have spare media.
  14. Do turn off recording red light.
  15. Do check your screen to see that you are recording.
  16. Do remember to pause your recording.
  17. Do monitor continuity.
  18. Do check your screen to see that you have enough battery power.
  19. Do check your remote, as it made start or pause someone else’s camera.
  20. Do know your camera, read the manual. Know how to access the menus.
  21. Don’t be constantly zooming, panning or cutting between moving shots.
  22. Don’t let anything into the frame that distracts from the subject or scene focus.
  23. Don’t use “in camera” effects, do it in editing software.
  24. Don’t use digital zoom.
  25. Don’t pan against “the traffic”.

Mark’s 10 tips for editing video footage

  1. Scenes to last for about 4-5 seconds.
  2. Edit to about 10-1.
  3. Use only 1 or 2 types of transitions.
  4. Try to tell a story: Have a beginning middle and end.
  5. Don’t make it too long (5 to 8 mins).
  6. Know who your audience.
  7. Be aware of sound levels – music and ambient.
  8. Edit the sound as well- fade-in/fade-out change music on scene change.
  9. Use titles that are readable.
  10. Don’t be afraid to put things out of chronological order.

Mark’s list of Video Editing Software

  • Adobe Premiere Elements (Mac OS X, Windows)
  • Avid DS (Windows)
  • Corel VideoStudio (Windows)
  • Edius (Windows)
  • iMovie (Mac OS X)
  • Magix Movie Edit (Windows)
  • PowerDirector (Windows)
  • Sony Vegas Movie Studio (Windows)
  • Windows MovieMaker (Windows)

More information? Then contact Mark Tunningley Phone: 6231 9587 or email: [email protected]

ACT Video Camera Club caters for all ages and members range in ability from complete novices to those with fairly advanced skills. With two meetings a month on the first and third Thursday there is always something happening and a monthly newsletter. The Club has an Email group list for notices of meeting and events and their newsletter “Viewfinder” is emailed out monthly and posted to those not on the internet. Meetings are on the third Thursday of the month 7:30pm, at the Weston Creek Community Centre, and usually feature a special presentation or guest speaker.

From time to time the Club also organises trips to places of interest or hold outdoor events such as the recent outdoor workshop at the Botanic Gardens. Within the club there are also special interest groups catering for different editing systems.

For more information Click Here

Thanks to Harry Redfern for organising Mark’s attendance at our Shed.

Activities Held 2013

The following is an outline of shed excursions and special activities that been held.  If you click on the images below it will open as a larger image in a new window The following is an outline of shed excursions and special activities that been held

2013-01-06 Bunnings BBQ No2


North Belconnen Uniting Church’s Leggo Organ – 18th Jan 2013

On this Friday we had the great pleasure of hearing Malcolm Morrison tell of the history of the church organ in the North Belconnen Uniting Church and listening to a number of excellent organ renditions by Geoff Fiddian.

Malcolm told of the twenty year project to obtain and restore the organ to its present condition – the high points and the low points.

It originally was built by Charles William Leggo in 1920 for the Methodist Church in Singleton. With the amalgamation of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregation churches in the early 1980’s, the methodist church closed and the organ was left. The organ was Leggo’s first but he went on to build another 16.

In February 1988 Malcolm received a call from Trevor Bunning about an organ at Singleton. The Church acquired the organ for $3,000 and moved it to Melba in Oct 1988. The 4 ton, 610 pipe organ was dis-assembled and moved to Canberra in a 7 metre long van with the major front section having to travel on the truck’s tailgate! A professional was asked to quote to re-assemble the organ but the $60-$80,000 quotation led to a decision that the congregation members would attempt the task.

In 1994 and 1996 the church put in bids for $1,5000 from the ACT Heritage Trust to restore and install the organ. In 1997 they tried again and were granted $3,000. They then discovered and bought for $2,000 a new blower from and Adelaide church.

It wasn’t however until 1997 that work commenced in earnest and in 2000 an expert organ builder, Roger Jones from Adelaide, became involved and directed the work. He organised the installation of mechanical actuation of the organ, replacing electronic controls which had been installed sometime in the past. Much work continued but it wasn’t until June 2008 that the organ was dedicated and presented to a full congregation.

The organ was mostly timber and leather and a lot of replacement of the leather and some wood was required.

Roger Jones continued to help with maintenance until 2012 whence he had a stroke and remains in a rehabilitation hospital in Adelaide.

Geoff Fiddian explained how the organ worked and played three of four hymns for Shed members, culminating in a great rendition of a Phantom of the Opera favourite – Music of the Night.

The covers of the organ were then removed and it was Question Time.

Thanks to Malcolm and Geoff and to Gary Watson and Frank Hicks, two congregation members associated with the organ and who helped on the day. Also a special thanks to Geoff Grimmett for organising the morning.

This short document provides a technical overview of this old organ. Photos

‘Groovy’ Aerodynamics Cricket Balls, Golf Balls and Throwing Sticks – 1st Feb 2013

Well we all certainly learned a lot listening to what Ray Nelson had to say on boomerangs and cricket balls, golf balls and throwing sticks.

Did you know that boomerangs were the world’s first heavier than air flying machines, used most famously by the Australian Aborigines, but also found in other ancient cultures in Egypt, stone age Europe and the Indian Sub-continent. No-one knows how they were first invented and even though they look simple, they use a very complex combination of physics and aerodynamics to perform their amazing flights.

We commonly think of returning boomerangs as being the ‘real thing’ but in reality they are more a product of post European Australia as is the didgeridoo. Neither the returning boomerang nor the didgeridoo really existed in pre-European Australia and real boomerangs were used for hunting and fighting, and often, as a tool. These boomerangs did not return when thrown. They could kill their prey at distances to 100m and injure to 150m.

Ray explained with demonstrations and diagrams just how the boomerangs and throwing sticks work, how lift is generated via the curved upper surface of the boomerang (just like an airplane wing), how the grooves or flutes cut into the upper surface increase the distance it can be thrown by disturbing the airflow, reducing drag and increasing lift.

We learned that the same principle led to dimples on golf balls – did you know you can hit a dimpled golf ball 50% further than a smooth golf ball. Ray demonstrated why with some slides showing the different flow characteristics around a bowling ball dropped into water where one ball was smooth and the other rough.

Thanks Ray for a great presentation and for bringing along some of the boomerangs and throwing sticks from the B.L. Hornshaw Collection of Aboriginal Art and Artefacts.

2013-02-20 Working Bee – Extensions


2013-02-22 Cotter Picnic Ground BBQ & Excursion


2013-03-08 Bowling & BBQ


2013-04-12 Shed BBQ & Video


2013-04-19 Alex Ritchie Central Aust


2013-05-10 Gubur Dhaura Excursion


2013-05-17 Myrtleford – Rail Trail Trip


2013-05-24 BBQ at Belconnen Bowls Club


2013-06-09 Bunnings BBQ No 4


2013-06-14 Capt Nigel Roden Salvation Army Defence Services


2013-06-21 Shelter Box & Shed BBQ


2013-07-19 Australian War Memorial Excursion


2013-07-26 BBQ with visitor Yvette Berry


2013-08-23 Aboretum Visit


2013-09-13 Tarago – Woodlawn – Bugendore Woodworks Excursion


2013-10-04 Peter Hawker’s Yachting World Trip


2013-10-18 5th Birthday and Extension Opening Celebrations


2013-10-25 London Bridge Outing


2013-11-24 Gleeson Rosella Nesting Box

Photos with box designs

2013 May-Sep Shed Extensions

Photos What more can we say

2013-12-06 Shed Meeting


Activities Held 2012

The following is an outline of shed excursions and special activities that been held. If you click on the images below it will open as a larger image in a new window

 Behind the Scenes Visit to the National Library – 27 Jan 2012

On Friday 27th Jan a large contingent of around 28 Melba Shed members descended on the National Library for a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour.

The Library holds the greatest collection in the world of material relating to Australia and the Australian people. It ranges from the earliest European works about the Great Southern Land to the most current publications. The collection includes all formats of material, from books and magazines to pictures, photographs, maps, sheet music, oral history recordings, manuscript papers, ephemera and much, much more!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of volunteer guiding at the National Library, and we were privileged to have three volunteers guide us through the tour. Many thanks to Alan, Margaret and Sheena for looking after us so well.

Among many things, we saw the reading rooms, the old vacuum tube system used to order books to be delivered to the reading room, old microfilm and microfiche equipment, book stacks like you wouldn’t believe, Charlie the roving automated robot delivering books, newspapers going back to the very early 1800s and map collections including some most interesting globes with maps dating back to the 1700s.

After a quick coffee stop we then proceeded to the Treasures Gallery which featured many of the Library’s greatest treasures – some of which had never previously been publicly displayed. We spent some time looking at Captain James Cook’s journal of his discovery of the eastern coast of Australia. Fascinating stuff.

We also learned a little about ‘Trove’ – the Library’s one line search facility. Trove is described as ‘an exciting, evolutionary and free search service. With millions of items, Trove is an unrivalled repository of Australian material. Trove is for all Australians. Whether you are tracing your family history, doing professional research, reading for pleasure, teaching or studying, Trove can help.’ To access Trove, click on: Many thanks to Stuart Allan for organising this tour. Photos of our visit to the Library

Canbera Museum Visit inc the King O’Malley Exhibition and the Old Bones – New Insights Exhibition, 24th Feb 2012

On 24th Feb we visited the Canberra Museum and Gallery. It was a most interesting visit attended by 29 Shed members and included the King O’Malley Exhibition and the Old Bones – New Insights Exhibition

King O’Malley

Curator, Social History of the Museum, Rowan Henderson, gave us a very comprehensive exposé on the life of King O’Malley, an insurance salesman from the United States of America, who migrated to Australia around 1888 and after selling insurance in Melbourne and then Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia was elected as an independent to the SA House of Assembly. He injected colour into Australian politics from his election in 1896 until his death in 1953. Joining Federal politics after Federation, O’Malley represented the Tasmanian electorate of Darwin for sixteen years, acting as Minister for Home Affairs at the time the competition to design Canberra was held, and the federal capital was named. Read more about this most interesting man by clicking here.

Old Bones, New Insights

Dr Alex Ritchie organised this fascinating visit to the Old Bones – New Insights Exhibition at the Gallery. The exhibition was put together by Dr Gavin Young and Professor Tim Senden, both from the ANU. It displays some of the finest Devonian fossil fish specimens found and prepared by ANU staff and students over more than forty years. Most specimens have never been displayed publicly before and when the exhibition closes they will unfortunately disappear back into the ANU vaults, assessable only to scientists. What a great shame funding can’t be found to permanently display this rare and important collection! Physics has joined palaeontology at the ANU using 3D X-ray scanning to reveal new evidence of early vertebrae evolution. Over the past 40 years the Wee Jasper area has yielded fossil treasures which now showcase a once diverse coral reef – 400 million years ago. See photos by clicking here

Bill Cole – Funeral Director – 23 March 2012

On Friday 23 March we welcomed Bill Cole. Bill, who with his wife Christine run William Cole Funerals, which is a family owned business, serving the Canberra community since 1990. It began in a small office in Mitchell before moving to Belconnen. Being a Funeral Director is an unusual occupation but Bill seems to revel in it, telling us that he had decided upon this occupation well before leaving school. He is clearly well suited to the role exhibiting compassion, understanding and professionalism which no doubt would be greatly appreciated by all those with whom he comes into contact. Bill also told us a little history of the funeral business in Australia including providing an insight into some of the different burial or cremation options.

Bill spoke about a range of issue related to funerals including:

  • coffins are getting large as the population get larger
  • at least 70% of funerals are now a cremation
  • around 1400-1500 funerals in ACT per year
  • they have a contract with the coroner and thus need 4 staff on call at all times
  • Norwood Park is a private crematorium, although the adjacent cemetery is Government owned. The crematorium needs work
  • Cremations are cheaper, ie just over $1000 for the crematorium, $260 for the doctors cost against $4600 for cemetery fees, plus of course Funeral Director charges, flowers and coffin
  • can provide a cheap wooden coffin cheaper than cardboard at the moment
  • one can make their own coffin
  • must have a coffin for a cremation
  • prepaid funeral are OK if you die quickly but if you live a long time paying at the end might be cheaper
  • prepaid funerals amounts can be transferred to the estate if you die interstate
  • you can have your ashes in an urn added to an existing cemetery plot that contains a coffin
  • you can have a burial without a funeral service, although you must have a coffin

 Thanks to Peter Mitchell for organising Bill’s presentation.

2012-03-24 Wedding – John and Pam Burrowes


Ian Foster, volunteer from the Australian War Memorial – 30 March 2012

Ian Foster gave us a great session on the Australian War Memorial and some really interesting facts on the history and evolution of the Australian Flag. Ian talked about his experiences as a War Memorial volunteer guide giving us a better insight into the three primary roles the Memorial has – a shrine, a museum and a war archive. Ian explained how the Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.

The AWM was approved for building in 1922, long before most others structures in Canberra. It opened in 11/11/1941. It now gets some 900,000 visitors annually. Its not juts a memorial but a shrine; a museum; and an archive. There are about 300 volunteers of which 120 are volunteer guides

The standard “highlights” tour takes 90 min whereas the WWI tour only takes 30 min

In WWI our population was quite small around 5 Million, yet 300,000 volunteered ie 8% of the population. 60,000 of these died or 1:6 who served.

Australian Flag

Many Australians want to retain our current flag because they feel that it is the flag under which we fought. However Australians have not always ‘fought under’ the present flag. The only war where servicemen ‘fought under’ Australia’s current flag was the Vietnam War.

The Union Jack was the only flag used on our side during the Boer War. The Union Jack was again predominant in the First World War. Then there was confusion among the Union Jack, the defaced Red Ensign, and the defaced Blue Ensign. The famous Changi Flag, which flew at the liberation of Singapore in 1945 was a Red Ensign.

The current Australian flag (blue ensign) was first flown in Melbourne in Sep 1901, but was not popular at the time. The British Government could overrule Australian laws until 1942. In WWII various flags were used but it seems most Australians did not fight under our current flag. In 1920 the Red Ensign was flown at the opening of the Parliament House. However the official flag was still the Union Jack.

Again in WWII various flags were used. In 1943 Curtain allowed the Blue Flag for miliary funerals. In 1947 Chifley make it formal. In 1950 Menzies promoted the blue ensign and in 1954 the Queen approved its use.

The 1996 Flag act made changing the flag difficult as it will require a referendum

It was a most interesting presentation and thanks to Geoff Grimmett for organising Ian’s attendance.

North Belconnen Uniting Church Minister, Rev Tim Jensen about his life and experiences – 20 April 2012

Around 40 members listened to new Uniting Church Minister, Rev Tim Jensen give an enlightening talk about where he grew up and the things that influenced him during his life before he moved to Canberra. Tim commenced his ministry at Melba in January this year after previously being minister at Byron Bay Uniting Church.

Tim’s father came from Horsens, Denmark and was active in the underground as a teenager during WWII. He joined the UK army after the war and served in Palestine. To avoid serving in the Danish army he went to Canada for about 10 years, then to Rabaul in New Guinea. This is where Tim was born.

He next went to Darwin, which is where he calls home. Tim first started working he and was inspired by a partially disabled person called Doug Wilkie. Working for Doug in Darwin he learnt to be a plumber. It was here whilst playing rugby that he heard from his Captain the expression “Revenge is a dish best served cold!” This was not for him so he went to Teachers College, and then served on several aboriginal settlements in the NT and QLD where he learnt about tribal cultures. Again teaching was not his ultimate career so he ended up studying theology in Brisbane and then was posted to several QLD towns including Longreach. Lastly he spent 10 idyllic years in Byron bay before ending up here in Melba

Excursion and Tour of Captain’s Flat – 27 April 2012

20 Melba Shed members headed to Captains Flat for a tour of this interesting and historic town by local historian and Captains Flat’s representative on the Palerang Council Heritage Advisory Committee, Elizabeth Estbergs. We met Elizabeth at the lookout near the old railway station and learned that Captains Flat was home for 5,000 people during mining operations but that now only some 500 people reside there.

What a shame the railway was closed in 1968 as it passed through some very scenic countryside as it meandered its way from Queanbeyan to Captains Flat. We saw the turntable and other railway infrastructure before heading to view the mine site that overlooks the town. We then headed into town and looked at some of the historic photos at the Community Centre – a former cinema.

Then we visited the local Anglican church, then off to a magnificent lunch at the Outsider Café – a most interesting place to enjoy great food and a most unusual décor. If you weren’t there, take a look at the photos and see what you missed out on!

After lunch we took a look at the Captains Flat Hotel where Vicky showed us around and we saw what is reputed to be one of the longest bars in Australia. The hotel is a quaint old style country hotel with considerable charm and would be great place for a few days away from the hassles of Canberra living.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Vicky for showing us over the town and the hotel and thanks to Laurie for organising a most successful visit.

See our many photos Further information on Captains Flat

ACT Greens follow up!

Meredith Hunter and Shane Rattenbury of the ACT Greens visited the Shed on 17 February and promised to follow up on several questions relating to disabled parking spaces at the Jamison Centre and the Kippax Library. Meredith did indeed follow up this issue and received the following response from our Chief Minister.


Talk by Alan Tongue – 4 May 2012

Pictures: Alan Tongue talking to shed member David Lingingstone; and members listening to Alan. Pictures compliments of Jennifer Thompson

Alan Tongue, former Raiders’ captain talked about his life and approach to rugby league to around 40 members and guests.

Alan grew up on a 2,500 acre mixed grazing/farming property outside of Tamworth. He had a religious upbringing and still goes to the local Baptist Church on Sundays. He started playing rugby league at school at age 6. Initially he obtained a scholarship from the Brisbane Broncos for 3 years to support his schooling.

He made the Year 12 schoolboys team that toured NZ and during this he met some Canberra boys and hit it off i.e. Brett Finch. This encouraged him to then join the Raiders in lower grades.

In 2000 he went to Newcastle to play, and then straight to Brisbane to debut in1st Grade later that same week. He then played 21 games in that debut year in 1st grade. Throughout his career he tried to be a multi position player such as half and hooker enabling him to be more useful to the club

Over the years the raiders have used 211 players with some 8-9 debuting every year. It’s a bit hard to keep consistency with that sort of turnover. Maybe that’s part of their lack of performance in recent years.

2004-2009 were Alan’s best years. In 2006 was named player of the year. At the end of 2006 lots of players left the club. This facilitated Alan becoming Captain. In early 2011 he had a serious shoulder injury i.e. ruptured AC joint.

At the end of 2011 he decided to retire even with a year left on his contract. He had played 220 games.

Alan has 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. He well remembers working as a a trainee apprentice when he played lower grade and earned the princely sum of $4.69 per hour as 1st year apprentice. (some of us remember similar rates of pay!)

Now he commentates for ABC Radio 666 for Canberra and Sydney matches and on Sat morning at 11AM. He is also in the NRL education and welfare team. He is also with Dixon Advisory teaching them leadership skills. He is also a personal trainer, and is associated with the National Brain Industry Foundation.

Alan is keen to work with younger players coming through and tries to teach them how to behave and have goals for the future to improve themselves and also so that they will be remembered for their good attributes.

In his thought processes Alan developed some great expressions, and some he relayed to us were:

  • “pain is weakness leaving the body!” associated with his pre-season training
  • “repetition is the mother of all skill!
  • “we are what we repeatedly do!”

Thanks to Peter Mitchell for organising Alan’s visit. More pictures

Engaging Solutions – 4 May 2012

On this Friday we also welcomed Jennifer Thompson, Managing Director of Engaging Solutions. Jennifer is producing a short media piece for a local organisation (LEAD) highlighting ways in which people living with a disability can be treated as individuals and more engaged in the general Canberra community. LEAD assists David Livingstone in attending the Melba Shed. Like many Canberra men, it is a highlight in David’s weekly social calendar.

Digital Storytelling is the practice of using digital tools, typically pictures and video to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic; in this case, typical days in David’s life.

David enjoys his visits to the Shed accompanied by his carer, Harry Enright. Harry’s role is to assist David to utilise community facilities for social, recreational and volunteering options. He works with Lead and with David’s family to consider choices, provide skill development training, identify suitable community venues, provide initial support and undertake capacity building activities.

Good work Harry. It is hopes David’s experience at the Shed is positive and enjoyable and we all look forward to seeing the results of Jennifer’s work with the Digital Storytelling.

A Surprise Visit from Tom Davis – 11 May 2012

Pictures: Tom Davis 2012-05-11 at Melba, and in Nov 2010 at Orbost It was a welcome surprise to members to have Tom Davis from the Orbost Mens Shed drop into our meeting on this Friday morning. A number of our members will remember Tom from our very successful and happy trip to Orbost in 2010. Tom kindly addressed the meeting during the program and outlined the latest developments at his Shed. In January this year fire caused damage to the Orbost Shed at a cost of somewhere between $100K–250K, destroying equipment, a good deal of work in progress by the shed members, and some computers. The steel roof will need replacement as a result of the fire after structural assessment. Plans are in place and tenders being prepared to replace this steel. Orbost Shed before the fire (from our Shed visit in 2010) Shed members are busy visiting neighbouring sheds and keep general morale up as they look to replacing some treasured possessions. Santos has generously contributed money towards building a new shed out the back, and members are making very good efforts in raising their own funds by conducting raffles in conjunction with other support. The shed has met weekly at Orbost Regional Health’s Board Room for lunch and a report back process (ORH are a major supporter of the Shed) as the dining room/kitchen has been redeveloped. The shed now faces the challenges of establishing a new work area and obtaining new equipment and ensuring its correct layout and maintenance, with all the new associated EH&WS issues and rules arising from that. We wish our fellow Orbost Shed friends every success in their endeavours in re-establishing their Shed to its full potential again, and look forward to hearing positive updates in the coming months.

Terrys Pumpkin Challege 2012 – Judging 18 May 2012

Terry issued a challenge for any member to grow the largest pumpkin from Nov through to around May2012.Terry supplied his own butternut super seeds to those who wanted to have a go.

On this day we held the judging of the winner and this function was ably performed by our elder spokesman Clarrie Hockley

Five members participated: Terry M (himself), Steve M, Geoff G, Tony C and Bob Salmond. There were some fine specimens and some that looked very weird or phallic (Steve, Tony).

The winner was judged as Bob Salmond’s 2.528Kg pumpkin of length 42cm. Bob also had another pumpkin of weight 3.419Kg. His winning certificate is shown. Pictures

2012-06-01 Shed Bowls Day


Bunnings BBQ – 15 June 2012

Pictures: 1 & 2 Crew 2; 3 Crew 4 12 different members manned the BBQ at Bunnings Belconnen in 4 different crews. Thanks to Jim G, Peter T, Ron T, Ted T, Harry Williams, Steve M, Tony C, Drew, Greg H, Stuart A, Bob S and a special thanks to Geoff Grimmett for his amazing organisation and overall efforts. RonT also helped with providing 2 large eskies and buying some supplies. Crew 1, Geoff and Jim arrived early about 8.15AM to setup with the other arriving later for the setup and first shift through to 10AM. Geoff obviously had done much planning and purchasing so his day started much earlier. The setup went well although the lighting of the front burners required a firelighter rather than pushing the button. Crews 2 and 3 followed on from 10AM through to 2PM. Then Crew 4 did from 2PM through to about 4.35PM. longer than planned. Geoff had to go home for domestic activities as well as purchase more stock, and in the meantime the BBQ ran out of gas and they had trouble starting it again. However this was finally achieved for the final spurt through to the finish. It was getting cold around about then although thank heavens the wind dropped off. Then Crew 4 stayed on to clear down the setup, pack up and clean the BBQ etc. We had to get hot water from the Bunnings cafe inside to wash the BQ with soapy water. We also had to remove all the rubbish and spare items back to the Shed. Some lessons: Looked like coke, orange and lemon were the most popular drinks, certainly mostly water and some lemonade were left at the end. We need to bring easy to use large garbage bags, smaller bucket liners and a clean bucket to collect hot cleaning water at the end. Certainly need 4 people working on the stand when its busy

Geoff’s Report from Newsletter #136

Well, after all the lead-up info to members in recent weeks it is pleasing to report that the Bunnings BBQ last Friday proved to be very successful. We were fortunate in that the weather was fine (though somewhat cool in the marquee!) and that we had a reasonably steady supply of customers. The day resulted in the shed making a net profit of $747.00, which is a valuable contribution to our fund-raising goal. Well done Melba Shed! Many thanks go to all those who volunteered their services in manning the BBQ and for being flexible with their time as needs dictated. A top crew – happy, co-operative & very efficient! Many laughs were shared throughout the day and it’s always great to experience the spirit of camaraderie that such an event generates. Without doubt our culinary skills and customer relations were honed to a fine degree on the day! Fund-raising aside, it was interesting to experience the level of interest shown in our Shed and Men’s Sheds in general, and happily this BBQ also proved to be a valuable marketing exercise and useful point of contact for those seeking out information either for themselves or relatives. Bunnings have allocated us another slot in their busy calendar, and at this stage we have locked in January 6 for another BBQ. We are however pursuing additional opportunities for the intervening period, so “watch this space”. If you weren’t able to participate this time around and wanted to be part of a team next time, please add your name to the general list that is kept on the table each week as you enter the Shed.

2012-06-29 Lanyon Homestead


David Wild – Cancer Council, ACT 10 July 2012

From Newsletter # 144 by Geoff Grimmett

On Friday we welcomed David Wild, SunSmart Coordinator with Cancer Council ACT. David gave us a very interesting and informative presentation on the effects of over-exposure to harmful Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) rays and offered us a range of practical and sensible suggestions as to how we can best look after our skin and help prevent potentially fatal skin cancers occurring.

The cancer Council suggest that as soon as the UV Index reaches 3 it is time to start warnings about skin exposure and associated harmful effects of over-exposure, and encourage people to cover up and take protective measures to avoid skin damage. This usually begins in August in Canberra, and from this time on UV levels begin to rise rapidly, peaking at about 15 on the Index over the summer period.

UVR is dangerous in that it can neither be seen nor felt (and therefore is often neglected), is present every day and has many known health effects. Some of the most dangerous periods are cloudy days in the spring/summer period when it is assumed that UVR will not be harmful – this is an incorrect and dangerous assumption as the UV Index is often still at levels between 10 and 15 and presents real risk factors if ignored.

It is important to note that an adequate amount of sun exposure is required to maintain sufficient Vitamin D levels in the body, but this exposure should take place at the appropriate times of day. David made the point that the vast majority of people in Australia get enough sunlight to maintain Vitamin D, suggesting that only a few minutes a day is required in summer, and a few hours skin exposure spread over each week in winter should be sufficient.

The peak UVR period occurs between 10.00-11.00am and 12.00-3.00pm, and it is important to ensure that sun exposure is limited to periods outside these if at all possible.

Some assumptions about risks posed to certain types of workers have proved to be incorrect. For example, indoor or office workers have been found to be at far greater risk than those who usually work outdoors, due to the fact that the limited exposure they get is typically for very concentrated period on weekends, and at dangerous levels.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world; this can in good measure be attributed to very high UV levels, the fact that we predominantly have fair skins and tend to be very “outdoorsy” in Australia, with social attitudes often disregarding sun-safe protection measures for fashion and tanning reasons.

David pointed out that sunburn damage often does not become seriously evident until many years after the damage has been done, often with serious consequences. At least 2 in 3 people in Australia will experience some form of skin cancer within their lifetime. Skin cancer melanomas are the fourth most-commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, and kill over 1200 people each year (1850 total skin cancer deaths per year and growing). It is also the most common cancer among young people.

David recommended that appropriate clothing for sun protection should be of a tight-weave variety to enable blocking of as much UV radiation as possible. “Rashies” for example are great for surf wear. Loose fitting and loose weave clothing (or basically material that can be seen through) is insufficient protection. Caps offer very minimal, if any protection from UV penetration, and hats were recommended to be the best form of head protection. The wearing of “Wrap-around” style sunglasses to the AS 1067:2003 standard is also recommended, as eyes are often neglected and considered not to be at risk, when in fact the figures show that eye cancers are quite common among our population due to high UV concentration.

Sun creams are considered a last defence against harmful rays, and should be used in sufficient quantities and strictly in accordance with the instructions. The Zinc-based/metal creams (that generally do not “disappear” on application and don’t tend to neutralise) have been found to be far more effective than the “chemical” based creams.

If you would like to explore this subject more closely, refer to the following web links for further information: Cancer Council ACT, on skin cancers

CCACT, “Know Your Skin” Brochure (a pdf doc) How Much Sun Is Enough ? (a pdf doc)

Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) and the UV IndexView todays UV index for Canberra

Linda Kwong, the Education Officer from ACT NoWaste 27 July 2012

Linda Kwong, the Education Officer from ACT NoWaste spoke to 31 members with great passion about recycling and the do’s and don’ts of what goes in the recycling bin. Ted also learnt that old hammers cannot be placed in these bins. Such tools should be recycled to the recycle sheds at Mitchell or Mugga

From Newsletter # 142 by Geoff Grimmett

Last week we enjoyed a very informative and entertaining session. Linda was a terrific presenter and passionate about the recycling work she is involved with – all attending found the session both a fun-filled and interesting one.

All recycling material collected from ACT household kerbside bins in the territory are taken to the Materials Recovery Facility at Hume for sorting and processing, prior to being sent off to Sydney or Melbourne for recycling. This facility employs 15 staff and uses machinery that is worth in excess of $20M.

If you would like to see video of this process at Hume, you can do so by clicking on the following You Tube video link where the ACT Government (TAMS) explains the recycling process from collection and sorting through to dispatch.

The ACT Government is also in the process of extending the Mugga Way landfill at a total cost of some $30M, recognition that while huge advances are being made in recovering recyclable material in the ACT some 260,000 tonnes of waste material from various sources are currently finishing up in landfill each year- hence the need to improve the quality and efficiency of recycling facilities generally. Linda advised us that there are only 6 categories of items that can be put into our domestic Yellow waste bins, namely all of the following:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Rigid plastic containers
  • Cartons
  • Steel cans, including aerosols, aluminium cans, trays & foil

Things that should not be placed in the recycling bins include; plastic bags, electrical goods, clothes, polystyrene (including meat trays), nappies, no DVD/CD/VCRs, ceramics, broken glass, light bulbs of any type, mirror glass, paint or oil, batteries of any sort. However, pizza boxes (including stuck on greasy bits), oil cans if empty and paint tins if empty (or with dried solid paint) can be included in the standard yellow recycle bins.

Used Motor oil and paint can be dumped in the appropriate sumps at either the Parkwood (West Belconnen), Mitchell or Mugga Way facilities. Excess building timber can be taken to Thor’s Hammer in Yarralumla. Thors Hammer Small batteries can be put in the waste or collected and taken to Battery World in Phillip. Car batteries can be taken to Mugga, Mitchell or Parkwood.

Polystyrene can be easily disposed of by putting in the normal green waste bin or contacting Cleanaway in Hume (6239 2600).

We learnt about the availability of the free Wheelie Bin Assistance Program. If you, your family or friends need assistance with handling and moving your bin due to age, illness, arthritis etc you can contact Canberra Connect and they will arrange to come and put your bin out for you and return it after collection. A form to enable you to apply for this service can be found by clicking on the link: Canberra Connect

As advised previously through our newsletter and web page, a free e-waste recycling service to enable dumping of old TV’s etc is also available at the Mitchell and Mugga Way facilities. Free e Waste recycling service

Linda mentioned that for some time now she has been working hard at developing an exhaustive list of recyclable items that will be put on the ACT NOWaste web page in the next 2-3 weeks, that will enable householders to identify easily and in detail hose items that can be recycled in the ACT, together with alternate solutions if they can’t go in the standard recycling bins. We (Melba Shed) will publish this web link for the benefit of members as soon as it is completed

If you want to read more about “Recycling and Waste” management in the ACT, visit the TAMS web page at NoWaste

For those members who were unable to attend this week and missed Linda’s talk, the ACT Government has commissioned a video showing Linda being interviewed regarding recycling matters, and this can again be viewed via YouTube by clicking on the following link Talkin’ Tams – Recycling on YouTube with Linda Kwong

2012-09-03 Greenhills Working Bee


2012-09-07 Queanbeyan Historical Museum


2012-09-07 Fourth Anniversary Dinner


2012-09-21 Louise Ellery and Minister Joy Burch


2012-10-20 Weetangera Cemetery Working Bee


2012-10-22 Golf in the Country – Yass


Visit to Age of Fishes Museum – Canowindra 26 Oct 2012

On this Friday excursion we journeyed to the distant country town of Canowindra. Review site information here & Alex’s history in our Newsletter #152 of 10th Oct 2012 and Newsletter # 155 of 2nd Nov for a writeup of the trip

Well what a day we all enjoyed when over twenty Shed Members descended on the Age of Fishes Museum in Canowindra. We were joined by Monica Yeung of Gondwana Dreaming and by David Shaw of Anglicare Shaw Possibilities. David kindly offered the Shed use of his bus to transport us to Canowindra and back. We also has Phil’s 4WD.

Morning tea was taken at Boorowa. Bob Salmond wrote ” The trip was really good. I had a double ice cream at the bakery at Boorowa, and on the way back had a soft serve at Maccas . No more needs to be said.”

On reaching Canowindra we were welcomed by Bruce who along with Monica ensured we were very well looked after.Bruce also cooked on the lunch time BBQ ably supported by Harry Redfern.

Shed Member Alex Ritchie who re-discovered the spectacularly rich Devonian fish site at Canowindra and unearthed the best preserved specimens of Groenlandaspis in the world – a single slab bearing five uncrushed adult skeletons – was our guide extraordinaire for the day and he was certainly a walking encyclopaedia as far as his knowledge about the fossils. After looking through and lunching at the Museum, Alex took us to the Canowindra Showground where a significant volume of fossil rocks are stored, awaiting resources for appropriate storage, processing and classification. Then it was off to the dig site on the Grenfell-Orange Road (near where the Merriganowry bridge crosses over the Lachlan River), where we saw where and how in 1993, Alex and his supporters recovered the 360 million year old fossils. The next stop was a fossil rich quarry off the Lachlan Valley Way where Bruce, Monica and Alex set us up for a bit of real fossil fossicking. After a safety talk by Bruce and some further fossil information from Alex we were all let loose with a geological hammer, a cold chisel, some sheets of newspaper and a foam kneeling mat.

We returned home via Cowra stopping, to view the hologram that recounts the tragic breakout from the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp during World War II.

Many thanks to those who made this trip happen – Alex, Monica, Bruce, David and the staff at the Age of Fishes Museum and to bus driver, Don Gruber. A great expedition that we’ll all remember fondly. See all the pictures.

Rough Itinerary: 0800-0930 to Boorowa bakery 0930-1100 to museum. On trip Alex explained how the discovery was made 1100-1200 Guided (by Alex) tour of fossils and castings exhibition at museum 1200-1300 sausage sizzle 1300-1400 trip to showground to look at warehoused fossils, & then to discovery site 1430- 1600 to quarry site, & practice at digging 1600-1700 travel to Cowra, some members viewed the hologram exhibition of the Cowra breakout 1700-1900 Cowra to Melba via diesel stop at Yass roadhouse

2012-11-09 AGM and BBQ Sausage Sizzle


2012-11-17 Canberra Country Music Festival


2012-11-23 Jim Greethead’s Model Engines & Ernie’s Roast Lunch


2012-11-24 Voices in the Forest


2012-11-30  Fedra Olive Grove excursion


2012-12-17 2012 Closedown & Christmas