News and Items of Interest

Latest News

ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory

Most recent talks & presentations at the Shed on Fridays can be found on this page

ACT’s Latest Recovery Plan with various easing of restrictions in Stages

Check out the latest guidelines on CoronaVirus (COVID19) on the ACT Government website. Remain cautious, practise social distancing, keep yourself occupied, have a chat to a mate and look after your mental health and wellbeing.

The Shed Wireless – The Australian Men’s Shed Association’s podcast that brings together Shedders across the nation. Episodes feature history, comedy, news, health and topical interviews

Cycling and Walking recommenced from the week beginning 11th May. See Cycling and walking tabs on the menu for their respective pages

23 Mar 2020 – Melba Shed was Closed for meetings

Kayak on Lake Ginninderra 2014

23 Sep 2020 – Stellas by the Lake Cafe open

The replacement for Black Pepper cafe near the mall where the cyclists met opened on 21 Sep and is open from 6.30AM. Some cyclists have started to meet there again from around 8AM. See their facebook site for infoYou can see their location on Google Maps

17 Sep 2020 – Mon – Raiders Belconnen Reopened

Raiders Belconnen is reopening at 9AM Mon 10th Aug in line with eased Corona restrictions. Their kitchen is open from 17th Sep. One needs to ring the club on 6254 1044 to book for a meal. Refer to Raiders Facebook Page

2020 During the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic Periods

Our last formal Shed meeting was on 23rd March. After this we did not hold any formal meetings. The Cyclists & Walkers recommenced activities on week starting 11th May. The weekly Newsletter had a range on articles from members on the history of their families, or research projects they were undertaking, & even one persons studies on the Roman Empire. I sometimes wondered if he was trying to tell us something! i.e. we’re living in the period that may be remembered as the: “End of Western Civilisation“.    The Newsletters are all available online as a pdf file here

21 Sep 2020 – Restarting the Shed Meetings

The Committee will be meeting on Mon 28th Sep to reconsider the issue of Reopening the Shed for Friday meetings

31 Aug 2020 – Restarting the Shed Meetings

The Committee undertook a survey of members in late Aug to ascertain if there were sufficient members who would come to the Shed if it was reopened, albeit it with the necessary COVID19 restrictions. The committee met again on 31st Aug to consider the members attitudes. Around 60% of members were happy for the Shed to reopen. However after some serious discussions and consideration of risks the Committee decided to maintain the current status and reassess the situation in the first week of Oct.
Presidents Message

I hope you are still coping with all the restrictions imposed on us due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Plan.

Your Committee has been active during the closure of the Shed and met on Monday to discuss the results of the recent survey emailed to everyone and to make a decision on the difficult problem of when to reopen the Shed.

I have thanked our Secretary, Rick Causebrook for the time and effort he has put into surveying all members regarding your thoughts on starting Shed Meetings.

The survey response was quite high (76 out of 101 members).  ….  The key question was the first one “Do you think that we should reopen the Shed under the current restrictions?”  Forty-six responded “Yes” and 30 “No”.

The Committee noted that 60 percent of responses were in favour of starting shed meetings.  However, after discussing the pros and cons of reopening, a majority of Committee members considered “That the Shed should not proceed immediately to reopen but to review the situation again in the first week of October”.

In making this decision the Committee took into account all ACT Government requirements plus the “User Responsibilities” required by the North Belconnen Uniting Church.  In addition, even though there have been no positive tests in Canberra for several weeks, the situation in NSW has not improved over the past month since the Committee last met.

A final point is that virtually all of us are in the “high risk category” so we cannot undertake unnecessary gatherings (the Federal Government advice still is that older Australians should stay at home unless it is for essential purposes like food shopping, medical appointments and exercise).  This advice relates to people 70 years of age and older and people 65 years of age and older with chronic health conditions.

As I wrote in my last message, we will meet again when we can ensure the safety of everyone at a Shed Meeting.

7 Jul 2020 – The 7 Hardest No-Equipment Exercises, Ranked

This covers a range of no equipment exercises including squats, burpees, push ups, hollow rock, HIIT exercises  (From Pocket News Hits. Source Wellgood)

7 Jul 2020 – The 6 Golden Rules of Eating for Longevity, According to the Longest-Living People on Earth and more

This covers a range of healthy eating tips which I am sure you beer and chips guys will appreciate  (From Pocket News Hits. Source Wellgood)

7 Jul 2020 – If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette

And that’s why I’m not going outside. (More from Pocket News Hits on healthy living. Source MIT Technology Review)

6 Jul 2020 – Keeping Fit: How to Do the Right Exercise for Your Age

As we get older, our bodies benefit from different types of exercise. Here’s a guide for all ages (From Pocket News Hits) Go to the end to read about those 70s and older

2 Jul 2020 – The Minimalist’s Strength Workout

Five exercises that will guarantee you have the strength to adventure all weekend, well into your eighties (From Pocket News Hits)

The Previous Shed UC exercises in a pdf file from Jon Beale’s time

29 Jun 2020 – Google collects a frightening amount of data about you. You can find and delete it nowGoogle will auto-delete data — for some users — but only after a year and a half. You can do better than that. We’ll show you how. (From Pocket News Hits)

15 Jun 2020 – Whoa: This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Enough Water

Start sipping. This tells us how drinking water can really help our health. (From Pocket News Hits)

15 Jun 2020 – 8 Simple Tips to Live Longer and Healthier

Turns out extending your lifespan is pretty damn easy. Just follow these definitive, scientific, time-tested methods. (From Pocket News Hits)

9 Jun 2020 – How to take screenshots with Windows 10 Snip & Sketch.  To take a screenshot with Windows 10 Snip & Sketch, just press the Windows Icon on the keyboard plus SHIFT S and select the area you want to copy. You will get several options you can choose from the top of the window. From Phil. See Newsletter #528 12th June 2020

1 Jun 2020 – Hardening Your Home Router

This article came from an Acronis newsletter. With so many people working remotely, cybercriminals are aggressively attacking home networks. Securing your router, the gateway to your data, is highly recommended. See this article to get useful information to achieve this.

1 Jun 2020 – Here are the reliable health websites that can help start the right conversations with your doctor
This article came from HCF in their current monthly email newsletter. The link offers a list of reliable health websites

19 May 2020 – Exercising for Immunity? Provided by
This article came from this physio company I have used in the past. They are based at Kippax and Deakin

12 May 2020 – Helping you get back to the Shed: ‘Getting back to the Shed’ Guide now available. AMSA’s supporting advice and guidance on Sheds thinking about getting back into shedding.

12 May 2020 – Pocket Hits Newsletter – Bored with ABC News, BBC News, Adventures of Big Julie, Wacky Tales of Members why not try out Pocket Hits Newsletter. Its not the Pocket of old. You simply go to  Pocket Hits Newsletter Signup and enter your email and choose how often you wish to receive the email list of great articles. You can alter the time selection or cancel your subscription any time. Before signing up you can look at recent examples.

10 May 2020 – Phil Laird Family Tree – From Newsletter #524 – Research your family history. Feeling a bit bored by the current isolation rules? Have you ever wanted to keep track of your family tree but were put off by not knowing the details you needed? Well, there was an brief article in the May 2020 APC Magazine detailing how you can get started. I tried out what they recommended and found quite a lot of information about my grandfather – information that I had no idea about. The FamilySearch application is provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons have a giant electronic repository of genealogy information that you can access with Family Search.    Anyway, why not spend some time exploring your heritage….. here’s the information from the APC article.

Reconnect with your past in this exciting and revealing pursuit that was tailor-made for your PC. There’s something to be said for connecting with your family history. The thrill of rediscovering your ancestors cannot be matched as you piece together their lives through documents, digging out old family photos and even making contact with distant cousins to share and uncover more insights. These days, most of that research can be done online, and if you know where to look you can make major inroads into developing and expanding your tree without spending hundreds of dollars on expensive subscriptions. The place to start is – this doesn’t simply provide a giant, shared tree of human existence, but it’s also a repository of information, including documents, photos and useful sources for further research via its wiki ( You’ll need somewhere to store all this information, and there are plenty of programs out there to lend a helping hand. If you do choose a paid-for subscription site like Ancestry, then it pays to choose a program designed to make it easy to extract information and digitised images of documents directly from the site into your research file. One free program that supports FamilySearch is RootsMagic Essentials, which you can download and install for free from – it’s a cut-down version of the main program (US$29.95 from, but all FamilySearch functionality is completely free.

Link to FamilySearch. The program is relatively simple to use and will be familiar to anyone who’s previously dabbled in genealogy – when creating a new document, leave ‘Begin typing my information’ selected before clicking OK. A blank tree will appear – click the button to add a person and enter your own information as the home person. From here you can add additional facts, attach photos and other information. When it comes to linking in information from FamilySearch, select ‘Tools > File Options’. Select FamilySearch, tick ‘Enable FamilySearch support’ and ‘Match person to FamilySearch when hints found’ and enter your login details. Now follow the step-by-step guide to link individuals to FamilySearch and download information from them into your tree in just a few clicks.

3 Apr 2020 – Facebook Melba Shed Group & the new Messenger Rooms

A Facebook Group is just a simple way for Melba Shed Facebook users to tell each other what they are up to with pictures or just words.

There are a huge number of groups in Facebook where people exchange ideas on any number of different subjects such as Australian Backyard vegetables, Aust Alps Walking Track, etc. You don’t need to download any software, just simply go to MelbaShed Facebook Group. Note that Messenger has many of the attributes of WhatsApp including video conferencing, texting, or just audio talking or multi person chatting. It doesn’t need special software only a Facebook Account and Facebook App on phone or PC. In fact you don’t need a Facebook account to download and use the Messenger App.

Messenger Rooms is a new product that allows Facebook, Messenger and non Facebook, including WhatsApp users to establish a place where up to 50 people can participate in video or audio meetings or get togethers. Info on Messenger Rooms and other Facebook Updates

3 Apr 2020 – Phil Laird – Setting up WhatsApp Group Messaging System (from 2020-04-10 Melba Shed Newsletter #519)

Phil has set up a messaging group using WhatsApp for your mobile phone and/or PC. The desktop app is available for Windows 8+ (64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.10+ and is synced with WhatsApp on your mobile device. WhatsApp will allow us you to keep in touch with the group of people that matter the most, like our families, friends and specially, our Shed Members. With group chats, we can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once.

For new WhatsApp users, WhatsApp uses your phone or PC’s Internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees. You can phone or video call other users but the desktop versions do not support video calls or voice calls. With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free (other than usual data charges), even if they’re in another country. With video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone’s Internet connection, instead of your cell plan’s voice minutes, so you don’t have to worry about expensive calling charges. WhatsApp allows you to send or receive PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, photos and videos and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it’s easy to get what you need over to who you want.

For members to join the group, just install WhatsApp (if you don’t have it already) and let Phil know. he will then issue an invitation for you to join the group. Any messages you send whilst using the Melba Shed group will be received by every other member of the group unless you elect to send it privately. You can, of course, also send messages and make voice or video calls etc to any Shed Members, friends etc who you have added to your WhatsApp contact list.

If you want to join the Melba Shed WhatsApp Group please send a fresh email to indicating that you have installed WhatsApp and that you are willing to have your name and phone number given to other members in the Shed Group. You will then get an invitation for you to join the group. Questions; then please give Phil a call on 0428 581 935

Click on this sentence to download mobile phone or desktop versions of WhatsApp. Mobile users may also load WhatsApp via Google Play or the iPhone Apps Store if they prefer.

3 Apr 2020 – Newsletter – Thoughts from Phil (from 2020-04-03 Melba Shed Newsletter #518)

Many of our members are on their own and will be finding it difficult to stay on top of the situation. Why not make a few phone calls to your friends in the Shed just to see how they are getting on and whether they need any assistance. They will value such a call.

We have all been told that we must stay at home and avoid contact with others for our own protection. This especially applies to people over 70 (that’s most of us!) or aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions. This makes it difficult to shop for food, medication etc.  My wife and I have just started ordering our groceries through the Woolworth’s home delivery service. We are expecting our first delivery today. All of us will qualify with Woolworths for priority delivery so why not consider this option and avoid going out to shop. You can learn all about it here.

Australia Post has launched a free Pharmacy Home Delivery Service to facilitate delivery of medicines to vulnerable Australians through Australia Post’s Express Post network. If you need medications, talk to your pharmacy and see if they have joined this scheme. It’s a good idea to leave your part-filled prescription forms with your pharmacist so they can dispense your prescriptions without any need for you to visit the pharmacy. There are smartphone applications like MedAdvisor available for Android and iOS users. Click on this sentence to find out about this product and see whether you can use it to order your medications via you phone (or PC).

12 Mar 2020 – Security Issues with Melba Shed web site – Note it has been advised that a couple of users found issues trying to access Melba Shed. They used Norton’s Security software which advised them that was a dangerous page. Checking this out it appears that Norton’s shows Melba Shed with:-
Computer Threats: 0; Identity Threats: 0; Annoyance factors: 0   –     Total threats on this site: 0    Yet it still rates MelbaShed as dangerous. They have been asked to re-assess as the rating doesn’t make sense.
Google rates Melba Shed’s Safe Browsing site status as a Green tick and “No unsafe content found”

7 Feb 2020 – Arthritis Australia commenced exercise classes at the Shed. The starting date had been delayed until Friday 7 February because some of the Arthritis Australia staff involved have been directly affected by the recent bushfires. The cost is $10.00 per session for attendees. Before starting the exercises you need to fill out two forms which can be downloaded here. Exercises continue every Friday. Photos of some of the activities from the 1st session on 7th Feb 2020.

Exercises were suspended after 20 Mar 2020 due to Corona Virus assembly restrictions

Previously 11th Oct 2019 Exercise Classes – Tori finished her stint (3rd May – 11th Oct) with us as leader of the Exercise Group. The last class were held on Friday 11 Oct as Tori Montgomery-Martin from UC started a new job.  Tori ran these further exercise classes, similar to the ones provided in March 2016 by Jon Beale. Each session, cost $5. It continued every Friday before the Shed Meeting. The previous Excercises in a pdf file format from June 2016 – Tori has had an expression of interest from Arthritis ACT in regard to taking over the group class. Their physiologist Sophie Bullock could do the job although they would charge us $10 a session each. Pictures of Toris’ last exercise class. After Sophie’ talk on 6th Dec Roger has announced that we will consider starting Exercise Sessions with Arthritis ACT in Jan 2020 for $10 a person per session, later updated to 7th Feb start.

19th Jul 2019 – Talk by Vickie Hingston-Jones End-of-Life Doula plus access to documents End-of-life plans, Paying for funerals, Funeral costs, Paying for funerals, Useful contacts.

14th Jun 2019 – Bruce McAslan’s Talk and Demonstration about CPR and Using a Defibrillator

Shed Notices

Shed Etiquette – See here

13 Sep 2019 – Deposits on cans, bottles etc. Ted Kell proposed a scheme to assist Shed finances in June. It involves members bringing along used bottles & cans which are subject to the 10 cent deposit scheme (beer and soft drink containers, including things such as Yakult, but not wine bottles). They can be left in the blue basket in the store room and Ted will take them to the recycling centre and deposit the receipts into the Shed’s funds. Ted said that the numbers of cans and bottles being left have dropped off. So bring in any bottles, cans etc that have had a 10c deposit paid on them and Ted will take them in to the recycling centre. Alternatively, you can take them into the container return centre yourself. To have the refunds paid into the Shed’s accounts they should be deposited using Ted’s mobile number, which is linked to the Shed’s bank account (0438 481 350).

12th April 2019 – Amy Nussio who presented at the Shed on 22 March 2019 on ‘Driving in Later Life’ has asked that Members be reminded about the research opportunity ‘Living with Dementia and Driving Study’ details of which are on Page 3 of Newsletter #471 of 26th April. If you are interested, Amy will be happy to meet personally with any Member wanting in finding out more about this opportunity. She may be contacted on 0457 779 766 on any Monday or Tuesday and on alternate Wednesdays

1 Mar 2019 – Shed DVDs – A couple of hundred DVDs are in the Shed’s DVD library in the store room (thanks to David Ruthven). You can borrow any DVD but please remember to return it once you have watched it. Also, anyone who has DVDs they no longer want could add them to the library.

17th Sep 2018 – Accessing and Using NSW SIX Maps and Other Options

Brian Wells still collects second hand glasses. He is also from Sep 2019 collecting Hearing Aids (ie spectacles) & cases from members who no longer can use theirs  as well as out of date medications and passes them onto less advantaged countries. he does this by taking the items to Sister Kim at the Bonner location of the Congregation of Mary Queen of Peace where they are sent to those in need in Vietnam. See here

24th Aug 2018 – David Ruthven has a 10’ by 5’ trailer, which he is willing to loan to anyone who needs something bigger than the standard trailer to move furniture etc. Contact David is 0487 222 585

AMSA’s Summer edition of its Newsletter ‘The Shedder’

Viewing Shed Google Photos Albums – The Pictures TAB at the top of the web site will take you to an archive site for Picasa which will still show any albums uploaded from Picasa desktop in some strange order. Click on this for more info on Using & Managing Google Photos

Living Item for Shed Members (ie Pension Issues, Passes, Discounts, Health, etc)

12th Oct 2019 – 2019 Spring edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors discounts etc

ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory

18th Dec 2018 – 2018 Summer edition of the Seniors Card Scoop! with information on getting Seniors Transport discounts interstate & the NSW Opal Card, plus the ACT Housing Option Advisory Service, Christmas lunch & Volunteering Opportunities, and New Discounts to ACT Seniors Card holders

Feb 2020 – Living with Dementia and Driving – Uni QLD

25th Sep 2019 – Upgrading a Laptop with an SSD Drive

8th Mar 2019 –  Free Movie Tickets for DVA Gold Card Holders. Adrian Shee advised us that Dendy Canberra gave him a free movie pass as he had a Gold Card. An internet search found that Hoyts, Dendy & Greater Union all offer DVA Gold Card holders one free pass per day, conditions apply. Hoyts excludes after 6PM or School or Public Holidays

6th Dec 2018 – Dog Walks in Canberra – Do you own a dog and are looking for great dog-walking track guides for our city? Why not click on the this link, where the site contain terrific information and maps about numerous walks around Canberra that are suitable for dogs. It also provides great links and information about all major issues relating to owning dogs in Canberra e.g. dog accommodation, training, welfare etc. This link was the basis of the recent walk around Yarralumla 

30th Jun 2017 – Securing IDs – One member advised us to look at securing our IDs & bank accounts. People can also get a free credit check one a year and also check with ID Care to secure their own ID data. Tel 1300 432 273. Info on Credit Reports & Bans Also info from The Office of the Aust Info Commissioner 

Member & Friends Information

Lunchtime MelodiesJoint Venture between Ginninderra Rotary & Belconnen Raiders ClubNote these are cancelled until further notice – 2nd Wed each month between 11.30-12.30PM at Raiders Belconnen (Kippax), gold coin donation – includes various bands, choirs, individuals, films: coffee, tea & option of $12 seniors lunch after. About Annie & Michael. Annie Sloane is the lead singer of Annie and the Armadillos a four piece concert group with Michael Lynch on guitar and other strings, John Black on keyboard and Ben Schumann on drums. Annie was voted by respected musicians within the industry as ‘Performer of the Year’ in 2004. She gathered her Armadillos in 2000 and is now regarded as a Canberra icon, being the first invited to perform at Summer Sounds in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Government House functions, etc. For future months refer to the Lunchtime Melodies 2020 Program

Yin Yoga – North Belco Uniting Church – Every Tue evening 7.30-8.30PM – Enjoy benefits of Yoga – Gentle stretching, fully qualified instructor, Judith, flexible commitments (no RSVPs), $5 per evening. These 1 hour classes are a great way to take time out & enjoy some gentle & invigorating floor exercises, set against some relaxing music or poetry. Arrive 10 minutes early if you can. No RSVP is needed & there is no commitment to long-term attendance. An enjoyable way to give yourself some breathing space in your busy week & develop your core strengths via safe, stressfree exercises for all levels of fitness. Bring a yoga or exercise mat, cushion & light blanket with you

2014 – Open letter from North Belconnen Day Centre – It meets in the Church building. Any Melba Shed member is welcome to talk to Jeanette Branch on 6258 5784 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)

Health Items of Interest to the Shed

Items or Services for Sale