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By Derek Schlennstedt

The first Hills She Shed class took place on 17 August at Emerald Secondary College.
As the name implies, the She Shed caters to the interests of women who would like to further their knowledge in a range of trades work.
Organiser Amanda Browning said it all started a year ago when, after becoming sick and tired of having to ask other people to fix items for her, she posted on a Cockatoo community facebook page that she wished there was a men’s shed type group for women to learn those skills.
A year later, not only has Amanda collected a following of over 400 women interested in being part of a Hills She Shed, but she has run the first class, teaching woodwork, and secured a room for the group to practice.
“There’s a gap and I’ve found a lot of women want to learn these things,” she said.
“Lots of them want to do it themselves … home repairs, car services, they want to learn how to fix things instead of having to ask a tradesperson or their husband.”
The classes cover everything from woodworking and home repair classes and Amanda said there were even plans to include car maintenance, as well as bringing in a teacher to help teach wood splitting.
She said there was an obvious need for it and that the feedback from the classes had been positive, with many women enjoying learning how to use power tools.
“Once you start knowing that you can give it a go, you find that these things are actually quite simple, it’s just that you’ve never had the ability or had a teacher to show you how to do it before,” she said.
“It means that we don’t have to rely on others and just because women don’t have the background in these types of skills doesn’t mean we can’t do it.”
Currently classes take place once a week at the Emerald Secondary College, but Amanda hopes to eventually be able to build their own shed.
“It’s been great … ultimately though I want to start up and get our own shed, but the school has been really supportive.”
To find out more about the Hills She Shed, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/2098835776795179/

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