Zebra Finch Aboriginal Men's Group, Kura Yerlo Inc.

Development of The Men’s Shed

The Zebra Finch Aboriginal Men’s Group (ZFAMG) at Kura Yerlo in Largs Bay, South Australia, is an Aboriginal entity that offers cultural arts and crafts with an emphasis on intergenerational teaching and learning.

The LUCRF Super Community Program assisted the group to purchase a shed, lay foundations and connect essential services to the site. The shed was officially opened on 31 July 2014.  

As the only exclusively Indigenous men’s shed, the group has a strong focus on learning and participation and aims to pass on the skills of Aboriginal artefact-making and knowledge to the next generation. The shed provides a culturally safe, friendly and healing environment where Indigenous men can work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in the company of others. 

Zebra Finch Aboriginal Men's GroupThe shed also provides the men with an opportunity to openly tell their stories and discuss their personal issues, thoughts and ideas in a culturally safe and secure environment without interruption. Many of the older participants have retired from the workforce but see the ZFAMG as an opportunity to keep engaged with other Indigenous men and the community.

Uncle Cyril’s story

Uncle Cyril, a respected elder and one of the founding members of the ZFAMG, recently lost his lifelong partner. The ZFAMG rallied around Uncle Cyril, protecting, supporting and nurturing him through his time of loss and grief. The men’s group made his family a special wooden cross which was engraved. The group also made personal visits to his home to keep a check on him during this sad time. After a while, Uncle Cyril returned to the men’s group and has said that in addition to his family, the brotherhood of the ZFAMG keeps him going and gives him something positive to look forward to each week. 

Ben’s story

Ben has an intellectual disability and is a regular participant of ZFAMG’s activities. His involvement has resulted in positive engagement with others and has helped him learn how to interact socially with a range of different people. His confidence continues to increase and he has become known as the ‘seller’ of the group as he has developed great talking skills with members of the public who are interested in purchasing cultural artefacts. Ben has come a long way in terms of overcoming his social isolation. The ZFAMG has encouraged his public speaking to support his personal growth, culminating in an admirable speech made at the men’s shed launch.

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