They dedicate their lives to protecting ours, but once they leave the Defence force, many veterans can feel lost and unsure about what to do with themselves.
Defence Shed Port Adelaide
was established in 2015 as a pilot program to support Defence and Emergency Service personnel and their families. It is volunteer run and the charity is one of only a handful that are endorsed by the Chief of the Defence Force.
Chairman Ben Parkinson has served six Tours of Duty including time in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. The mateship and support he’s received through the program has helped to build his confidence and assisted him to talk about his experiences in the Air Force which resulted in his PTSD.
Ben said, “I became involved after moving to Semaphore for work and feeling isolated as I had no friends or family nearby. Through the Defence Shed I have made new friends and found purpose in my life to help others.”
The Defence Shed works alongside many organisations, including the City of PAE, to provide meaningful projects that give purpose and positive impact on the community. They are currently building props out of old pallets for our upcoming Tarnanthi event in October and are looking at joining with our Community Foodies to learn healthy cooking.
“As well as supporting our members, we build relationships in the local community which helps to improve social inclusion in isolated individuals.”
We have a high proportion of veterans living in the City of PAE, making our city the perfect place for the pilot Defence Shed. With veterans aged from early twenties through to late seventies, the focus is on people's ability not disability.
Ben added, “The way people get better is by getting up and doing things. We are offering a safe way for people to start that process surrounded by peers from many walks of life. From here we can assist members to access appropriate support services”
The Defence Shed program is a new way of thinking about how support is provided to veterans. Due its success, they are looking to expand around the country with negotiations underway for sheds in Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Maitland and Ipswich.
They are based in the old fire station pump house in Port Adelaide which members renovated themselves. It is open to men and women of any age. People not associated with Defence or emergency services are welcome to volunteer.
They are also currently seeking donation of tools, pallets, camping gear, fishing gear and draftsman chairs, as well as assistance from tradespeople and corporate sponsorship. Other donations can be offered by emailing email@example.com.