Community offers splendid response to Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed Project

Splendour in the Shed, hosted by the Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed (CHWS) Project Committee, opened by Steering Committee members Alex Miller and Lexie Clark.

PIONEERS for a Women’s Shed in Coffs Harbour were thrilled with the community’s response to their Splendour in the Shed experience and awareness day held on Saturday, 29 October at Norm Jordan Pavilion at the Coffs Harbour Showground.

Hosted by the Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed (CHWS) Project Committee, the event was attended by nearly 2000 people.

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The Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed is a project of the Coffs Harbour Lions Club.

Club President Lexie Clark leads the six women who form the Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed Steering Committee (CHWSSC).

“The aim of the ‘Splendour in the Shed’ was to showcase what the Coffs Harbour Women’s Shed will look and feel like,” Lexie told News Of The Area.

“Women who attended the day were treated to a smorgasbord of free mini workshops and entertainment, all of which will be available in the Shed when it’s built.

“Over 300 women signed up on the day to become ‘Sheddies’, making the total number of supporters now over 600.”

While membership is free, a considerable number of these women are making voluntary ongoing donations to support the project financially.

The diverse range of activities and workshops on the day were well attended and included: basic car maintenance by Madeline Moore, pallet up-cycling by Leah Richards and Jacyln Hill, leatherwork by Kathyrn Howell, Rescued Wood Studio by Mish Klement and ukulele lessons with Uko Ono.

“One new member posted on our Facebook page, ‘That was so good. I just got home and checked my own tyres and told my husband I need four new ones, plus a headlight globe… and I’ll call my own mechanic. Thank you Maddie from @moore_mechnical repairs’.”

Members that signed up were shown how to craft and stamp their number into their own Women’s Shed badge.

Bunnings came along with their Ozito rep and an array of power tools to demonstrate tool safety.

They gave away a power drill to one lucky winner.

There was a plethora of craft activities for everyone to participate in from resin work, mosaics and candle making, through to sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet.

“So wonderful to see the younger generation of women asking older generations for help with traditional skills like sewing on a button, or knitting socks,” said Lexie.

Wellbeing, health and safety sessions were not left out either with basic yoga sessions provided by SPACE, Yoga on Bray and information sessions were given by the Women’s Health Centre.

“Lots of questions about personal, home and senior safety were answered by Snr. Cst Katelen Evans from Coffs Harbour Police and the fabulous women from Coffs Fire and Rescue,” said Lexie.

“The highlight for me was the cultural diversity,” said Steering Committee member Alex Miller, “starting with the most heartfelt Welcome to Country from Aunty Jenny Skinner encouraging us to stand together as women and support this project.

“This warm welcome was followed by a beautiful ceremonial dance from Gloria Mercy and the Jalay, Jalay Dance Troupe.

“People were then invited to head over to the OneMob Radio van to make damper and yarn,” said Alex

“I really felt for the women doing hair braiding and henna tattooing, they had a queue all day.

“These women from Yemen and Eritrea were joined by women from Iraq who taught wall hanging and jewellery making.

“Alem offered the most nurturing Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and her organic orange bread was divine,” said Alex.

“It was fantastic to see women of all generations trying to keep up with the indomitable Maitoumbi during her Afro Cardio Dance sessions.

“She really got everyone moving,” said Lexie.

“We all loved contributing to the stunning artworks lead by Aunty Jenny Ellis, Aunty Narelle Wilson and Aunty Cynthia Kelly, and joining Sarah Mufford to create some feminist collages that will be donated to the Women’s Shed when it is built.”

The event was supported by local CWA women who had plenty of goodies and sweet treats for sale and they even put an apron on Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh as he had a go at making their famous scones.

In addition, the local hard working and talented Lions Clubs provided an all-day BBQ, while entertainers, Looking for Lucy and Billie-Jo Porter, rocked the crowd.

The committee has received an enormous amount of support from the community, which you can follow on their Facebook, Instagram and website.

To find out more about this splendid project please visit

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