What are DES Sheds?

DES Sheds started in 2011 as an online Facebook Page with 50 members. It has since grown to over 5,000+ members. This Facebook Page gives those veterans and family members living in rural and remote locations across the country a vital link to the Defence and Emergency Services Community and much needed social and welfare support. DES Sheds also extends its support services and camaraderie to the police and emergency services community. The DES Sheds Association has two centres operating in South Australia. The Peter Badcoe VC complex in Edinburgh and the Defence Shed in Port Adelaide.

DES Sheds are based on the Men’s Shed Principle and offers assistance to all Veterans, police and emergency services and their families who are in need. DES Sheds are organised and managed by current and ex- ADF and Emergency Services personnel from various backgrounds, who have a passion to assist their mates in need.

DES Shed’s provides support to returned servicemen & women, current serving ADF, Police and emergency services and their families in a safe nurturing environment by providing them with mateship and understanding. The Defence Shed offers a range of health and wellbeing activities such as; Cooking programs, woodworking and metal work projects, photography, gardening, camping , fundraising initiatives, social activities, peer support/mentoring and counselling though various professional networks, along with connections to others within the Defence, Police and emergency service’s that can offer assistance.

The DES Sheds Association acknowledges the high prevalence of PTSD, other mental health and physical challenges amongst the ADF and first responders and knows the benefits and importance of being socially connected and supported in managing these conditions.

Our mission is to establish local Defence Sheds nationally to provide our members with a safe place to gather and support one another.

Achievements to Date

Since the inception of the Defence Shed, the members have proudly been involved in various community events, such as:

  1. Established first Physical shed at 31 Nile Street Port Adelaide.
  2. Assisted with the movement of two Armoured Personnel Carriers from Albury to the Yarrabah RSL in Cairns (the first Indigenous RSL). One of the vehicles was driven during the Vietnam War by Aboriginal elder and Vietnam Veteran Uncle James Canuto.
  3. Hosted a visit by the ADF Surgeon General to Defence Shed Adelaide, Air Vice Marshal Tracy Smart.
  4. Fostered cooperative working relationships with the local Port Adelaide community and government.
  5. Assisted with safety checks of purchased vehicles by the Kapani Warrior Program travelling back to Wujal Wujal, indigenous community near Cairns.
  6. Received permission to use the Tri Service Logo from Defence.
  7. Defence Shed support of Serving Country – ‘The Serving Country’ photographic exhibition, serves to acknowledge and recognise the valuable contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.
  8. Participated in Tarnathi in the Port in Adelaide a celebration of indigenous culture on the Le Fevre Peninsula. The Defence Shed showcased the Serving Country photographic series during this festival.
  9. Developed and implemented a cooking and lifestyle program in collaboration with DVA and the Port Adelaide Enfield Community Centre and held at the Defence Shed Port Adelaide. This will be an ongoing program.
  10. The Defence Shed Port Adelaide have sponsored Tyron Creek, a currently serving Petty Officer in the RAN, to go America to participate in the Flaggeler Cup, American Championships and World Championships in Pistol Shooting.
  11. Defence Shed personnel are participating in The Adelaide University project which monitors the health & progress of seagrasses & crustaceans, by kayaking through the Eastern side of the Barker Inlet via the Swan, Burrows, Post & Garnets creeks.
  12. The Defence Shed has 6 Women Veterans taking part as instructors in the Kapani Women’s program being run at Wujal Wujal FNQ, the program is run by Dr. Tim White (retd Psych Corp Army). The female veterans will be part of the program to train and mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who are living in Domestic Violence situations. The veteran women will empower and instill confidence in these women and the program will create a pathway for them join the Army or to become part of an all female indigenous patrolling boarder security team.
  13. The Defence Shed team continues to provide advocacy and support services to members and to assist them to access a range of DVA services and supports and other health and wellbeing services.
Our Vision

Our Vision for DES Sheds is for current and ex-serving Defence and Emergency Services personnel to receive the appropriate support and have strong links with their local community.

Our Aim

Our aim is provide community minded projects and activities for peer to peer support and work with organisations that assist the service community to ensure that the current and ex-serving Defence and Emergency Services personnel to receive the appropriate support and have strong links with their local community.

Our Mission

To provide an organisation that supports current and ex-serving Defence and Emergency Services personnel with integrating with their local community and forming strong support networks to support their physical and emotional well being. 

Our Objectives

The DES Shed Association objectives are to:

• Establish and support multiple Defence and Emergency Services Sheds throughout Australia

• Obtain ongoing Sponsorship to support Defence and Emergency Services Sheds

• Provide a National Voice for Defence and Emergency Services personnel health issues

• Operate collaboratively with other Ex-Service Organisation to improve the outcomes of veterans

• Implement National Initiatives to improve the physical, social, mental and emotional health of current and ex-serving Defence and Emergency Services personnel


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