The Shed Cluster Group strives to improve the quality of life for men by addressing men’s health issues and the need for organised but low level/achievable activities for mature people.
  The Men's Shed @ RFBI Hawkins  


The Hawkins Men's Shed - Winner

A role model for other Men's Sheds, The Hawkins Masonic Village Men's Shed is a special place for many of the male residents of the retirement village, some of whom are former carpenters and machinists. For the past four years, they have enjoyed spending time and sharing their knowledge with each other. The Shed is fully equipped with all manner of woodworking machinery and tools which are fully utilised by the men every day of the week.
In addition to making furniture for residents and building ramps for people who use walkers and wheelchairs, wooden toys are made and donated to local charities.

At the a Ceremony at the NSW Parliament House on the 17th March 2013 Hawkins Men's Shed was awarded the winner of the Supporting Working Seniors category to the Seniors Week Achievement Awards.

A Message from the Minister

As Minister for Ageing, I am proud to invite you to join us during NSW Seniors Week. This is a year of achievements, in 2013 we celebrate 55 years of NSW Seniors Week and we also mark 30 years of the Premier's Gala Concerts.
We have introduced the Supporting Working Seniors Category to our Seniors Week Achievement Awards, which recognises employers who support seniors in the workplace.
Last year when the NSW Government launched the NSW Ageing Strategy, we promoted the knowledge and experience of seniors as employees, so I am pleased to see this new award category encourage age-friendly workplaces in NSW.
We value technology and its ability to help us all remain socially connected. This year during NSW Seniors Week, you can join a free computer class with the latest technologies and learn how to stay in touch with family near or far, seek information on the go or even make a purchase from the comfort of your own home.
There is something for everyone with more than 900 events happening across the state.
I hope you enjoy this year's NSW Seniors Week Program of events."
Andrew Constance MP
Minister for Ageing

Some videos from the Seniors Awards Ceremony can be see on the following links-

More videos can be see on


Hawkins Masonic Village is situated on 40 acres at Edgeworth, about 5 minutes off the F3, towards Cardiff.  The village is one of 22 villages throughout NSW, owned and operated by the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI), and comprises 215 Self Care Independent Living Units and 4 Residential Care homes.  A total of 380 residents are accommodated in Hawkins Masonic Village.

With the ever-increasing proportion of men entering our residential care homes, it became evident that we needed to develop additional activities and areas of interest for these men.  After attending the Men’s Shed Conference at Manly in 2007, Hawkins management decided that we would establish a shed at Hawkins Masonic Village to provide a much-needed meeting place and hobby area for our men in residential care, and hopefully to generate some interest in the project from our men in the independent living units.

We received the blessing of the RFBI Board for us to redevelop some of our older one-bedroom independent living units to provide a shed for our men.  The level of interest and involvement from the men in our independent living units was astounding.  They formed themselves into a number of sub-committees, and with support from Hawkins Masonic Village Management, David Helmers and the Hunter Shed Cluster, they launched into preparation for the shed. 

In March 2008 the refurbishment of two units was commenced and by mid-July, the shed was ready for fitout.  Several power tools and hand tools were purchased, several more were donated, workbenches and storage cupboards were donated by West Wallsend High School, and the fitout was underway.  After a whirlwind “birthing process”, the shed was ready to commence operation on 28th July 2008, under the auspice of the RFBI.  An open day was held on 4th August 2008, attended by over 50 residents from our village.

While the building works were underway, 6 of our self-care residents commenced a mentoring program with technology students at West Wallsend High School, and a contra mentoring program was arranged where a number of West Wallsend High School Information Technology students will assist several Hawkins Masonic Village staff to gain basic computer skills, a classic “win-win” situation.

Initial activities in the Hawkins shed will include wood working (wood turning, toy making, small projects), a games/chat room, a separate metal-working shed, and the mentoring programs.  For the first 6 months membership will be restricted to men living in our village, but the steering committee has decided that after this initial period, they will consider offering membership to men in the greater community of Edgeworth and surrounds.  We know our men will benefit greatly from this project, and we look forward to expansion and further development of the shed and its activities in the coming years.


Things we do

We mentor kids from the nearby schools and they return the favour by mentoring some of us in the use of computers etc.


Hawkins Members

Shed members having a Brew


We enjoy woodworking and creating a range of things including model aeroplanes


Name :
Bob Coates
Position :
Phone :

02 49081106

Northville Drive EDGEWORTH 2255
Email :

Hawkins Masonic Village

Northville Drive


Phone : (02) 49463299

Fax : (02) 49581255

Last updated by MSHC Secretary on: 10/08/2018

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