The skills and experience of members of the Gladstone Men’s Shed have been called upon by Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) to deliver two valuable projects to the local refinery this year.  

Recently the Men’s Shed rebuilt a model of the QAL LURGI. The Lurgi is a piece of equipment at QAL that is used to assist with the Bayer Process of converting Bauxite into Alumina. This specialised project required someone with the in-depth knowledge of how this original piece of equipment was designed. Fortunately, Jim McBryde a member of the Men’s shed could draw on his 28 years’ experience as a QAL employee prior to his retirement. Jim had both the skillset and knowledge to complete this task.  

The second project focused on assisting QAL with site safety. QAL uses Diphoterine (DAP) as a neutralising agent for caustic. The DAP is carried by each person at as a part of the personal safety requirements. Several years ago, the Men’s Shed invented small PVC sheaths to stop the lids snapping off DAP-spray bottles. This invention proved extremely successful and since then the Men’s Shed have been supplying the pouches to both QAL and Rio Tinto Yarwun. A batch of 400 sheaths arrived on the QAL site in early February.  

Dave Moore the Shed Coordinator at the Gladstone Men’s Shed told Gladstone News that QAL and the Men’s Shed have worked together in good spirits since the shed was established“The job they ask us to carry out gives us an income to help cover shed overheads and material costs,” Mr Moore said. “Working with QAL to carry out their jobs provides us with a chance to keep our members active and learn new job skills.”  

QAL General Manager, Mike Dunstan added that the shed had been assisting QAL for a number of years and consistently provides us support to the highest of standards. “The Men’s Shed plays a vital role in our community and we value their collaboration with QAL,” he added. 

The Men Shed invites males of all ages, cultures and abilities including retirees, working men, students, unemployed and under-employed.