• William Kibby VC


  • The Shed That Heals Veterans

    Interview with the founder and volunteers of the William Kibby VC Veterans Shed

    The Sunday Mail ran a story on the Shed on 2 July, 2017

    read it here




    If you have skills in Marketing + Communications, or in applying for Grants and Sponsorships, please contact Shed Co-ordinator
    Barry Heffernan on 0407 713 377



    The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is an initiative of a Vietnam veteran, Barry Heffernan.


    The Shed and Memorial Garden at Kibby Reserve, on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, South Australia is the first Veterans shed registered with the Australian Men’s Shed Association that is specifically intended for veterans of all conflicts, and anyone who served in the Australian uniform regardless of whether or not they saw operational service.

    The aim of the Veterans Shed is to create and maintain an environment for veterans and ex-service personnel where concerns, past trauma, health issues and welfare issues can be discussed with other veterans who have empathy through similar life experience in operational areas.

    The Veterans Shed is named after William Kibby, an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross.


    The Veterans Shed is managed by the William Kibby VC Veterans Men’s Shed Association Inc. which is a not for profit entity, staffed and managed by volunteers who have a military service background. This group will provide all of their own insurance including public liability and other relevant insurance policies.


    A Constitution has been developed for the shed, and an Operation & Risk Management Manual. Veterans who attend this Shed will be taught the proper ways to use tools and machinery and all of this will be in line with a comprehensive Occupational Health and Safety program.


    The Veterans Shed was registered with the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) in October 2011 (registration number AMSA 600), and has the support of the City of Holdfast Bay, who have given the William Kibby VC Veterans Men’s Shed Association Inc access to land on Kibby Reserve, Glenelg North (owned by the City), to build the shed.




    ABN: 82 068 477 302

  • Help Build Veterans Sheds Across Australia



    The Shed is run entirely by volunteers. Help support this work by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.

    All donations will directly benefit veterans in need of assistance.



    If you are a veteran and need to connect into support networks, or just need someone to listen, you can call:


    Barry (based in SA): 0407 713 377


    Calls can be accepted from anywhere in Australia.

    Absolute confidentiality assured - this voluntary service
    is provided by veterans, for veterans.


    The Veterans Shed is on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, adjacent the Glenelg North Community Centre


    Postal address: PO Box 114, Hove SA 5045


    barry heffernan veterans shed

    Barry Heffernan

    Shed Co-ordinator

    The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is an initiative of Vietnam Veterans Welfare Officer, Barry Heffernan


    Phone: 0407 713 377
    Email: bhe60800@bigpond.net.au


    Barry can be contacted by veterans who need to connect into veteran support networks, and he regularly travels Australia to meet with and support those who have come forward as victims of abuse while serving, regardless of how long ago it occurred.




    The Veterans Shed is looking to compile a list of psychologists Australia wide who bulk bill, including in regions. Please comment below or send an email to bhe60800@bigpond.net.au if you can help create this list.


    Community-Based Defence Abuse Support

    • COMBADAS is a community-based and veteran self-supported initiative of, and an adjunct to, the William Kibby VC Veterans Shed (the Veterans Shed), and aims to provide far more than just a ‘shed’ environment for veterans.

    • COMBADAS provides and encompasses a broad range of all-embracing programs and community-based enterprises aimed at offering support and ongoing care to members of the veteran community.

    • COMBADAS is a multi-focal approach to working with ex-ADF members in the community who still suffer the effects of abuse experienced while in the forces (see 'Jim's Story').

    • COMBADAS is a major Veterans Shed initiative, is a totally new and unique project in Australia, and provides multi-faceted support for ex-ADF members who have experienced abuse while serving their country, and who continue to live with the effects in civilian life. This is a distinctive and extremely timely enterprise.

    • COMBADAS supports both the veterans themselves, as well as their families, where required.


    • Many defence personnel have approached the Veterans Shed requesting assistance with issues related to abuse suffered during their service. COMBADAS has become a ‘default source of choice’ for support.

    • The Veterans Shed has become a ‘first and preferred point of call’ for those with grievances, and hence, is an ideal place from which to conduct support programs.

    • COMBADAS offers service background-based thinking, but with a neutral approach to claims.


    • COMBADAS will take up where DART (Defence Abuse Response Taskforce) leaves off and provide a ‘low-cost’ alternative assistance program.

    • An initial twelve month pilot program, will prove overall concepts, and build a structured, well thought out program which can be expanded upon and replicated in other regions of Australia.


    • COMBADAS will provide safe, supportive, non-judgemental community-based facilities for the support of ex-ADF members who have experienced abuse, and will address unmet emotional and social needs.

    • COMBADAS will provide emotional, psychological, and financial/legal assistance to family members of veterans, so as to better enable them to come to terms with, and handle, the emotional traumas experienced by their loved ones.



    COMBADAS will provide a range of services including:

    • COMBADAS provides mutually supportive comradeship and regular community-based interaction with people, who have some understanding of their service experiences, in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

    Complete confidentiality and anonymity is assured

    • COMBADAS provides access to:

      • counselling and mental health support
      • pensions and welfare assistance
      • legal advice and support
      • respite for veterans
      • family respite
      • family and individual peer-to-peer support groups
      • employment opportunities
      • skills and workforce Training
      • political advocacy and support




    Small financial input by Government – large financial and social impact

    • COMBADAS aims to eventually be fully self-funding, but in the interim, short-term financial support is required, and it is anticipated that while some initial seed funding may be sourced from DVA and other interested government and non-government agencies, there is a need for COMBADAS to become financially self-sufficient into the future.

    • Funding is also being sought from private companies and benefactors. It is estimated that funds in the order of $100,000 per annum will be required for initial support work and the setting up of ancillary sheds, as well as for the financing of travel and accommodation for members of the Veterans Shed to extend their work to other states and individuals outside South Australia.

    The long-term aim of the initial COMBADAS project is to establish and provide, a sound, well-constructed, and well thought through pilot for a program which can ultimately be expanded throughout the entirety of Australia, and which can serve as a model for other community-based initiatives – not only in the field of abuse support, but in other allied fields where Federal and/or State Governmental programs may be either insufficient, inappropriate, or lacking entirely.


    COMBADAS is therefore highly recommended as a one-stop, community-based, peer-to-peer organisation for addressing the ongoing welfare of any members who have experienced abuse of any fashion while in the service of their country, and is an economically and emotionally sound means for providing that assistance.


    barry heffernan OAM Australia Day award veterans shed


    National Australia Day Council

    In January 2015, Shed Co-ordinator Barry Heffernan was awarded an OAM in this year's Australia Day honours.


    Mr Barry John HEFFERNAN


    For service to veterans and their families.
    Founder, William Kibby VC Veterans Men's Shed, current.
    Member, Australian Men's Shed Association, current.
    Founder, Michael Herbert Memorial Garden.
    Former Welfare Officer, South Australia Vietnam Veterans Association.
    Former Member, South Australian Branch, Returned and Services League of Australia, 2008-2011.

    barry heffernan humble hero award veterans shed

    Humble Hero

    Shine Lawyers, Brisbane

    In November 2012, Barry became Shine Lawyers' first Humble Hero


    'People like Barry who work tirelessly in the community for the benefit of others are some of Australia’s true Humble Heroes and should be recognised, rewarded and encouraged! As a result of being nominated, Barry has received a $1000 donation to an Australian charity of his choice (which he donated to the Kibby Shed) He also received a $200 gift card for himself but has decided to give this to a friend in need, so they can have a happier Christmas. Congratulations Barry! You are such an inspiration and we hope you keep up the great work you are doing.' 



    screenshot of messenger article men at work in veterans shed

    Guardian Messenger, 20 May 2015

    screenshot of veterans shed article in messenger
    screen shot of article on veterans shed and Barry's OAM
    barry heffernan veterans shed

    Barry interviewed on Radio Adelaide's The Legacy Hour, 26 January 2015





    Barry interviewed on Radio Adelaide's The Legacy Hour, 8 January 2014




    Barry interviewed on Radio Adelaide's Breakfast on Radio Adelaide, 3 December 2014



    barry heffernan veterans shed

    Defence Force abuse royal commission must go further than academy, veteran says
    7.30 South Australia, 30 November 2014






    The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is located on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, South Australia. Both the Shed and the street are named after William Kibby, a Victoria Cross winner who lived in the Glenelg area.

    william kibby vc veterans shed

    William Henry (Bill) Kibby VC (15 April 1903 – 31 October 1942) was a British-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Commonwealth forces.


    Kibby was born at Winlaton, County Durham, England. In early 1914, the family emigrated to Adelaide, where Bill attended Mitcham Public School. After leaving school he was employed at a plasterworks in Edwardstown, where he designed and fixed plaster decorations. In 1926, he married Mabel Sarah Bidmead Morgan; they lived at Helmsdale and had two daughters.


    Although he was diminutive (168 cm (5 ft 6 in)), Kibby was a strong man and loved outdoor activities. In 1936, he joined the Militia, and was assigned to the 48 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.


    Kibby joined the Australian Imperial Force during Second World War. In 1942, he was a Sergeant in the 2/48th Infantry Battalion (South Australia), during the North African campaign.


    At the Battle of El Alamein, during the period of 23–31 October 1942, Kibby distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon, after his commander had been killed, during the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge.


    On 23 October, he charged a machine gun position, firing at it with his Thompson submachinegun; Kibby killed three enemy soldiers, captured 12 others and took the position. His company commander intended to recommend him for the Distinguished Conduct Medal after this action, but was killed. During the following days, Kibby moved among his men directing fire and cheering them on. He mended his platoon’s telephone line several times under intense fire.


    On 30–31 October, the platoon came under intense machine gun and mortar fire. Most of them were killed or wounded. In order to achieve his company’s objective, Kibby moved forward alone, to within a few metres of the enemy, throwing grenades to destroy them. Just as his success in this endeavour appeared certain, he was killed.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.


    Kibby was buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, El Alamain, Matruh, Egypt Plot: XVI. A. 18.


    Source: Wikipedia, Find A Grave


    The Positive Health and Social Impact of Men’s Sheds

     beyond blue logo suicide PTSD veterans shed

    If you need assistance please call: 1300 22 4636 (24 hours)




    In 2013, research was undertaken by UltraFleet on behalf of the Australian Men’s Sheds Association and beyond blue, the national depression initiative of Australia.


    The research sought to evaluate the impact on the lives of Shed members, by identifying, through qualitative and quantitative means to what degree Men’s Sheds:

    1. help men regain a sense of purpose in life
    2. enhance self-esteem
    3. decrease social isolation
    4. facilitate friendship and companionship
    5. provide an environment conducive to learning
    6. improve physical health
    7. increase awareness of depression and anxiety
    8. reduce stigma of depression and anxiety
    9. increase help-seeking for depression and anxiety
    10. increase help-seeking for other health issues.

    Findings included that Men’s Sheds are ideally placed to serve as a primary health initiative; that awareness of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety is improved through Shed membership; and that there are clear health benefits from being associated with a Shed.


    The reports and summaries have been made available here:


    The Men’s Shed model has also been picked up in Ireland, and both the Irish and Australian Men’s Sheds movements have been featured in the US online magazine Shareable.


    Announcements + news from Barry and the Shed


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    Call Barry

    0407 713 377



    ...or submit your question or comment here:

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