Festival of Open Minds Podcast – Jo Saccomani, Two Sheds Workshop

Ian Campbell 5 November 2019

Jo Saccomani speaking at the Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Chris Sheedy, Reflex.

Jo Saccomani is the founder of Two Sheds Workshop and is one of the bright sparks of the Bega community who inspired 300 plus people at the recent Festival of Open Minds.

Despite growing up with parents who built, renovated and decorated the family home, it was by chance that Jo became a carpenter.

From school, she began an Arts Degree at ANU but left in third-year after hearing of a government-funded women’s building program in Sydney.

As soon as she began that carpentry program, she realised she had found her calling.

Photos: Chris Sheedy, Reflex

Photos: Chris Sheedy, Reflex.

Now, having been a qualified carpenter and running her own building business for over 30 years, she is passing on the skills of woodwork and carpentry at her community-based woodwork school.

Last year Jo become a Churchill Fellow and traveled to the USA to discover new and innovative ways to extend carpentry and woodwork skills to women and children.

Jo now has her sights set on challenging the status quo and the low number of women looking to building trades as a job option.

Through Two Sheds Workshop, Jo aims to change entrenched cultural and attitudinal barriers on a local community level.

She holds regular classes and workshops in Bega but during September, October, and November is running weekend workshops for women in the ACT at the Lyons Scout Hall, Tooms Place.

You’ll build an Australian hardwood shelf unit with a drawer and learn and practice some woodwork skills that will set you up for building whatever your heart desires!

Have a girls weekend and enjoy building something with your own hands. No experience necessary!

Check the Two Sheds Workshop Facebook page for details.

On September 1 at the Festival of Open Minds, Jo’s speaking slot got moved around a few times, but she approached the delays with her usual good humour.

Click play on the AudioBoom player to join the discussion…

Thanks to Gerry Corcoran and the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre for their audio, visual, and tech support at the festival.

*This article was first published by Ian Campbell on About Regional.

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