The Men’s Shed Movement
The Men’s Shed movement originated in Australia. One of the precursors of the movement began in the 1978 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, involving former miners. Another was the Albury Manual Activities centre, also known as “Albury Men’s Shed” which opened in the 1980s. There are now shed’s operating in the UK, Republic of Ireland, United States, Canada, New Zealand, Greece, Denmark and Sweden. Men’s Sheds are a grass roots movement with the wellbeing of men and the sustainability of local sheds being the number one focus of all activities.
Men’s Sheds in Australia
The peak body in Australia is the Australian Men’ Shed Association who have a staff of seven and operate out of offices in Newcastle in New South Wales. They have formal recognition by the Federal Government of the role that Men’s Sheds play in addressing social isolation, health and wellbeing. Its inclusion in the National Male Health Policy launch in 2010 lead to funding through the Federal Department of Health with a major portion of this funding quarantined specifically for the direct financial assistance to Men’s Sheds. That funding continues today.
The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard that has long been a part of Australian culture. Men’s Sheds are found in many cities and towns around Australia and continue to spring up internationally. There are now nearly 1000 sheds in Australia with men working SHOULDER TO SHOULDER or just sitting and having a cuppa.
TEAMWORK "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
– Henry Ford
Pittsworth & District Men’s Shed
The Pittsworth & District Men’s Shed Inc. started from humble beginnings in 2013 with eight members which has now grown to over sixty. We were encouraged by TRC councillors and staff to operate out of one shed (bay one) in the Pioneer Village and our numbers were used to bolster the visitor numbers to the village. We later gained use of bay two and then bay three with the Men’s Shed upgrading the electrical framework in these two sheds. We now have approval from TRC to install a dust extraction system in Bay three with an additional cost of some $18,000. In 2018 we completed the construction of the new shed and since completion we have purchased new modern equipment with grant funding of $17,000 and a local donation of $10,000. So, we now have a two hundred-thousand-dollar investment in the Pioneer Village.
Since our inception we have maintained the sheds and the cottage, which we have unconditional use of on a month-to-month basis. We are also paid contractors to maintain the lawns and water the gardens within the village.
In 2020 we purchased equipment from KBH Enterprises, a sheltered workshop in Toowoomba. Part of that purchase was equipment and material to manufacturing survey pegs and stakes, concreters formwork pegs and garden stakes. Development of this cottage industry will provide financial security for our shed into the future.