The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard that has long been part of the Australian culture. Men’s Shed are springing up all Australia and in more recent times the movement has spread to several overseas countries. If you look inside a Men’s Shed you might see a number of men restoring furniture, perhaps restoring bicycles for a local school, maybe fixing lawn mowers or making a kids cubby house.
Over the years, men have traditionally not talked about feelings and emotions. There has been little encouragement for men to take an interest in their own health and well-being. Probably because of this, many men are less healthy than women, they drink more, take more risks and they suffer more from stress, isolation, loneliness and depression.
Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man an environment where he can find solutions too many of these situations in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life, the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and the fact that one or more of a broad range of issues that could be impacting on their lives.
Because men don’t make a fuss about their problems, such problems have consistently been either ignored or swept under the mat by both our health system and our modern society. It’s time for a change and the Men’s Shed movement is one of the most powerful tools available in helping to realise that assistance is available and that they are valued and valuable members of our community.
In April 2007 The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was set up to act as a resource centre for all Sheds and to promote the idea of Independent Community Men’s Sheds. The Association represents and promotes the Shed movement, and act as a communcations hub using a website and regular newletters.