The Shedder Newsletter – April 2017
Already 2017 is shaping up to be another busy year in the world of Men’s Sheds. The AMSA office is a hive of activity as we continue to develop initiatives and resources for member sheds.
Firstly, I’m pleased to announce our latest corporate sponsor —the global organisation, ExxonMobil. As part of this sponsorship AMSA and ExxonMobil will be holding a pilot program of regional Men’s Shed events in designated areas of Victoria where ExxonMobil have operations.
As we have seen, regional events are invaluable in the sharing and learning process as well as great opportunities for sheds to engage with the each other, the broader community and sponsors. These events will also be a great social event and will be a test case for future events.
Within the next few months we will be unveiling the new Shed Management and Resources Tools (SMART). Currently there are over 600 sheds using the existing SMART program. Over the six years since its introduction there have been many issues raised by users and dramatic changes in the technology available and its affordability.
When SMART was first developed web based applications were in their infancy and were hugely expensive. The “cloud” was still just a mass of water vapor in the sky. This led to SMART being developed as a standalone
program that needed to be installed on computers individually with many limitations, further complicated by the vast number of different operating systems.
The new version of SMART is a “cloud based application” that can be used by multiple users from multiple locations on any operating system. Being a web based application it eliminates the risk of data loss that we have seen when computers have not been backed up and have been damaged or stolen.
The new SMART program is currently undergoing its final phase of testing and will soon be available to download from our website. I would like to thank those sheds who have made themselves available to participate in the development of this program. Without your contribution, input and skills we would not have been able to make this happen.
As most of you would be aware, this time of year coincides with the renewals of the AMSA Group Insurance Scheme. We are very pleased that even though there has been some competition this year, the AMSA Scheme has still seen an increase in coverage subscriptions.
This is not just great news for maintaining the policy, but it also shows the strength of the product being the only insurance available that is fully customised for Men’s Sheds. Most importantly it shows that management committees are practicing due diligence within their responsibility to the members, ensuring that the correct coverage is in place to protect the men in the sheds.
As part of our commitment to ensure best practice and continuous improvement, we will be conducting a member survey. This survey is based upon, and will be measured against, our 2013 survey results. We have tried to keep the survey as brief as possible and encourage all AMSA members to participate.
There are two prizes up for grabs for participating sheds— packages for two people from the winning sheds to attend the 2017 National Men’s Shed Conference (including travel and accommodation).
The survey plays an important role in our future planning and development of new initiatives to support Men’s Sheds so we truly value and appreciate your input.