AMSA recognises outstanding Men’s Sheds at the 2019 National Men’s Shed Awards
The recipients of the Australian Men’s Shed Association’s National Men’s Shed Awards have been announced at the Association’s 8th National Men’s Shed Gathering in Adelaide (SA).
Presented every two years, the Awards recognise Men’s Sheds going the extra mile and for innovation in the shed.
“Men’s Sheds all do fantastic things but our National Men’s Shed Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate the very special or unique achievements of our members,” said AMSA’s Executive Officer David Helmers.
The awards recognise Men’s Sheds across five categories, after nominations were submitted earlier this year.
Barry Cheales, President of Buderim Men’s Shed (QLD) was on hand at the Gathering Dinner to accept their award for 2019 Shed of the Year.
“This award is fantastic recognition of the immense team at Buderim Men’s Shed,” said Mr Cheales.
Buderim Men’s Shed was formed in 2011 with 20 members. Through a great deal of grit and determination, the group recently opened a new purpose-built three-shed complex accommodating for the current membership of almost 300, with room for growth.
In the lead up to the opening, the shed’s members planted over 4,800 native trees and bushes, laid 1000m2 of turf, wheel-barrowed over 60m3 of garden mulch, painted the exterior of three buildings, built 20 bench seats and laid over 6,100 pavers around the new buildings.
As part of the shed’s community activities, the members build and provide flat packs of small wooden toys to the local aged care facility for residents to sand and construct. The shed also have a team who visit the residents twice a month.
The shed also participates in the planning and running of a wide range of community events.
“We’re just here to carry on the great work that is done by the Men’s Shed movement,” Mr Cheales said.
In their home state, Murraylands Community Men’s Shed received top honours for Best Shed Garden.
The Murraylands Community Men’s Shed was established in 2012, with the quarter-acre garden playing an important part of the shed’s activities from the outset.
Representatives from Carina Mens Shed (QLD) and Tuggeranong Men’s Shed (ACT) were also in attendance to accept their awards for Unusual Shed Activity and Unique Fundraising Activity respectively.
This year the Carina Men’s Shed launched a Men’s Health & Lifestyle Guide as part of their International Men’s Health Week Expo in June.
The Expo was a major community event for the region and led to significant media promotion, including a story on Channel 7’s Creek to Coast, and resulted in many participants engaging with programs and services based on their attendance.
The Guide, designed as a healthy guide for men of all ages and their families, covers a range of mental and physical wellbeing topics. It was developed in collaboration with a number of community partners as the brain child of the Carina Men’s Shed, Clem Jones Centre and Clem Jones Centre Diet & Nutrition.
For the last two years, the Tuggeranong Men’s Shed has been cooking ‘Tornado Potatoes’ as part of their fundraising activities. Venues have included school fetes and sporting activities, church fairs – even a local polling station for the Federal Election where the name was modified to ‘Democracy Potatoes’.
The savvy marketing has resulted in great financial returns, but fundraising is by no means the most important reason for this activity. Building camaraderie between shed members is very important to the shed, as is being out and seen in the community.
An Award for Outstanding Recycling/Upcycling Activity was also presented to Stanhope & District Men’s Shed (VIC).
In 2014 a fire destroyed the cheese plant of the local milk factory. During the rebuilding process the Stanhope Men’s Shed entered into an agreement with the owner to recycle all packaging materials.
Over the ensuing years, the shed has removed over 200 large trailer loads and a number of truckloads of timber, crates, boxes and pallets. A large amount of this material has been shared with other Men’s Sheds from the surrounding region.
This activity is ongoing as the owner is now building a large workshop to accommodate their milk tankers.
The National Men’s Shed Awards will return in 2021 and will be announced as part of Men’s Shed Week celebrations (20 – 26 September 2021).
Shed of the Year | Buderim Men’s Shed (QLD)
Outstanding Recycling/Upcycling Activity | Stanhope & District Men’s Shed (VIC)
Unusual Shed Activity | Carina Men’s Shed (QLD)
Unique Fundraising Activity | Tuggeranong Men’s Shed (ACT)
Best Shed Garden | Murraylands Community Men’s Shed (SA)