Although the world has not fully returned to normal, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID pandemic we have finally had a year without significant disruption.
The overall feedback from Sheds has been mixed. Where some are experiencing difficulties both financially and with low attendance numbers, others are reporting far more prosperous times and significant increases in attendance. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to these variations, but we believe that Sheds will continue to prosper, and as always the team here at AMSA are always here to help you.
This year we have been back on the road and returned to a full calendar of events. Across the year AMSA staff have visited more than 250 Men’s Sheds and we’ve hosted more than 30 events around the country.
It has been pleasing to see not only a sharp increase in the number of events but also an overall increase in the number of attendees. It seems everyone is enjoying getting out and meeting new Shedders and catching up with old friends. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the host Sheds and Regional Coordinators who helped us make 2022 our best year yet in events.
The 2022 Australian Men’s Shed Association Annual General Meeting was held on 16 December. Part of the AGM process was the announcement of director election results, by our auditors (PKF) who were appointed as the returning office for votes:
- Michael Reddan was successful in Queensland;
- Trevor Dobbyn was successful in Victoria; and
- The position for Western Australia was unopposed with Trevor Gorey appointed to the Board.
We thank John Greatrex (Queensland) for his interest in joining the AMSA Board and acknowledge the contributions of retiring directors Stuart Marshall (Victoria), Len Thomson (Queensland) and Aaron Kearney (Specialist Director) during their tenure on the Board. We look forward to welcoming Michael, Trevor D and Trevor G whom will take office at the first Board meeting of 2023.
The 9th National Men’s Shed Gathering was held in Albury (NSW) – an exceptional few days with a large number of Men’s Sheds represented. Thanks go to our supporters Fair Dinkum Builds, Uncle Tobys, Black Dog Ride, CRC Industries and Healthy Male for helping us make this a valuable and affordable few days for Shedders to come together.
We tried and tested a variety of event formats throughout this year with some great learnings on how we can continue to add value to the momentum and sustainability of the Shed movement.
The 2022 National Men’s Shed Awards recognised outstanding Men’s Sheds and Shedders. Congratulations again to Wodonga Men’s Shed (Shed of the Year) and other recipients.
With the support of Black Dog Ride, we launched our ‘Shed Mates’ Shedder wellbeing initiative. To acknowledge the support of the Black Dog Riders, with the help of Alice Springs Men’s Shed we held a big BBQ as part of the Black Dog Ride ‘Ride to the Red Centre’. What was even more special, we captured an amazing drone shot of over 450 motorcycle riders standing in the shape of our Shed Mates logo. This photo is showcased on the 2023 AMSA Membership Certificate and in the AMSA 2023 Shedder’s Calendar. Watch the video here.
John Paul Young returned for a second year hosting The Shed Wireless podcast (Series 4). With JPY at the helm, the podcast episodes bring together a great collection of special guests, interesting Shed stories and a fair bit of banter. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to listen back to the episodes over summer. You can find all the details at www.mensshed.org/theshedwireless
This year witnessed a rebranding of AMSA, with a cornerstone of this being the delivery of our refurbished website. This has improved the functionality and made way for new features including the Member Portal and The Shed Shop. Our website continues to be the world’s most visited website for Shed-related information.
The Regional Coordinator Initiative (funded by the Australian Government Department of Health & Aged Care) has provided support to Men’s Sheds in each state and territory. We have had very positive feedback from Sheds across NSW/ACT and SA/NT in regards to our implementation of this initiative.
As a flagship activity with our long-standing partner Uncle Tobys, this year a record 433 Spanner in the Works? health checks were held over three days at Henty Machinery Field Days. This is delivered in partnership with Charles Sturt University Three Rivers Department of Rural Health and we look forward to expanding this program of health checks to other events and field days in 2023.
Celebrating 30 Years of Sheds in 2023
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the beginnings of the Men’s Shed movement. We’ll be celebrating with a special series of events beginning in early 2023. We hope to see many Sheds involved in celebrations across this year – acknowledging this very special milestone and the impacts of Sheds since humble beginnings in regional South Australia (Goolwa) in 1993.
As always, we’ll be out on the ground visiting Sheds throughout 2023. Please let us know when you’re holding events (you can also add them to our new Calendar), as we do our best to get involved.
With the AMSA Board ratifying our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan and organisation values we will continue to embed the strategic priorities into our everyday business strengthening the Shed movement and connecting Men’s Shed communities for better male wellbeing and health.
Early next year we will again be asking for your formal feedback through the AMSA Member Survey. The survey is a great opportunity for us to collect a national snapshot of the composition of the Australian Men’s Shed movement, as well as gain a deeper understanding of your needs and challenges.
Finally we thank you – our members – for your continued support in 2022. Next year is already shaping up to be a great one for Sheds.
We acknowledge and thank the AMSA staff for their efforts throughout the year. As you may not be aware, AMSA employs just ten people who continue to provide excellent support to 1,257 Men’s Sheds around Australia.
On behalf of the AMSA team, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas. Look out for your mates who might not have many people around them at this time.
Paul Sladdin, Chairman // David Helmers, Executive Officer