Men’s Shed Week is an annual event led by AMSA, aiming to raise community awareness, knowledge and interest of Men’s Sheds around the country. This year Men’s Shed Week was held from Sunday 3 September to Saturday 9 September, with much fanfare for a celebration of 30 Years of Sheds.
Our Men’s Shed Week ‘Tour de Shed’ kicked off in the nation’s capital with a BBQ lunch at Parliament House, hosted by Parliamentary Friendship Group of Men’s Sheds Co-Chairs Mr Ted O’Brien MP and Mr Rob Mitchell MP.
Tuggeranong Men’s Shed cooked up a storm on the barbeque, and our guests enjoyed displays set up by Tuggeranong Men’s Shed and Weston Creek Men’s Shed. There’s no sugar coating it, the logistics of getting equipment into Parliament House can be – for obvious reasons – a bit painful, so it was a big effort for both sheds. The lunch was well-enjoyed and many MPs and Senators took the opportunity to grab a steak or sausage sandwich (some even got on the tools!).
On the Tour de Shed, AMSA’s Paul Sladdin (Chairman), David Helmers (Executive Officer), Marty Leist (Partnerships & Engagement Coordinator) and Stuart Torrance (Shed Development Coordinator – Wellbeing & Health) were joined by our infamous podcast host John Paul Young and audio producer Danny on the drive from AMSA HQ (Newcastle, NSW) through to the birthplace of Men’s Sheds (Goolwa, South Australia).
The entourage was welcomed by nine sheds over the course of the week. Many thanks to our gracious hosts: Tongala Men’s Shed (VIC), Charlton Men’s Shed (VIC), Donald Men’s Shed (VIC), Natimuk Men’s Shed (VIC), Nhill Men’s Shed (VIC), Kaniva Men’s Shed (VIC), The Tatiara Men’s Shed – Bordertown (SA), Tintinara Community Men’s Shed (SA), and Murraylands Community Men’s Shed (SA).
Hosting one of our flagship celebrations, the ‘Shedder’s Big Breakfast’ with Tongala Men’s Shed (previously known as the Dick McGowan Men’s Shed) has reinvigorated the shed, which had become a little quiet lately. The Tongala Men’s Shed is one of the longest running in Australia, celebrating 25 years in 2023.
AMSA Patron and Shed Historian Professor Barry Golding AM and co-founder of Tongala Men’s Shed Ruth McGowan cut a GIANT birthday cake, with entertainment from the newly formed Tongala Primary School Choir (they formed as a result of our invitation to perform at the event). Later in the week wind and rain threatened to put a dampener on our Shedder’s Big Day Out at Goolwa (SA), but we were lucky most of it held off and the event was a great celebration with about 150 in attendance, including Maxine Chaseling (one of the founders of The Shed at Goolwa Heritage Club).
Fittingly, the original shed was almost in sight of the oval where we held the event.
Early in the day we were entertained by the Ukulele Group Goolwa, who squeezed in under the marquees to brave the weather for their set. They were joined by Yankalilla Men’s Shed and Coorong Quays Boat Shed and local artisans who set up displays and demonstrations. Following lunch (and more cake) we were delighted by the Goolwa Concert Band.
Across Men’s Shed Week 30 Years of Sheds celebrations were held in every state and territory, a true testament to just how much Shedders value their Men’s Shed!
Our ‘Host a Birthday BBQ’ activity supported more than 40 events around the country, and there were more that missed out! Thanks to many Sheds who have shared their photos with us.
Beth Gow (AMSA Shed Support NSW/ACT) spent the week living out of her ute – joining in celebrations at nine events, with more to come over the rest of September.
Tim Kroehn (recently joined AMSA in the positon of Shed Support SA/NT) spent his second week in the seat joining in on the celebrations in South Australia – what a lucky guy!
AMSA also uses Men’s Shed Week as a platform to gain media attention for the Men’s Shed movement. And once again our media reach was strong. You may have heard an interview or two on the airwaves, spotted an article online or in the paper or you may have even caught Lane Cove Men’s Shed on Studio 10 for two live cross spots with journalist Daniel Doody.
Our media release template was also well utilised, supporting our national reach with a local touch.
We’ve still got a few events under the 30 Years of Sheds banner in 2023, but for Men’s Shed Week it’s until next year – we hope you enjoyed the celebrations!