The Shedder Newsletter – Christmas 2019 edition is out now!
Wishing you a Merry Men’s Shed Christmas!
Another 12 months have passed and it’s that time of year again, when the workbenches and tools are being pushed aside in most Men’s Sheds to make way for the trestle tables covered in decorations and Christmas fare. It’s the time when our families, friends and Men’s Shed supporters gather in the shed to celebrate Christmas and when most sheds end the year and close for the festive season.
As we bring 2019 to a close, there’s a lot to reflect on.
For the staff here at AMSA, we are committed to supporting Men’s Sheds through building relationships and delivering initiatives that support and enhance the broader movement. We do all this to build communities and enable positive lifestyle outcomes for Australian men. It’s what has driven us for more than a decade, and will continue well into the future.
2019 has been a very successful year for AMSA and the Men’s Shed movement. Firstly, with the announcement that as of June 2020, Men’s Sheds will be eligible for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. This has been one of the most common requests from Sheds and we are very proud that after many years of hard work we have managed to secure this change in legislation to allow this to happen.
Another significant highlight for this year was the announcement from Minister Hunt of continued support for Men’s Sheds. This includes the National Shed Development Programme increase to $1 million per year, $2 million to equip every Men’s Shed in Australia with a portable defibrillator, $3.6 million to AMSA to continue our support of Men’s Sheds at a national level, and $1.5 million to fund regional coordinators.
All of these achievements are testimony to the success of Men’s Sheds, as well as AMSA.
It goes without saying that this year’s conference in Adelaide was arguably the best ever, those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning and meeting fellow shedders.
At the conference the Irish Men’s Shed Association CEO Barry Sheridan invited Shedders to their 2020 Men’s Sheds Global Gathering in Galway. There has been a great response from Shedders wanting to participate in this event, enough so that we are seeking expressions of interest from those wishing to attend. AMSA is working on a package tour that will include the conference as well as an extensive tour of Men’s Sheds throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom – see more information in this newsletter.
I would like to thank the AMSA staff for their ongoing commitment to the success of the Men’s Shed movement. There’s a great deal of effort that goes on behind the scenes at AMSA, and the team continues to do a fantastic job supporting over 1000 members every day.
I also wish to make a special acknowledgement of AMSA Patron Professor John Macdonald. John’s support and contribution to Men’s Sheds has been of great significance in originally recognising the importance of Men’s Sheds as a male health initiative. For this contribution John was deservingly awarded the Ted Donnelly Award for significant contribution to the Men’s Shed movement at the Adelaide Conference. This year also marks John’s retirement from his position at the University of Western Sydney, we wish John well in his retirement and we hope to see him in his local Men’s Shed!
In the last few weeks most of you have probably spent more time at the local shopping centre than you would have throughout the entire year, wishing that you were at the shed or the hardware store. Most of you I’m sure are also looking forward to spending time with your families and friends. Throughout the Men’s Shed network please look after the wellbeing of your mates throughout the season, providing company and support for those who need it.
We have some big things planned for 2020, including more regional events and gatherings. We’re all looking forward to an exciting year delivering new programs and resources for the benefit of Men’s Sheds everywhere. But for now, we’re looking forward to a well-earned break. We’ll be back in the office to tackle 2020 on Monday 13 January 2020.
Merry Christmas from the AMSA team.