Research

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A List of Research that Informs Men's Shed-Based Practice

November 2011
Compiled by Barry Golding, b.golding@ballarat.edu.au
University of Ballarat, Australia
with assistance from Anthony Brown, University of Western Sydney

The Purposes of this Listing of Research

This document lists research, mostly from Australia, which provides recent evidence and insights as to why and how ‘men’s shed’ or workshop-based practice can enhance men’s lives and wellbeing in some community settings. It is important to acknowledge the generous cooperation of shed participants as informants in this research, as well as the pioneering and exploratory work in this field by many individuals and organizations in community shed settings long before this research was undertaken.

The ‘men’s shed movement’ in Australia has generously cooperated with a range of research projects in the past decade, including those related to learning, health and wellbeing outcomes. Shed-based organisations that have cooperated with the research have assumed that the evidence and insights the research generates will be widely disseminated in order to help a range of organisations, including governments, to determine how their policies, funding and practices might be shaped to support men and the shed sector. With sheds recently spreading and rapidly proliferating in New Zealand, Ireland and England, and with interest in men’s sheds or culturally similar workshops being expressed from other parts of Europe, Asia and the Pacific, it is important to make the available research as widely accessible as possible, including on the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) web site www.mensshed.org.

If you know of other, relevant research you think should be added to this Draft list, please give Barry Golding the details via b.golding@ballarat.edu.au.

About AMSA and Related Organisations

The Australian Men’s Shed Association website lists all registered community men’s sheds in Australia and other useful shed-related information including forthcoming events and conferences, back copies of AMSA newsletters, and a freecall number 1300 550 009. The site also provides international, state and regional shed organisation contacts. David Helmers is the AMSA Executive Officer. Community shed-based organisations can register, check, and update their organisation details on the free, community-based shed web site www.mensshed.org. AMSA membership is open to all shed organisations, and member organisations have access though AMSA to insurance. Based on experiences of many shed start-ups, an AMSA-supported manual (by Ted Donnelly and Ruth Van Herk) is available on setting up a Men's Shed. The manual is available free of charge from AMSA to request a copy email amsa@mensshed.net .

National and state conferences as well as shed visits have been a very important way of people learning about ‘what works’ and are an important part of the research base. The first National Men’s Shed Conference was in 2005 in Lakes Entrance, Victoria. Papers and presentations are available from the second national Conference in Manly in 2007 from:

 
(The 2011 AMSA Conference was held in Brisbane 21-23 August 2011. Papers and presentations are yet to be published.)

By late 2010 there were around 480 men’s shed organisations across Australia, with around 30 in New Zealand and seven in Ireland. Three pilot ‘Men in Sheds’ projects have been funded for two years through Age UK in England. In 2008/9 the Victorian State government in Australia announced government grants, through the Department of Planning and Community Development, for many new sheds in Victoria: the first government in the world to provide specific support (A$4 million over four years) directly to community-based men’s sheds: see their Community Development Page for more information. The Victorian Governor, Professor David de Kretzer is the Victorian Men’s Sheds Association Patron.

The Australian Men’s Health Policy Strategy has recently identified men’s sheds as an important community health innovation, and Adult Learning Australia regards them as an important national innovation in informal learning for men. During 2010 the Australian Government provided four years of funding (A$3.3 million) through the Department of Health and Ageing for the national coordination of sheds through the Australian Men’s Sheds Association. AMSA has three Patrons. They are Professor Barry Golding from University of Ballarat, Professor John Macdonald, also a founding Chair in Primary Health Care University of Western Sydney, Director Men’s Health Information and Resources Centre ,and President of the Australasian Men’s Health Forum. John is also a National Men’s Health Ambassador along with the third AMSA Patron, Tim Mathieson.

Policy Documents that Acknowledge Men’s Sheds as Part of Health Practice

Despite their origin in Australia during the 1990s, Australian men’s sheds were only recently formally acknowledged in government policy documents, ironically in Ireland in the National Men’s Health Policy, 2008-2013.

Men’s sheds have subsequently been recognized in the:

 

Single Articles in Refereed Health-Related Journals

  • Ballinger, M., Talbot, T. & Verrinder, K. (2009) More than a place to do woodwork: A case study of a community-based men’s shed, Journal of Men’s Health, 6 (1): 20-27.

  • Earle, L., Earle, T. & Von Mering, O. (1999) Sheds and male retirement: The place to go, Australasia Leisure for Pleasure Journal, 2: 5-129.

  • Fildes, D., Y. Cass, et al. (2010) ‘Shedding light on men: The Building Healthy Men Project.’ Journal of Men's Health 7(3): 233-240.

  • Martin, K., Wicks, A., et al. (2008) ‘Meaningful occupation at the Berry Men’s Shed.’ Journal of Occupational Science 15(3): 194-195.

  • Morgan, N. (2010).‘A Room of Their Own: Men's sheds build communities of support and purpose.’ Cross Currents: Journal of Addiction and Mental Health 13(4): 12-13.

  • Ormsby, J., Stanley, M., et al. (2010) ‘Older men’s participation in community-based men’s sheds programmes.’ Health & Social Care in the Community 18(6): 607-613.

Other Single Research and Evaluation Articles About Sheds

  • Ballinger, M. (2007) More than a place to do woodwork: A case study of a community-based men’s shed, Master of Health Sciences (Minor Thesis), La Trobe University, Bundoora.

  • Brown, A. (2005) Men, mates and sheds: Sheds, volunteering and retirement. Men's Shed Conference, East Gippsland Men's Health Network, Lakes Entrance.

  • Fremanshed (2009) The men’s shed health and wellbeing project, Booklet and DVD, Fremantle, Western Australia.

  • Graves, K. (2001) Shedding the light on men in sheds, Report 2001, Community Health Bendigo.

  • Lonergan, N. & Bromiley, F. (2010) The Australian men’s shed survey: A national evaluation, Gippsland Medical School: Population Health Project.

  • Misan, G. (2008) Men’s sheds: A strategy to improve men’s health, Report for Mensheds Australia, Spencer Gulf Rural Health School, South Australia.

  • Nelson, B. (2005) The men’s shed concept: Mateship and meaningful community participation, Paper, Mary McKillop Outreach, Lewisham, Sydney.

Articles About Sheds and Dementia

  • Bettany, K. (2004) ‘Blokes and sheds: Meaningful activities for men with dementia in aged care facilities (and the community)’, Retrieved 17 Nov 2005, from http://www.alzheimers.org.au/content.cfm?infopageid=4134

  • Bettany, K. (2005) ‘Easier ‘shed’ than done’, Retrieved 18 March 2008, from http://www.alzheimers.org.au/content.cfm?infopageid=4134

  • Media Interviews 4
    BBC (2010). Shed Men. Documentaries. UK, BBC World Service: 23 min.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2010/03/100317_shed_men.shtml

Men’s Learning, Sheds and Wellbeing

(Barry Golding and others, University of Ballarat, by year, since 2003)

  • Golding, B. (2003) ‘Who’s doing the hunting and gathering? An exploration of gender segmentation of adult learning in small and remote communities’, Paper to AVETRA Conference, Sydney, 10-11 April.

  • Golding, B., Hayes, C. & Harvey, J. (2003) ‘More to sheds than meets the eye: Adult learning through public safety organisations in small and remote Australian towns’, Paper to Australian Council for Adult Literacy 26th National Conference, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 19-20 September.

  • Golding, B. (2004) ‘Men’s learning in small rural towns: A Victorian survey’, Paper to Australian Learning Communities Network Conference, 14-16 September, Newcastle.

  • Golding, B. (2004) ‘The applicability of networks to Australian adult and vocational learning research’, Refereed Paper to AVETRA 7th Annual Conference, Canberra, 18 March. www.ncver.edu.au/publications/1389.html , pp.225-241.

  • Golding, B. (2004) ‘Who’s doing the hunting and gathering? An exploration of gender segmentation of adult and learning in small and remote communities’, in K. Bowman, Equity in vocational education and training: Research findings, NCVER, Adelaide, 2004, pp.225-241.

  • Golding, B. & Pattison, S. (2004) ‘Inequity in Australian vocational education and training by location’, in K. Bowman (ed.) Equity in vocational education and training: Research findings, NCVER, Adelaide, pp.108-119.

  • Golding, B, Hayes, C. & Harvey, J. (2005) ‘Literacy Practices associated with training & learning by fire & emergency services volunteers in small and remote Australian towns’, Paper to UK Literacy Association 41st Annual Conference, Bath, UK .

  • Golding, B. (2005) ‘Men’s lifelong learning in Australian rural towns’, Paper to SCUTREA 35th Annual Conference, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

  • Golding, B. (2005) ‘About FACE: Implications of research into men’s learning preferences in rural towns’, Paper to 2005 AVETRA Conference, Brisbane, 13-15 April.

  • Golding, B. (2005) ‘Listening to men learning: An exploration of men’s learning preferences in community contexts’, The International Journal of Lifelong Learning 12(9) pp.265-272.

  • Golding, B. (2005) ‘Men’s learning in small remote towns in Australia’, in J. Chapman, P. Cartwright & J. McGilp, Lifelong learning, participation and equity, Springer, Dordrecht, pp.175-204.

  • Golding, B. (2006) ‘A profile of men’s sheds in Australia: Patterns, purposes, profiles and experiences of participants: Some implications for VET & ACE about engaging older men’, Paper to 2006 AVETRA Conference, Wollongong, on Proceedings CD (Ed. F. Ferrier). 5

  • Golding, B., Brown, M & Foley, A (2007) ‘Old dogs, new shed tricks: An exploration of innovative workshop-based practice for older men in Australia’, Paper to AVETRA Conference, 11-13 April 2007, Melbourne, Victoria.

  • Golding, B., Brown, M., Foley, A., Harvey, J. & Gleeson, L. (2007) Men’s sheds in Australia: learning through community contexts, NCVER, Adelaide, South Australia, 2007. www.ncver.edu.au/publications/1780.html

  • Golding, B (2007) ‘Social, local and situated: evidence and insights from Australian research into the effectiveness of older men’s learning in community contexts’, B. Golding, Paper to Second Nordic Conference on Adult Learning, 17-19 April, Lingkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden.

  • Golding, B (2007) ‘Researching men’s sheds in community contexts in Australia: What does it tell us about education for older men?’ B. Golding, Paper to CASAE-ACEEA Conference, Mount St Vincent University, 6-9 June, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • Golding, B. (2007) ‘Older men’s lifelong learning: Common threads/sheds’, B. Golding, Paper to CRLL Conference, 22-24 June, University of Stirling, Scotland. (also 2009 Book Chapter)

  • Golding, B., Foley, A. & Brown, M. (2007) ‘Shedding some new light on gender: Evidence about informal learning preferences from Australian men’s sheds in community contexts’, Paper to SCUTREA Conference, 3-5 July 2007, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Ireland.

  • Golding, B., Foley, A. & Brown, M. (2007) ‘The international potential for men’s shed based learning’, Ad Lib, Journal of Continuing Liberal Adult Education, University of Cambridge, Issue 34, December, pp.9-13, 2007.

  • Golding, B., Kimberley, H., Foley, A. & Brown, M. (2008) ‘Houses and sheds: An exploration of the genesis and growth of neighbourhood houses and men’s sheds in community settings’ Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48: 2, pp.237-262.

  • Vallance, P. & Golding, B. (2008) ‘‘They’re funny bloody cattle’: Encouraging rural men to learn’, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48:2, pp.369-384.

  • Golding, B., Foley, A. & Brown, M. (2008) ‘Shedding school early: Insights from school & community shed collaboration in Australia’, Paper to AVETRA Conference, Adelaide, 3-4 April.

  • Foley, A., Golding, B. & Brown, M (2008) ‘Let the men speak: health, friendship, community and shed therapy’, Paper to AVETRA Conference, Adelaide, South Australia, 3-4 April.

  • Golding, B. (2008) ‘Researching men’s sheds in community contexts in Australia: What does it suggest about adult education for older men?’ Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 14 (1) Spring, pp.17-33, 2008.

  • Golding, B (2008) ‘Learning by men not in work: A review of research’, B. Golding, Paper to (in Proceedings of) Fifth International Lifelong Learning Conference, Yeppoon, Queensland, 17-19 June.

  • Golding, B. & Foley, A. (2008) ‘How men are worked with: Gender roles in men’s informal learning’, Paper to SCUTREA Conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2-4 July.

  • Golding, B. (2008) ‘Common wealth through community men’s sheds: Lives and learning networks beyond work’, Paper to Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, University of London, England, 14-17 July. 6

  • Brown, M., Golding, B. & Foley, A. (2008) Out the back: Men’s sheds and informal learning’, Fine Print 31(2) pp.12-15, 2008.

  • Golding, B., Brown, M. & Foley, A. (2009) ‘Informal learning: A discussion around defining and researching its depth and breadth’, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 49 (1) April, pp.34-56.

  • Golding, B. (2009) ‘Older men’s lifelong learning: common threads/sheds’, B. Golding, in J. Field, J. Gallagher & R. Ingram, Researching transitions in lifelong learning, Routledge, Milton Park, pp.65-75.

  • Golding, B., Foley, A. & Brown, M (2009) ‘Shifting the locus/ts: Evidence and insights into academic power and knowledge from recent Australian adult, vocational and community education research’, Paper to AVETRA Conference, Sydney 16-17 April.

  • Golding, B., Foley, A., Brown, M & Harvey, J. (2009) Senior men’s learning and wellbeing through community participation in Australia, Report to National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre, University of Ballarat, October. http://archimedes.ballarat.edu.au:8080/vital/access/HandleResolver/1959.17/16450 or http://www.productiveageing.com.au/site/publications.php

  • Golding, B., Brown, M., Foley, A. & Harvey, J. (2009) Men’s Learning and wellbeing through community organisations in Western Australia, Report to Western Australia Department of Education and Training, University of Ballarat, October. Available via http://archimedes.ballarat.edu.au:8080/vital/access/HandleResolver/1959.17/16443

  • Skladzien, E. & O’Dwyer, S. (2009) Making good connections: How community participation enriches learning, wellbeing and a sense of identity in older men, Report based on a 2009 NSPAC study by B. Golding, A. Foley, M. Brown & J. Harvey by National Seniors Australia Productive Ageing Centre, Canberra, Feb 2010. http://archimedes.ballarat.edu.au:8080/vital/access/HandleResolver/1959.17/16465

  • Golding, B. (2009) ‘Learning at the end of the rainbow: A study of community learning availability & outcomes for older men in an Australian regional community’, Paper No. 36 to AVETRA Conference, 8-9 April 2010, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

  • Golding, B. (2009) ‘The big picture on men’s (and boy’s) learning’, Australian Journal of Adult Learning April, 50:1, pp.54-74.

  • Golding, B. (2010) ‘Men’s informal learning and wellbeing beyond the workplace’, S. Jackson (ed.) Innovations in lifelong learning, Birkbeck Institute, University of London.

  • Golding, B (2010) ‘Men learning about communication and wellbeing through community involvement: Evidence from an empirical Australian study’, Paper to Conference of the European Society for Research into the Education of Adults (ESREA), 23-26 Sept, Linkoping, Sweden.

  • Golding, B (2010) ‘What learning experiences and outcomes are valued by older men in Australia?’, Paper to Conference of the European Society for Research into the Education of Adults (ESREA) Network on Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA), 7-9 Oct, Munich, Germany. 7

  • Golding, B. (2009) ‘What factors influence older men’s learning and wellbeing through community organisations in Australia?’, Paper to Conference of the European Society for Research into the Education of Adults (ESREA) Network on Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA), 7-9 Oct, Munich, Germany.

  • Golding, B (2010) ‘Social, local and situated: Recent findings about the effectiveness of older men’s informal learning in community contexts’, Adult Education Quarterly (in press 2010).

International Research on Men’s Learning

UK

  • McGivney, V. (1999a) Excluded men: Men who are missing from education and training, NIACE, Leicester.

  • McGivney, V. (1999b) Informal learning in the community: A trigger for change and development, NIACE, Leicester.

  • McGivney, V. (2004) Men earn, women learn: Bridging the gender divide in education and training, NIACE, Leicester.

Ireland

  • Mark, R., Montgomery, V., & Graham, H. (2009) ‘Beyond the workplace: An investigation into older men’s learning and wellbeing in Northern Ireland’, Report for the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP), Queen’s University Belfast, Feb 2010, http://archimedes.ballarat.edu.au:8080/vital/access/HandleResolver/1959.17/16457

Creating Friendly Spaces with Indigenous Men

(Jack Bulman & Rick Hayes)

  • Bulman, J. and Hayes, R. (2010, forthcoming) 'Fostering safe, friendly spaces for Indigenous males.' International Journal of Men’s Health.

  • Bulman, J. and Hayes, R. (2010) Yarning Spaces: Dealing with depression and anxiety among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Males the ‘proper way’. The CAPA Quarterly (Journal of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW), 1:24-28.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2009) ‘Strengthening men friendly practice and health promotion.’ Paper to National Men’s Health Conference, National Men's Health Gathering 2009, The University of Newcastle, NSW, 6-9 Oct.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2009) ‘Dealing with depression and anxiety among Indigenous males.’ Paper to National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention, National Men's Health Gathering, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 6 -9 Oct.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2009) ‘Indigenous community researcher’s support network.’ Paper to National Men and Family Relations Forum, National Men's Health Gathering, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 6-9 Oct .

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2009) ‘Strengthening men friendly practice and health promotion.’ Paper to National Indigenous Studies Conference: Perspectives 8 on urban life: Connections and reconnections, Australian Institute of Australian and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, 28 Sept - 2 Oct.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2009) ‘Dealing with depression and anxiety among Indigenous males’, Paper to National Indigenous Studies Conference: Perspectives on urban life: connections and reconnections, Australian Institute of Australian and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, 28 Sept - 2 Oct.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2008) ‘Promoting Indigenous participation in health promotion education through community-based participatory research’, Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal 32 (3): 10-13.

  • Bulman, J. & Hayes, R. (2008) ‘Mibbinbah: Empowering Indigenous males through participatory action research into health’, Australian Health Promotion Association Update.

  • Men’s sheds and men’s health: Rick Hayes, La Trobe University, with others

  • Hayes, R. (2007) ‘Creating supportive environments in which to address men’s health’, Queensland Health Promotion Quarterly June: 7.

  • Morgan, M., Hayes, R., Williamson, M. & Ford, C. (2007) ‘Men’s sheds: A community approach to promoting mental health and well-being.’ International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 9(3): 50-54.

  • Hayes, R. & Williamson, M. (2007) Men’s sheds: Exploring the evidence for best-Practice. Melbourne: La Trobe University.

  • Hayes, R. and Williamson, S. (2006) Draft evidence-based, best-practice guidelines for Victorian men's sheds, Melbourne, Office of Senior Victorians, Department of Victorian Communities.

  • Hayes, R. (2005) ‘Making space for men’s health’, Australian Nursing Journal 13(1): 33.

  • Hayes, R. (2005) Victorian men's sheds: History and evidence, Keynote address for the Victorian Men's Shed Conference, Lakes Entrance, Victoria, 10-11 Nov. 2005.

Popular Men’s Shed-Based Books

UK

  • Jones, G. (2004) Shed men, New Holland Publishers, London.

  • Thorburn, G. (2002) Men and sheds, New Holland. London.

New Zealand

  • Hopkins, J. and Riley, J. (1998) Blokes and sheds, Auckland, Harper Collins Publishers, New Zealand.

Australia

  • Thomson, M. (1995) Men, blokes and sheds, Angus & Robertson, Australia.

  • Thomson, M (2002) The complete blokes and sheds: Stories from the sheds, Harper Collins, Sydney.

  • Thomson, M. (2002) Rare trades: Making things by hand in the digital age.

  • Thomson, M. (2007) Makers, breakers and fixers: More blokes in their sheds.