What is AMSA
At the 2ndNational Mens Shed Conference in Manly during September 2007 Professor Barry Golding, Men’s Shed researcher from the University of Ballarat, stated in his key note address that “Men don’t talk face to face they talk shoulder to shoulder”. This drew unanimous mutterings of approval from all 350 delegates and the quote became the Australian Men's Shed Associations motto.
The concept of AMSA was tabled in 2005 and was formally established in 2007 with the founding principal of freely sharing information between organisations and members for the development and effective operations of mens sheds. The working committee of the Australian Men’s Shed Association consisted of a dedicated group of volunteer Men and Women from around Australia along with a few paid shed coordinators working towards this common goal that has resulted in minimising expenses associated with developing sheds and in turn making more sheds available to all men around Australia.
The Association was auspiced by Catholic Care Newcastle and has been strongly supported collaboratively by Uniting Care North Sydney, Beyondblue and Mensline through the ever increasing number of developing Mens Sheds the Australian Men's Shed Association developed into the Peak body representing and supporting Men's Sheds in Australia, a model which is now being replicated internationally.
With the launch of the federal governments Male Health Policy in May 2010, the contribution of AMSA and Mens Sheds was formally recognised with the allocation of “$3 million for the Australian Men's Sheds Association to provide practical support to sheds, especially those in areas of high need. Men’s sheds play an important role in the community by providing meeting places where men can find social support and camaraderie”.
The Association made the transition in July of 2010 from an Incorporated body to a Company Limited by Guarantee with each State Association Branch owning one share and is registered as a Tax Deductable recipient.
The organisation has now over 650 sheds representing an estimated 125,000 individuals and employs 7 full time employees. The Men’s Shed concept was an Australian initiative from very humble beginnings; the idea has now spread internationally with a number of sheds being operated by health authorities in Ireland, England and New Zealand with other interested groups in North American and Japan.
Our Mission and Values
The Australian Men’s Sheds Association recognizes a Men’s Shed as any community-based, non-profit, non-commercial organization that is accessible to all men and whose primary activity is the provision of a safe, friendly and healing environment where men are able to work on meaningful projects at their own pace in their own time in the company of other men. A major objective is to advance the well-being and health of their male members and to encourage social inclusion.
The Australian Mens Shed Association prioritizes the well being of all men valuing the role that Men’s Sheds play in the prevention of social isolation by providing a safe, friendly and welcoming place for men to work on meaningful projects and to contribute to the wider community.
The Australian Mens Shed Association shall endeavor to always address the needs of Mens Sheds and to source further funding and resources for the direct benefit of sheds.
Mens Sheds registered with The Australian Mens Shed Association are to maintain an open door policy and conduct themselves in a Non discriminating manner, have a minimal membership or joining fee, ensure and observe safe work practices, aim at improving the wellbeing or all men and support their community.
As part of the Australian Mens Shed Associations funding agreement, the association is committed to providing practical support for existing sheds, provide assistance in the development of new sheds, attracting and securing corporate sponsorship, raising awareness of men’s sheds, encourage participation and improving the health and well being of all men.
“Mens Sheds are not just fixing furniture and building toys, they are fixing men and building communities”
International Affiliation of Mens Shed Associations
At the 4th National AMSA Conference in Brisbane 2011 a meeting of representatives of New Zealand, Ireland, UK and Australian Mens Shed Associations took place this create an international affiliation of Mens Shed Associations, AMSA is taking the lead role in developing this federation and it is aimed at sharing our knowledge, developing more sheds in other nations and making representations to the World Health Authority on the benefits of Social inclusion in relation to health. Professor Barry Golding (AMSA Patron) chairs this new affiliation