How I manage a Men’s Shed in Australia
I want to thank all of you who have been regular visitors to this blog. I have a number of builds going on at the moment and as soon as I finish my next one, you will hear about it right here!
Apart from creating Steampunk artefacts and writing about my journey here and on instructables (where I also include ‘How To’ maker guides), I also help create projects for the community from disused/cast away objects for a more sustainable society with a group of very creative men. This is through the Marrickville Men’s Shed which is based at The Bower Reuse and Repair Cooperative.
I’ve facilitated the Marrickville Men’s Shed (in Sydney’s Inner West) for about 3 years. There are almost 1000 Men’s Sheds across Australia. Men’s Sheds exist to re-engage men with the community, reduce isolation (which improves health) and promote men’s knowledge about meaningful activities. Often frequented by older men, we’ve started seeing men of different ages and backgrounds join. From humble beginnings with a dedicated group of 5-6 men for a 4 hour meet-up once a week, it is not unusual to have between 12 – 18 men turn up to tinker, chat and share a coffee for 2 x 4 hour meet-ups each week. We’re growing!
I’ve been very fortunate to run the Marrickville Men’s Shed as it has the same commitment to sustainability as I do. What I also find is that many of the older men – Sheddies – who attend have a natural inclination towards re-using materials. Many grew up during the 1930’s Depression or in the period just post WWII where resources were a lot more scarce. Therefore, they are – in fact – the perfect ambassadors for creating new things in a sustainable way.
Shout out to Sheddies everywhere! Feel free to comment on what you find great about being a Sheddie or, if you’re in Australia and you’re interested in finding a shed near you, go here: