It’s Men’s Shed Week this week and quite a special Australian anniversary. It’s 30 years since the first Shed in the world was opened in 1993 for men in a community setting, and 25 years since the first Men’s Shed by that name officially opened in 1998.
Today there are over 1200 Sheds in Australia and close to three thousand around the world. Hepburn Shire has three, in Creswick, Daylesford and Trentham as well as in most surrounding towns.
Professor Barry Golding, a Kingston resident, has been a Patron of the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) since 2009. He helped set up Men’s Shed Week and participated in a “Tour de Sheds” organised by the AMSA.
On Tuesday evening Barry was guest presenter at a dinner at the Donald Men’s Shed which he officially opened in his home town in 2006. Earlier today (Friday, September 8), Barry was a guest speaker at the Goolwa Men’s Shed, the first Men’s Shed in the world. He acknowledged the vision of the early Shed pioneers and the remarkable work Sheds do supporting men, families and communities.
Barry has written two books about Men’s Sheds, ‘The Men’s Shed Movement’ and ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ published in the US in 2015 and 2021. The books tell the remarkable history of this now international Movement, invented in Australia, and the research evidence of the impact of Men’s Sheds on the health and wellbeing of their members.
Barry’s research confirms that there were only ten Men’s Sheds in the world when the Creswick Men’s Shed was started over two decades ago by Hepburn Community Health, and it’s still going strong. The most recent growth in Men’s Sheds has been in the US and Canada with huge and active movements already established throughout all parts of the UK and Ireland as well as in Denmark.
Our local Men’s Shed, now situated at Victoria Park, had its origins in the Daylesford Neighbourhood House in 2007. Andrew Azzopardi was investigating the effectiveness of Men’s Sheds as a project for his teaching qualification. He drew together a nucleus of men to get a local shed off the ground. They started meeting in the Poultry Shed at Victoria Park but later obtained grant funding to build the current shed adjacent to the Pavillion.
The Daylesford Men’s Shed has about 50 members. The Shed is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The Shed is also used by a Hepburn U3A women’s group on Tuesdays.