Off to the Shed

Newcastle has been the trend setter for many creative initiatives however, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) emanated from The Men’s Shed @ Windale, (a suburb of Lake Macquarie near to Charlestown), that was one of the earliest in Australia – a concept which has now become global.

The Men’s Shed concept has become a haven for retired men with over one thousand registered AMSA members around the country. The Hunter region is no exception, with a growing number of sheds throughout the suburbs. The shed has become a place for nurturing mateship and creating feelings of belonging to a community after retirement.

The style of shed and its activities varies in character from regional to outback rural towns, yet the ethics and their mission is the same to address the needs of men who are isolated, benefit the community, provide a social interaction where men can discuss freely any topic from health to the state of the nation! For many, mentoring the younger generation at local schools has reaped rewards – the shed is regarded as a huge community asset.

Liz MacDonald, the AMSA National Shed Development Manager has been involved from the onset of the Windale Shed since 2002 when the then Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Roger Heft and Catholic Bishop Michael Malone, having united to form the ‘Bishops Trust’, were invited to participate in the early days of the Windale project…

Story and Images Marilyn Collins.

Pictured: Brian Coggan, a former pastry chef has expertise in creating timber wheelled toys.