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The SHEDDER The official newsletter of the Australian Men’s Shed Association www.mensshed.org
" The Official Newsletter of the “Australian Men's Sheds Association “
Patron in Chief His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC
Patrons Professor Barry Golding, Professor John MacDonald
Funding Agreement for AMSA secured for 3 Years In This Issue
P1 3 year Funding
In September 2015 the then Prime Minister announced ongoing support for Agreement for AMSA AMSA and Men’s Sheds as a Fathers Day announcement. This month the De- P2 Men’s Shed Week 2016 P3 EO Report: ‘Strengthening partment of Health has executed a new Agreement securing funding for AMSA for the Future’ AMSA until July 2019. P5 Thank you Gadens The new Funding Agreement allocates a total of $5.1m to AMSA with $2.4m of P6 John Bowe Supporting Men’s Sheds these funds to be allocated as direct financial assistance to Men’s Sheds as P6 New AMSA Resources competitive grants through the National Shed Development P7 AMSA turns 10 in 2017 Program. Within the new Agreement AMSA has been able to secure an P8 Men’s Health Week P9 New Zealand 2016 Men’s increase in funds for our service delivery component and this will allow AMSA Shed Conference to further increase our capacity to provide additional services to Member P10 Flowerdale aims for Sheds. Ireland After negotiations with the Department, the Agreement was signed on May P11 Wesley Melba Men’s Shed and ‘The Devannah’ 3rd with the contract period commencing 1 July 2016. This is also the first P12 Mount Beauty & time since the original 2010-13 Agreement that AMSA has had the security of a District Men’s Shed Vic long term Agreement that will allow us to implement programs more P13 Rupanyap & District Men’s Shed strategically.
Men’s Shed Week was held Sunday 6th- Saturday 12 March.
A major aim of Men’s Shed Week was the opportunity for every Men’s Shed to invite their community and Federal MP to visit the Men’s Shed and learn more about what they do, meet the Shed members, become more informed of the benefits of the Men’s Shed movement and acknowledge the vital role they play within the community.
Many events were held across Australia and one such event occurred in the small rural community of Dareton.
Dareton is a town on the Murray River in the far west of New South Wales. The town is located on the Silver City Highway, 1,025 kms west of Sydney and 20 kms from the regional centre of Mildura, across the border in Victoria. Part of the Wentworth Shire Local Government Area, at the 2011 census, Dareton had a population of 516.
‘A Message from Dareton Men in a Shed Inc NSW Just advising you that the Dareton Men in a Shed Inc had our Open Day on the 9th March. Our Shed was open for three and a half hours and we had representatives from the Local Wentworth Shire Council, the General Manager of the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club, the Manager of the Wentworth and District Community Bank, Media representatives from Sunraysia Daily, Mildura Midweek and Mildura Weekly.
We provided morning tea for all those attending, a great day was enjoyed by all.
We were happy to see so many people from surrounding areas attending. Our recently set up Machinery restoration section was of particular interest. People were amazed at the type of Machinery that had been restored and many commented on our workshop in general. A lot did not realise that we provided so many diverse activities, catering for a whole range of interests. Two new members were signed up on the day with a couple of others indicating that they were considering joining.
All in all it was a most enjoyable day. I think the general community is now much more informed about what goes on in a ‘Men’s Shed’. In fact we are now looking at having an Open Day every couple of months, the interest shown on this day was very encouraging’.
In Partnership with our Federal Government ‘Friends of Men’s Sheds’ Bipartisan Friendship Group we will work to make Men’s Shed Week bigger and better in 2017. There has even been conversations from our international Partner Associations on making this a world wide event.
May 2016 The SHEDDER The official newsletter of the Australian Men’s Shed Association www.mensshed.org EO’S Report Strengthening AMSA and Men’s Sheds for the future?
In a historical context, the Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA) has continually evolved ever since our formal foundation in 2007 as a unified organisation aimed at providing support to Men’s Sheds.
AMSA is a very unique organisation that has experienced rapid growth and, compared with organisations of similar size that have been established for multiple decades, AMSA is still in its infancy. AMSA is also different from most ‘Associations’ in that we are member focused but not member funded. Ninety percent of our operational expenditure is provided by the Federal Government. If AMSA was a member funded Association, it would need to dramatically increase its membership fees therefore making Men’s Sheds unaffordable. This would be counterproductive to our objective of preventing social isolation by making Men’s Sheds only available to those who can afford it. This is one of many dilemmas that make AMSA a unique organisation.
AMSA was developed out of the mentioned principles and our staff and Board have a great deal of expertise in the field of Men’s Sheds and an understanding of the Sheds we serve. Like the Men in the Sheds we are not corporate lawyers and similarly to our members we go to the experts when we need legal advice. Fortunately last year one of Australia's biggest and most respected law firms ‘Gadens’ came to AMSA with an offer of pro-bono legal support. This support would include an extensive review of our Association’s structure, governance and Constitution that will ensure AMSA remains a unified body with a secure future and structure that will enable AMSA to service and protect our members without duplication and with minimal bureaucracy. The expertise that the people from Gadens who have worked on this project is invaluable and appreciated (see Gadens profiles in our article of gratitude on page 5).
The primary purpose for the proposed changes to the governing documents of AMSA are to better align the governance and membership structure of the organisation with the vision and intentions of the founders, to in turn enable AMSA to better pursue its objectives. As will be evident from the nature of the proposed amendments, the changed governance and membership rules are to ensure that no parallel structures of AMSA's operational model are formed. Duplication generally tends to result in an inefficient use of resources and burdensome membership arrangements for the most important bodies in AMSA's structure, being the Men's Sheds that deliver the ‘on the ground’ support and networks. Improved structures will enable AMSA to maximise the utilisation of funding from government and other sources, and efficiently deliver services to its members nationally, in the spirit of its role as a peak body that represents the interests of all Men's Sheds collectively.
Appropriate membership and governance arrangements are inspired by the vision and intentions set for AMSA by the founders (being the members of the original Steering Committee of AMSA that met in Canberra in November 2008 to develop a Business Plan for the future of AMSA). The vision for AMSA set by its founders is that AMSA be a single, unified body that will disseminate information and other support services in pursuit of the Men's Shed movement around the country and act as single point of contact with a collective voice to represent Men’s Sheds with Government and other stakeholders. To this end, it is important that AMSA's mandate as a single national peak body which represents all AMSA Member Men's Sheds in Australia is preserved and maintained in the most appropriate governance and membership structure.
May 2016 The SHEDDER The official newsletter of the Australian Men’s Shed Association www.mensshed.org Cont...
In consideration of developing new By laws, it is worthwhile to reflect on the development of AMSA over time and on its commitment to the Men's Shed movement in Australia continue to grow strong.
From AMSA’s original conception until May 2010 (when funding was granted), AMSA existed with no formal Funding Agreements and relied fully on the support of a network of volunteers. The entry into the first service delivery contract with the Department of Health and Ageing (as it was then known) opened opportunities for AMSA to evolve its day-to-day business including engaging employees and other support services. This Agreement focused on AMSA being a centralised service delivery provider for Men’s Sheds. As a result, more efficient communications, marketing and support for Men’s Sheds became available and a surge in the development of new Men's Sheds occurred in the following years.
With these developments, AMSA's Board was able to evolve and better fulfill its role of determining the strategy and direction of the organisation, with more efficient delegation of the operational activities of provision of support and assistance to Men’s Sheds.
AMSA has grown exponentially into a successful organisation with large membership (957 Men's Sheds) that is in a strong position to present a unified service delivery model with governments, private funding bodies and other stakeholders in order to obtain much needed funding in the pursuit of its purposes.
It is essential that there be no confusion in dealing with the Member Men’s Sheds, public, government and all other stakeholders. The single, unified national scope and representation of Men's Sheds by AMSA is vital. It was never intended that any subsidiary would be established to provide a parallel model of representation of Men's Sheds within the organisation. Apart from being confusing for our stakeholders, it may provide limitations in achieving the best funding outcomes for our organisation and result in inefficiencies in administration and use of resources.
The AMSA Board has reviewed the advice received from Gadens and will be implementing new By laws.
As we implement these changes throughout 2016, notification will be sent out to all Member Sheds and they will be posted on our website. On the ground in the Men’s Shed movement there will be little if any changes that will directly affect any Shed as we secure a structure and rules more common to any unified body. There may be criticism and objection from individuals who have a different interpretation or in many cases an agenda that is not consistent with that of AMSA’s or Men’s Sheds. Men’s Sheds are about the Men, their wellbeing and their communities, not about feathering personal ambition or building empires.
AMSA is aiming at securing the future of Men’s Sheds, and, with a new Funding Agreement in place, we can implement longer term planning to achieve this.
AMSA has the responsibility to ensure constancy in our membership and to protect the Men’s Shed brand that identifies a Men’s Shed regardless of where it is located within Australia.
Gratitude for Gadens’ Support for Men’s Sheds ‘The people who have helped’ Stuart Eustice Partner : Stuart has been our relationship partner. He contacted AMSA in the first instance with an understanding of our vision - supporting the community, Men’s Sheds and Male Health. Stuart presented at the 2015 AMSA Newcastle Conference and is a passionate motorsport enthusiast who proudly displays AMSA’s signage on his sports sedan. Stuart specialises in injury liability litigation and has acted for Victorian Government Departments, the Victorian WorkCover Authority, Self-Insured corporates and numerous international insurers. Stuart is current author for LexisNexis Personal Injury Module, Guest Lecturer at Deakin University and recognised leading Compensation/Insurance lawyer within Doyles Guide and Chambers Asia Pacific.
Glenn McGowan QC Chief Counsel :Glenn is one of Melbourne's most respected legal authorities and is widely recognised within the profession as a leader in his field. Prior to joining Gadens he spent 27 years at the Victorian Bar, the last 10 of which were as Senior Counsel. Glenn practises in commercial law, principally in Intellectual Property. He has extensive advice, trial and appellate experience in litigation (courts and tribunals).
Glenn is also a nationally accredited mediator and a Fellow of the Australian Institute for Commercial Arbitration. He is regularly called upon to write and present at seminars and conferences. Glenn's areas of expertise are in Charities and not-for-profit, Competition and Consumer, Corporate Advisory, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property and Life Sciences. Glenn has appeared in some of Australia's most high profile and complex intellectual property cases.