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 About the Whyalla Men's Shed ...

  The Whyalla Men's Shed (WMS or the Shed) is a grass roots community based organisation currently comprising about 50 volunteers (including some Work for the Dole particpants) who meet regularly to socialise, make things, fix things and restore things. The WMS started out in late 2012 following a public meeting which resulted in the formation of a working group in February 2013. The Shed became an Incorporated Entity under the SA Department of Business and Consumer Affairs in April 2013.

  In the early days particpants (10-12) met twice a week in a tin shed at the back of ‘Life Without Barriers’ on Knight St, Whyalla Stuart. In January 2014 the Shed moved to it's permanent premises (the old St Martin’s Church) on Williams St in the centre of Whyalla.  Since that time, members have been busy renovating and refurbishing what was a vandalised, neglected, run down old building.

  The shed now has about 40 paid up members (often called ‘shedders’) with about 25 attending on a regular basis. The average age is 70 years; the youngest is 34 years old and the oldest about 85 years.

   The shed is now an enviable, multipurpose space, testament to the ownership and commitment of its dedicated volunteers. Apart from work that required licensed tradesmen (electrical and plumbing), all the work has been done by the shed members.

   The shed offers a smoke, drug- and alcohol-free, multipurpose space with a range of facilities -
  • a common room for meetings and socialisation;
  • well equiped workshops to enable small construction, repair or restoration projects in wood or metal;
  • a games room equipped with pool table, television, and games;
  • a small library containing fiction, non-fiction as well as hobby and craft books and magazines;
  • a networked computer suite with Internet access used for computer refurbishing and computer tuition;
  • a small office area and display foyer where shed-made products are available for sale;
  • a kitchen for preparing light meals and refreshments, and;
  • an outdoor recreation and garden area.
  Members are justifiably proud of what has become a well recognised, respected and valued community organisation supporting the men of Whyalla.


The Shed's Aims ...

  The objectives of the Shed are to improve the social and emotional well-being of members by providing the opportunity for socialisation, camaraderie, friendship, as well as constructive endeavour and peer support providing members with a sense of identity and purpose.

At the Whyalla Men’s Shed, men can -
  • Pursue hobbies, pastimes and interests;
  • Learn new skills, practice and pass on old skills;
  • Foster male physical, psychological health and well-being;
  • Offer health promotion activities and heath information;
  • Mentor men, young and old, including those affected by unemployment,   social and economic disadvantage, relationship breakdown or bereavement, ill-health and mental illness;
  • By the efforts of the members, contribute to the Shed, families, their friends, and their community

The Benefits of the Men's Shed ...

  Men’s sheds including the Whyalla Men’s Shed demonstrate the social and well-being advantages of learning in a community of like-minded individuals where learning involves practical, productive activities with demonstrable personal and community benefits. Opportunities extend beyond the traditional craft and trade skills and include ways to improve health and fitness, to eat healthily, to plan and prepare meals, to cook, and to foster camaraderie and friendships as well as mentor and support  each other together with those suffering social and economic disadvantage or adversity from physical or mental illness.

 Particular benefits offered by the Whyalla Men’s Shed include:
  • a male friendly environment offering mix of amenities catering to a range interests;
  • reduced social isolation together with a setting that promotes male bonding, camaraderie, purposeful activity and fun;
  • a setting which promotes self esteem, a sense of belonging and purpose, and improved social and emotional wellbeing;
  • well equiped wood and metal workshops that host a range of machinery as well as hand and power tools to enable members to undertake small construction, repair and restoration projects;
  • a suite of networked computers coupled with informal, friendly, computer tuition and technology advice;
  • opportunities –
    • for improved physical and mental activity;
    • to improve health literacy;
    • to mix with men of diverse backgrounds & skills;
    • to talk with/share experiences/problems;
    • for skills development and sharing, and informal, hands-on learning;
    • to assist in planning and decision making;
    • to assist in fundraising and health promotion;
    • to ‘give back’ to the community;
    • to participate in student projects and research;
    • to mentor students and engage with intergenerational learning

   The Shed is member of the Microsoft Refurbisher Program so members can also buy cheap, refurbished computers complete with licensed Microsoft Software for a very reasonable cost. Members also get a 20% discount on ‘retail’ prices of our shop items.

   We also get a generous donation of bread each fortnight from the Whyalla Bakers Delight, which is available free of charge to members. 

The  Management Committee ...

President -
Vice President -
Treasurer -
Secretary -
Members -






Malcom Roberts
Tony Johnstone
Helga Fleming
Brian Marshall
Tony Shaw (Member Rep.)
Bill Hatherly (IT)
Ron Driscombe (WH&S)

0419 851 476
     8644 1093
     8644 1844
0408 849 653
0428 440 125
0428 554 588
     8644 1484
Shed Constitution and Rules ...
File

Whyalla Men's Shed Constitution

Download File
File

Whyalla Men's Shed Expectations of Behaviour

Download File
Frequently Asked Questions ...

What does the shed offer?
  The Shed is a place to have fun. Its purpose is to provide a place and space for men of all ages and backgrounds to come together in a friendly, non-judgmental, positive environment. The Shed is a place where men can socialise, share experiences, learn and teach and undertake productive pursuits for themselves, for the shed and for the Whyalla Community.

Do I have to be an expert tradesman or craftsman in order to join?
    Not at all, in fact some of our members don't know a screw from a nail! Everyone is welcome. If you have skills and experience then we're pleased if you can show/help others, if not, then there is always someone on hand you can ask.

Who can join?
All males 18 years and older who are able to manage independently (i.e. without a carer). Dont' worry if you have a disability or chronic medical condition since you will be in good company. The shed is relatively wheelchair friendly and we have a disabled toilet.

What facilities does the shed have?
  The shed offers a smoke-, drug- and alcohol-free, multipurpose space with a range of facilities –
  • workshops, tools and equipment suitable for small wood and metal construction, repair or restoration projects;
  • a crib/common room for meetings and socialisation;
  • a games room equipped with pool table, television, board and other games;
  • a small library containing fiction, non-fiction as well as hobby and craft books and magazines;
  • a suite of networked computers with NBN Internet access;
  •  computer repairs, refurbishing and tuition;
  • a small office area;
  •  a display foyer where shed-made products are available for sale;
  • a kitchen for preparing light meals and refreshments, and
  • an outdoor recreation and garden area.

What things can I do at the shed?
  Whatever you like, within reason!  There is always something happening at the shed and we have workshops well equipped for small construction, repair or restoration jobs. You can just come and socialise, you can bring in your own projects from home, you can help out with what is happening in the workshops, you can watch TV or a movie,  read or borrow from our library, use our computers, whip up a batch of scones in the kitchen, help out in the garden, hear our guest speakers, get involved with our fundraising activities and even serve on our Management Committee.

How much does it cost to be a member?
  It’s cheap at twice the price! Only $50 per year, that’s just $1 per week. If you can't pay the fee a year in advance (which is what we prefer for administrative ease) then you can pay $5 per month. Note that we don't have casual membership. If paying monthly and you miss a few months you  need to pay any arrears when you return. Where else can you get what is on offer above for that price?

Why do we have to pay?
  The shed is an independently incorporated, self sufficient entity. No-one covers our costs so we have to pay our way, which means being able to cover all our running costs. The annual membership fee primarily covers the cost of insuring our members plus some of the electricity, but that is all. So for other things there are other expenses that must be covered. We do this by charging for things like tea/coffee, materials and the workshop, but we keep these costs to a minimum. The rest of the money comes from our fundraising activities, selling some of the things we make, the odd small grant, small donations and by charging a small fee for the things we make, fix or restore for the community. All money  raised comes back to the shed. 

Are there any other costs?
   Bottomless tea/coffee and bikkies costs $1 per day and you can purchase cans of soft drink or bottled water for $1 each. We have a monthly BBQ which costs $5 per time and includes meat, salad and a can of drink. There is a X-Lotto syndicate and a Social Club each costing $2 per week if you want to join.

  You can also purchase club clothing (short and long sleeve polo shirts, aprons, fleecy zipped tops and bucket hats) all at our cost price.

  Use of the workshop is not free. You have to pay for materials - at our cost price - and there is a small workshop charge, usually $5-10 depending on the size of the project. We agree on the costs before you start the project so there are no arguments down the track. If you bring your own materials the workshop charges still apply.

What are the rules?
  We try to keep things simple and keep members safe. We are here to have fun but we are governed by State Work, Health and Safety Legislation which means there are certain obligations by which the shed and its members are required to abide. For the Shed this means providing a safe working environment and for members this essentially means following safety instructions, safety directions and wearing/using appropriate safety gear.

  To start with when you join the Shed you get an induction as well as a tour of the facilities. Then before you can use any machinery you have to have read and understood the standard operating procedures and be able to demonstrate safe work practices. If you prefer not to use one or other machine or tool, that's fine, there is always someone who can do that for you.

  The rest of the rules are common sense ones, e.g.
  • Above all, come with the intent of having fun and being safe;
  • Treat others with patience and respect;
  • Work safely, follow the safe operating procedures, wear appropriate safety gear and look out   for the safety of others;
  • Don’t use machinery unless you have been trained and are authorised;
  • Make sure there are at least two people in the workshop before using tools or machinery;
  • Clean up after yourself;
  • Put things back where you found them;
  • Report faulty tools, machines or breakages or when items are running low;
  • Report hazards, accidents or near misses;
  • Be helpful inside (share your knowledge and experience) and outside (e.g. with fundraising) the shed;
  • Park only in designated areas;
  • No smoking, alcohol or drugs. <

Who makes the decisions?
  For the most part we try and come to decisions by concensus, at least for the day to day running of things. And as you can imagine, everyone usually has an opinion! But for the tougher decisions, for example about policy and procedures, WH&S or money, we have a Management Committee elected by the shed members, with an Executive consisting of our President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer who are ably supported by number of other Committee members.

Can women join?
   Hmmm … it depends! There's no question that we like the ladies and they are welcome to visit and offer help (and morning tea!) at any time, and we do have a ladies toilet. But hey, it’s a Men’s Shed after all and most  will agree it's good for men to have some time away from the fairer sex and enjoy the fellowship of other men.

   Interest from the local ladies seems to wax and wane. We do have women members but they generally don’t come for the workshop activities. They come for the social events and have helped with secretarial and book-keeping functions in the past, which has been very welcome. Many of the students that come for University  projects have also been women, young ones at that, and whom have enjoyed being at the shed and whom the shedders have enjoyed having around and mentoring. Some of the Work for the Dole participants have also been women. So like most other sheds we don’t purposely exclude women from the Shed.

   That being said there are lots of clubs and activities around town that cater specifically for women, but not much specifically for men, hence the Men’s Shed.  Most wives prefer time away from their men, which is why they send them to the shed in the first place! Similarly, the blokes come to the shed to either get away from their spouses and/or to give them both some ‘me’ time. And since we’ll happily make, fix or restore things for the ladies, they don’t really need to come other than to have look and make sure their men folk are not getting up to mischief.

   There has been talk of one day having ladies days if there is enough interest. But for the moment … it depends!