Above (standing from left) Matt Trainor from the Masonic Lodge, a continuing supporter of MSWA; Bob Coventry, MSWA Development and Disability/Inclusion/Veterans Officer and past MSWA President Kevin Buckland. Caught on the left is MSWWA’s new Executive Assistant Rebecca Herbener.

Dear Shedders and friends of Men’s Sheds of WA

What a year! We have again experienced a very busy year where much has been achieved but has uncovered a heap of work still to be done!

Following advice from Minister McGurk, earlier in the year, the Board recommended an urgent focus on seeking greater ongoing sustainability for our organisation. The Men’s Sheds WA team has subsequently worked very hard to deliver on some major goals. I am sure you will agree that the following will produce considerable benefits for sheds across WA:

  • Secured Peak funding through to Dec 2024 – Department of Communities has awarded almost 5 years of funding to provide sustainability to Men’s Sheds WA; recognising our organisation as the Peak body for our sector in the State.
  • Secured additional project funding to mid-2021– Lotterywest has awarded a grant to help improve our services to sheds in WA. This will help us to develop more and better resources for our sheds. You will start to see the results very soon beginning with work we have undertaken to bring our newsletters and web page up to date and interactive to keep you informed and to give sheds a voice.
  • Valuable appointments in supporting our members: We started the year by appointing Keith Wilson as our Vice Patron, Richard McAllister as our Chaplain and later Bob Coventry as our Veterans project officer. Bill Johnstone also took up an offer to become a development officer.
  • Bi-annual conferences – The decision to hold bi-annual conferences was made earlier in the year; the 2020 conference site of Manjimup was selected after a survey.
  • First aid training – With thanks to Masonic Care, we have been able to continue offering subsidies for sheds to undertake First Aid training; in addition, we are now able to offer subsidies for mental health training. (More to come on this, watch this space)
  • Support for veterans – With thanks to support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs we have been able to further our work in supporting our many veterans and to assist them in participating in Men’s Shed activities.
  • Governance work – The Board approved 10 Principals of Governance, a delegations policy and terms of reference for our committees. The Board has made an additional commitment to improve our governance policies and procedures and we will work on this in early 2020.
  • Men’s Sheds surveys – an amazing 66% response rate to our survey provided information about shed sizes, memberships and what services shed’s need and want. This is a great help to our work and will underpin our future service provision. Surveys have already helped in planning the distribution of defibrillators for the Federal Department of Health and have informed our work with Treasury on DGR status for sheds.
  • Memorandums of understanding with the Perron Institute and Curtin University. This will link in with our approved Lotterywest grant and we will start working with them in the new year.
  •  “Bins for Blokes” – we have been involved in this campaign, developing the placement of bins in male toilets for incontinence materials.
  • State and National bodies – A great step forward! – I am very pleased to announce that we, alongside other State Associations, are making positive steps in rebuilding relationships with the national body. The Board and I have been communicating with AMSA and other State representatives to determine a way forward that is workable for all parties. More info can be found on the MSA website. All that I ask is that the sheds of W.A. join with us in this endeavour by being positive and supporting cooperation from the bottom up.
  • A new CEO and EA! – James Wild has now taken up the position of CEO and will be supported in his role by the appointment of Rebecca Herbener as EA. They bring a wealth of experience and the opportunity to have new eyes look at things we are doing and need to take on board. Much of the above is thanks to the hard work of the outgoing postholders, Gary and Margaret. After many years of dedicated service to Men’s Sheds WA and to sheds throughout the State, Gary and Margaret are retiring. We wish them well as they take more time to travel and attend the sporting events they both enjoy. The Board has officially thanked Gary and Margaret and made a presentation to them on behalf of all the sheds and Men’s Sheds WA.

Now to the really important bit. The Board of MSWA wishes all W.A. sheds and shedders together with their families and loved ones a very happy and healthy Christmas and New year. Please live safely look after each other and come back in 2020 with the expectation that it will be our best year ever.


Trevor Taylor
President, Men’s Sheds of WA

Below A portable table with holders for glasses and a bottle, specially engraved and presented to Gary and Margaret in recognition of their years of service. A speciality product of Bicton Men’s Shed.