Introduction & History
Welcome to the Men’s Shed Maitland Inc. operating as Maitland Community Men’s Shed. We are a not for profit organisation of local men, mostly retired or no longer working, looking to share their skills with others and learn new skills, undertake personal and Shed projects as well as giving back to the local Community.
In 2007, collaboration between the Rutherford/Telarah, Maitland, Maitland Sunrise and East Maitland Rotary Clubs, East Maitland Lions Club, Maitland City Council and the Uniting Church Morpeth led to the formation of MEN’S SHED MAITLAND INC. Their priorities were to secure a suitable site and undertake the construction of a Men’s Shed facility for the Maitland community.
In 2008 MEN’S SHED MAITLAND INC entered into a MOU with CatholicCare Hunter Manning as auspicing body to assist in securing funding for the construction of the facility. Since 2002, CatholicCare had been involved in the Men’s Shed movement and had successfully developed the Windale Men’s Shed, one of the first Men’s Sheds in the Hunter Valley.
In April 2009 Crown Land in Jubilee Street East Maitland was gazetted to MEN’S SHED MAITLAND INC as Trustees to enable the construction of infrastructure to serve as a community based Mens’ Shed facility.
In September 2009 CatholicCare Hunter Manning was successful in securing an Australian Government grant under the Get Communities Working and Local Jobs funding stream through Department of Employment, Education & Workplace Relations (DEEWR). These funds were used towards:
- Constructing the Maitland Community Men’s Shed.
- Employing a coordinator for the Maitland Project for two years.
Construction was completed in May 2010 and the Shed was officially opened by the Member for Hunter, Hon Joel Fitzgibbon in 7 May 2010. The event was also attended by the Hon Warren Snowden (the then Minister for Male Health) and Tim Mathieson, then Patron of the Australian Men’s Shed Association
What is a Men's Shed?
One point of view is that a men's shed is a meeting place where men can enjoy male company, swap ideas, participate in community or individual projects and discuss general health and wellbeing. Another point of view is that a men's shed is a place to learn new skills and to perform meaningful tasks whilst caring for men's health risks. There are many other view points as to what a men's shed is all about but the main one is the health and welfare of men.
What are the benefits of a Men's Shed?
Men's Sheds have as their primary objective to advance the health and wellbeing of male members and to provide a safe, friendly environment where men feel they belong and are able to work on meaningful projects in the company of other men. Men's Sheds strives to improve the quality of life for men by addressing mens health issues and the need for organised but low level/achievable activities for mature people. They are located across the Newcastle and Hunter Valley area and have continued to grow since their inception in 2007. The Men's Sheds are a non-profit association of men's sheds in the Hunter area.
The members of the Men's Sheds support each other and they continue to be the benchmark for shed networking. Each shed maintains the common vision of sharing information, assisting new communities to develop sheds, sharing of tools and materials and sharing friendship and companionship with others, thereby taking men’s health issues and awareness to a higher level. It's aim is to promote the health of The Men's Sheds members by providing ongoing information, education and awareness in all aspects of men’s health where and when at all possible and also to assist other sheds in any aspect of their operations where and when requested or as needed if possible.
Each shed operates as an independent entity with activities and objects pertinent to each location. Men's Sheds support one another by providing a mechanism/network to gather and discuss responsibilities, activities and support whilst offering suggestions of how other sheds may improve their system and facilities. They also share training systems and investigate opportunities to provide continuous improvement for the Men's Shed movement.
The NBN Project
In 2016, a unique joint venture was formed between the Maitland and Ballarat Easts Men's Shed, NBN and The Block. The collaboration was aimed at creating a virtual co-build project that would bring together skilled tradesmen and enthusiastic DIYers from all over Australia.
The project was designed to showcase the capabilities of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and how it could be used to bring people together from different parts of the country to work collaboratively on a single project. The Maitland and Ballarat Easts Men's Shed were selected as partners for the project due to their reputation for delivering high-quality, community-based projects and their expertise in woodworking and metalwork.
The virtual co-build project involved a group of 12 volunteers who were divided into two teams of six. Each team was tasked with building a unique structure - one team built a garden shed, while the other team built a chicken coop. The teams were supported by a group of experienced tradesmen who provided guidance and expertise throughout the build process.
The project was facilitated through a dedicated online platform that allowed the teams to communicate and collaborate in real-time. This platform was powered by the NBN, which provided high-speed internet connectivity to all participants, regardless of their location.
The virtual co-build project was a huge success, with both teams completing their structures within the allocated time frame. The project received widespread media coverage and was hailed as a ground-breaking example of how technology can be used to bring people together to work on a common goal.
The success of the project also demonstrated the potential of virtual collaboration in other fields, such as education and training. By leveraging the power of the NBN, people from all over the country could come together to share their skills and knowledge, regardless of their physical location.
The joint venture between the Maitland and Ballarat Easts Men's Shed, NBN and The Block was a testament to the power of collaboration and the potential of technology to bring people together. The virtual co-build project was an innovative and inspiring example of how technology can be used to break down geographical barriers and create meaningful connections between people from different parts of the world.