About Robert John Collins
Robert John Collins I am Secretary of a peak not for profit organisation known as The Queensland Men’s Shed Association Inc. (QMSA) charged with the advancement and promotion of the 240 Men’s Sheds in the State of Queensland Australia. Men’s Sheds are community based, not for profit, non – commercial organisations that are accessible to all men and whose primary activity is a safe and friendly environment in which all can meet and work in the company of others. Our focus as a service provider, is to recognise the needs of Queensland Men’s Sheds and the communities they serve. Our major objective rests in assisting Sheds grow their knowledge base to ensure the individual management groups promote, forward and maintain matters relating to members mental and general health and Shed governance, operating practices and procedures and contribute in a meaningful way to their communities. To meet our objective of growing the Shed Movement within Queensland the QMSA recognises the need to provide programs that enhance the capability and knowledge level of all 240 Sheds in the state. It is reasonable to assume that all these Sheds have a level of motivation to provide the best possible environment and facilities for the health, wellbeing and enjoyment of their members. The ability of many Sheds, however, to achieve their goals are significantly impacted by a lack of necessary skills and capabilities in the form of available professional and technical expertise among the Shed members. The QMSA has commenced a programme to conduct workshops in each of the (9) zones in Queensland. The events are built around attracting and inviting keynote speakers with proven expertise and practical knowledge in their fields including Health, Administration, Shed Management and Governance. Each of the workshops are hosted by a Shed within the zone. All Sheds within the zone are encouraged to actively participate in the workshop with provision for Q & A sessions and the exchange of information between Sheds. The QMSA reaches out to Sheds with this level of support, together with individual one on one counselling and other initiatives aimed not only at improving their effectiveness but also enhancing the value of the movement within society. Men’s Sheds provide significant benefit in promoting and maintaining health and wellbeing particularly to the more senior members in the community. Many of the Sheds in Queensland enjoy a level of support through their presence within their communities. This assistance often includes that provided by their parliamentary and local government representatives. The QMSA is aware and appreciative of this support of our Sheds, however, the Queensland Men’s Shed Association which is working for the overall Shed Movement is not so readily recognised. We are in need of Government funding and assistance through partnership to provide the necessary stimulus that would enable us to undertake programmes aimed at placing our Queensland Sheds at the forefront of the movement in Australia.
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