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VMSA Special Bulletin May 2017




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Victorian Men's Shed Association Inc
Postal  P.O. Box 211 Bulleen Vic 3105
Web    http://www.vmsa.org.au
Incorporation No A0050700Y
Australian Business No 44 206 931 360

Dear Member

VMSA Bulletin

For all Members, Sheds, Auspicing Bodies and Stakeholders.

11 May 2017

To all Victorian Men’s Shed Members,

Re: Victorian Men’s Shed Association's termination of its membership with Australian Men’s Shed Association.


The Victorian Men’s Shed Association, (VMSA), is an Incorporated Association and is acknowledged as the peak body representing approximately 350 Men’s Sheds in Victoria.

Our Committee of Management is represented by 9 elected volunteer members from the member Sheds in Victoria.

The Australian Men’s Shed Association, (AMSA), is a Company Limited by Guarantee. The State Directors of the National Board are nominated by the State Associations, and 3 Independent Directors are nominated by the Board. (The Western Australian Men’s Shed Association and the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association are not members of AMSA). Once appointed as a Director of AMSA, the Director’s role becomes first and foremost the betterment of AMSA.

Whilst individual Sheds are referred to as members of AMSA, they have no voting power in the decisions made by AMSA.

As most Sheds are aware, there have been ongoing discussions between the VMSA and AMSA, in regard to the By-Laws adopted by the AMSA Board on the 3rd June 2016.

The VMSA advised AMSA that it was not possible to adopt the proposed changes in the short time line provided i.e. by the 30th of June 2016, as it would require changes to the VMSA’s Constitution. These changes would have to be taken to all VMSA member Sheds at a special meeting, and a vote in favour by 75% of our members Sheds would be required.

The VMSA Committee undertook a comprehensive consultation with its member Sheds via discussions with individual Sheds and groups of Sheds, and at Cluster meetings, at its AGM at Geelong in November 2016 and at the VMSA Gathering at Bendigo in March 2017. The VMSA has kept Sheds informed via newsletters, special bulletins, Cluster meetings and the above State-wide Gatherings to ensure that all Sheds had as much current information as possible to inform and enable Sheds to discuss and to be aware of these concerns.

The overwhelming advice that the VMSA has had from Sheds, Cluster meetings and Gatherings is, “We understand the need for a national representational body, but if, through meetings and discussions, agreement cannot be achieved the VMSA should sever ties with AMSA”.

After eleven months of discussions, and the lack of communication, transparency and consultation from AMSA, there has been no resolution to these issues. The VMSA has invested much time, effort and expense in this process and this has taken the focus away from working with and for our member Sheds.

The VMSA Committee has now taken the decision to terminate its membership with AMSA. The VMSA strongly reaffirms its continued focus as the peak body for Men’s Sheds in Victoria in supporting the needs and requirements of our member Sheds. This decision has not been taken without a lot of consideration of the views of our members.

A copy of the VMSA letter to the Chairman of the AMSA Board is attached.

PDF version of the resignation letter

What does this mean for our Shed?

The VMSA will continue to represent Men’s Sheds in Victoria, and will operate as it always has in working for and supporting new and existing Sheds in Victoria.

We will continue to:

  • Provide advice, support and guidance to new and existing Sheds in Victoria.
  • Assist in the development of Governance such as OH&S, Insurance, MOU’s and the roles and responsibilities of committee members.
  • Work with the Department of Health and Human Services in obtaining funding under the Strengthening Men’s Shed Programme to assist with the building of new Sheds and refurbishment of existing buildings.
  • Develop partnerships with businesses and community organisations that allow for the distribution of tools, equipment and materials to Men’s Sheds in Victoria.
  • Develop sponsorship opportunities for Victorian Sheds and businesses to enable the VMSA and Sheds to continue to provide new opportunities for their members and their communities.
  • Provide information sharing forums, such as the VMSA Website, Facebook, the Newsletter, and at Gatherings, Clusters and special events as well as the opportunity for training.
  • To work with other stakeholders in furthering Men’s Health and Wellbeing through resources, programmes and events and in ensuring the importance of Men’s Sheds in our communities across Victoria.

Do we need to be members of VMSA and AMSA?

The VMSA does not impose any restrictions on Sheds in regard to choosing their own affiliations, hence if your Shed makes the choice to continue their membership of AMSA, this will not affect your affiliations with VMSA.

If you choose not to be a member of AMSA, that is your choice. The VMSA does remind you that AMSA membership is based on a financial year, and that you may have already paid or renewed your AMSA membership by paying their $200.00 membership fee or by taking out their Group Insurance scheme.

VMSA Membership.

In late May 2017, the VMSA will be forwarding membership renewals for 2017 – 2018 and these are payable by 1st July 2017. The cost of the annual membership fee as agreed at our last Annual General Meeting will be $55.00.

Should you have any queries or wish to discuss any concerns that you or your Shed may have, please do not hesitate to contact the Executive Officer of the VMSA, Ric. Blackburn,
mobile 0408 465228 or

I thank you for your ongoing support of the VMSA.

Yours sincerely and with kind regards to all,

Lindsay Oates

State President 2016 – 2017 Mobile: 0408 343 531






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