SHEDDING TRADITIONS – The young man who’s turning Men’s Sheds traditions upside down

The words Men’s Shed conjures up images of old blokes tinkering away their days with bits of wood. And for many such sheds around Australia, this is true. But there’s a shed in country New South Wales prioritising gender inclusiveness, sustainability and growing food for the community, and it’s all the better for it.

It was 2017 when Matthew Day was asked to take on the role of secretary at the Gundagai Men’s Shed. The former committee had been disbanded and the place was in debt. Aged just 32, he reluctantly agreed, agreeing to step in until someone more appropriate could take over.

It wasn’t all bad. Aware he’d missed the opportunity to learn skills from his own grandfathers, he conceded he could probably do with the hands-on mentoring that came with it. And as a long-term renter, he could see the benefits of sharing tools, a workspace and resources.