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Blue mountains at Katoomba

About us

wmagigThe Men's Shed movement began in Australia in the 1990s. There were concerns about men's health, but there was little encouragement in Australian culture for men to meet and talk over their issues. However, men were comfortable with the concept of the backyard shed, where many would go on a regular basis to potter about and work on projects. So the concept was born of a community-based shed as a place where men could go to meet other men, socilise and work on projects.

The Katoomba Men’s Shed is a not for profit community organisation affiliated with Australian Men’s Shed Association. It aims to promote the health and well being of men, and provides an opportunity for men to share time together,  swap yarns and work together on community projects.

Since its establishment in 2005, the Shed's dedicated volunteers have donated their time and skills to restore the old Light Horse stables at Katoomba Showground into a Men's Shed.

The shed has a well equipped workshop, but it is so much more than a workshop space. The facilities are being developed all the time, to further the objectives of the movement.

sept15-thumbNoise from the Shed is the Katoomba Men's Shed newsletter. Our aim is to issue the newsletter four times each year, in February, May, August and November.  Earlier newsletters are also available below.

Contributions are welcome, provided they fit with the Shed's objectives. Send articles to the email address shown at the end of each edition of the newsletter (the email address is not listed on the website to avoid being harvested for spam).

Solutions for puzzles

Puzzles were first introduced to the KMS newsletter in the August 2017 edition. Solutions will be posted on the website one week after the newsletter is published. Open the Puzzle solutions page.

Guide for contributions

What projects can the Shed help with?

Our Shed's ability and willingness to undertake particular projects depends on a number of factors:

  • The type of work is a very important consideration. As a not-for-profit organisation, we try not to do work that could compete with local busnesses and workers.
  • We are reulctant to take on projects away from the Shed, because taking volunteers away from the Shed can easily work against our primary purpose - which is to provide a place for men to be in the company of other men. 
  • The skills we have available vary over time and depend a lot on the current committments of our volunteers.

It may also help to understand that we are a not-for-profit organisation that is sometimes in a position to undertake community projects, rather than an organisation focussed on providing community services.

Our primary community service is addressing men's health and related issues, by providing a place for men to gather and do men's 'stuff'. Our ability to do other community projects is a by-product of our activities, rather than our main purpose.

Having said all that, if you have a project that you would like the Shed to help with, use the question form on the right to send us a message. It does not hurt to ask!

 

Friends of KMS

Friends of KMS is an email based mailing list for people who want to keep in touch with the Katoomba Men's Shed. It is intended for people who are not current members, but support or are interested in the Shed.

The mailing list is used sparingly, to deliver newsletters and ocassional updates or announcements. Subscribers can remove themselves fro the list at any time they choose. A link to unsubscribe is included on each message.

Subscribing to Friends of KMS.

You can become a member of Friends of KMS by sending an email message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will receive an email in reply that will allow you to join the group. Note: You must confirm your subscription before it takes effect. This is to protect you from being subscribed without your knowledge or permission. If you experience any problems subscribing, use the form to the right to send a request and the administrator will add you to the list manually.

The Shed is committed to protecting your privacy and your details are not available to other subscribers and even access within the Shed is limited to those who manage the system.

Unsubscribing from Friends of KMS

Instructions will be included in every message, explaining how to remove your email address from the mailing list. This is an automated function of Google Groups and does not require us at the Shed to do anything. You can unsubscribe at any time by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 If you have any problems, Contact the Shed and we will remove your name from the list manually.

About Katoomba Men's Shed

The Katoomba Men’s Shed is a not for profit community organisation affiliated with Australian Men’s Shed Association. It aims to promote the health and well being of men, and provides an opportunity for men to share time together,  swap yarns and work together on projects.

The Men's Shed movement began in Australia in the 1990s. There were concerns about men's health, but there was little encouragement in Australian culture for men to meet and talk over their issues. However, men were comfortable with the concept of the backyard shed, where many would go on a regular basis to potter about and work on projects. So the concept was born of a community-based shed as a place where men could go to meet other men, socilise and work on projects.

Established in 2005, the Katoomba Men's Shed is based at the Katoomba Showground in a building that has served as a light horse stables, show pavillion and trotting stables. The men put in many hours of volunteered work to convert the stables into a functioning Men's Shed. Generous donations and a few strategic purchases have established a very functional workshop, a well-equipped computer laboratory and comfortable relaxation and meeting spaces.

It now bosts almost 100 members and is open 4 days each week. 

Objectives

The objectives of our Shed are established in the Shed rules (Constitution). They are:

To advance the health and well-being of our members by providing a safe and happy environment where skilled and unskilled men can, in the company of other men,
(a) Pursue hobbies, pastimes and interests
(b) Learn new skills, practice and pass on old skills
(c) Learn about their own and other men's health and well-being
(d) By their efforts, contribute to their families, their friends, the Shed and their community
(e) Mentor younger men

Related information

How does it work?

The Shed can be whatever members want it to be! Some men just drop in from time-to-time for a yarn and some company, others spend whole days at the Shed.

Some members concentrate on projects that help the Shed or the community, others use the facilities for their own private projects.

Many Sheddies pick one or more days and make those their 'Shed' days. This means you are likely to bump into different people on different days of the week.

A profile of a typical day may give you a better isea - in this case it was a Thursday. Half a dozen members were working on a project that generates some income for the Shed (assembling display items for the local Big W store). In another room, our leatherwork expert was helping two men make a belt. There were also several blokes in the tea room just having a chat by the fire, while another member worked away painting a model truck. Everyone gathered for morning tea and lunch before returning to their projects.

Can women attend?

Like Men's Shed's in other places, the Katoomba Men's Shed seeks to address issues of men‟s health, isolation, loneliness and depression which are becoming major issues for men and their families. Our Shed is open to all men, including vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated men, men with disabilities and men experiencing major life changes, such as  chronic illness, bereavement and family breakdown. We encourage mateship, communication and a sense of self worth by connecting men with each other through the sharing of practical and creative skills in a non-threatening environment. Some isolated and disadvantaged men struggle to relate to women and feel uncomfortable in their presence. Such feelings can limit the attendance of these men.

In many ways, the Men's Shed is a Men's Health Centre - but men are happy to come along because they can relate to a 'Shed'.

The Katoomba Men's Shed Rules (Constitution) do not limit membership to men. Any application for membership from a woman will be considered with the objectives of the Shed in mind. For example:

  • An application from a woman wishing to become a member just so she can use the workshop facilities may not be supported if her frequent presence is likely to discourage men from spending time at the Shed. In this case, the membership would do little to further the Shed's goals, and could in fact work against them.
  • However, if a woman wishes to become a member and attend the Shed in the capacity of carer for a male relative or friend, the application would probably be supported. In this case the membership is directly relevant to the Shed's objectives. The Shed is a voluntary organisation and cannot normally provide carers. Without the carer's presence, the man concerned would be denied the very benefits that the Shed is set up to provide.

I don’t live in the Blue Mountains. Is there a shed in my area?

There are sheds all around Australia, and the idea is spreading to other countries throughout the world. New sheds are being opened all the time. Assuming that you are in Australia, you may be able to find a Men's Shed near you by using the 'Find a Shed' page on Australian Men’s Shed Association web site.

Where is the Katoomba Men's Shed located?

We are located in the old Trotting Pavilion in Katoomba Showground at 6 Orient St, Katoomba That is west across the Showground from Katoomba Hospital. See the Contacts page for more details and a map.

When is Katoomba Men’s Shed open?

See the Work days page for opening days and hours.

Please turn up on any day that we are open to have a look around and talk to someone about the Shed. Keep in mind that we are a voluntary organisation and the openning hours are at the sole discretion of the 'Day Coordinator' on any given day. If there are no men at the Shed, the coordinator may well close up early!

Who can attend?

If you are a man, young or old, of any background and with any level of ability, and you are willing to share your company, skills and wisdom with other men, then you can become a Shed member (known as a 'Sheddie').

Visitors are  welcome, but for insurance and legal liability reasons, you must become a member, or be part of an approved course or program, to attend regularly or to use any of the Shed's equipment.

Our constitution is not specific as to who can become a member, but it is expected that a person's membership will be consistent with the organisation's purpose and objectives. (Please also see the earlier question on women joining the Shed.)

As far as the Katoomba Men's Shed is concerned, a 'man' is a male person at least 18 years old'. There are a number of legal and safety issues related to people under 18 years of age. A special policy applies to members bringing their children and grandchildren to the Shed - see the Children at the Shed - members relatives policy.

Who runs the shed?

The Katoomba Men's Shed is a non-profit incorporated association. It is run by the men who use it, through a Management Committee. The Committee meets once a month and is open and all members to attend. Committee membership is voluntary and election of officers is held at the AGM. We are registered with the Australian Men’s Shed Association, but are otherwise not affiliated with any outside organisation. We receive only occasional limited funding from government bodies.

Can I get a refund of my fees if I decide not to continue?

Membership and joining fees are generally not refundable. If there are special circumstances, the Shed's Management Committee may consider making an exception.

If you are not sure whether the Shed will suit you, we suggest that you attend for a few days as a visitor to try it out. You won't be able to use any of the workshop machinery (for insurance reasons), but you will be able join in any group projects that are under way and have a yarn with the other men.

Keep in mind that the annulal membership fees are very modest and cover little more than the basic insurance costs. Most of the daily running costs are covered by the daily attendance fees, which you don't incur if you don't attend.

How is the Shed funded?

The Katoomba Men's Shed is  afilliated with the Australian Men's Sheds Association, but is a separate and independant legal entity, registererd as an Incorporated Association. The Shed is entirely self-funded. A substantial proportion of our income comes from the members themselves through annual membership and daily attendance fees. We also recieve some income from work carried out at the Shed, including assembly work for Big-W, fees for ocassional courses, sale of surplus equipment and ad-hoc repair jobs done for members of the public. Our internet connection is funded by the Australian Government Broadband for Senior's program. We recieve frequent donations of tools, equipment and material from members of the public, and in the past have received some generous financial grants donations for the development of the facility. These are acknowledged on our Sponsors and Supporters page.

The Shed has use of a facility owned by the Blue Mountains City Council, for which it is very grateful. In return, the Shed members maintain and enhance the building, which has some historical significance to the local community.