Men's health - A Spanner in the Works

David Helmers
David Helmers

The Australian Men's Shed Association (AMSA) is reminding Australian men their 'annual service' is due this Men's Health Week (June 10-16), using their well-known male health initiative 'Spanner in the Works'.

Unfortunately, there's still a great deal of stigma around many men's health issues.

Men's Health Week is an opportunity to encourage men to take notice and play an active part in maintaining good health and well-being.

AMSA, the peak body supporting almost 1000 men's sheds and recognised as one of Australia's largest male based community development organisations, was established in 2007 to represent, support and promote the movement. It was founded on the principle of sharing information between sheds and those communities wishing to establish and operate a men's shed and it acts as a central hub for information exchange.

'Spanner in the Works' has been a hugely successful tool for us in engaging men in our message. It provides men with an accessible platform to understand the importance of maintaining a proactive approach to their health - likening the human body to a vehicle or piece of machinery.

Most blokes understand the consequences of poor vehicle maintenance and are usually quite particular about maintaining their machinery.

However, when it comes to looking after their most important piece of machinery - themselves - men often overlook preventative maintenance and an annual service.

The male health initiative was launched by AMSA to provide Men's Shed members with a nonthreatening platform advocating for a proactive approach to positive health and well-being, as well as an annual check-up with a local GP.

During Men's Health Week in 2019, AMSA is launching a refurbished toolkit in collaboration with men's health organisation Healthy Male (previously Andrology Australia).

With the help of our partner CRC Industries, we've worked with Healthy Male to refurbish and expand the reach of 'Spanner in the Works' by developing the health promotion toolkit for health professionals to effectively use the tool well beyond Men's Sheds.

The refurbished 'Spanner in the Works' program will officially launch at the Darwin leg of the Supercars Championship on Friday, June 14. Visit to find out more.

  • AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers