In most places we visit there is evidence of significant numbers of local men experiencing health and emotional problems and becoming disconnected from their communities and families. This was in contrast to many who enjoy their remote lifestyle, who are usually people of some means.
Problems typically range through isolation, unemployment (particularly with Indigenous men) loneliness and depression, as well as mental and physical disabilities and alcohol abuse.
Our findings have been reinforced by the Flying Doctors that men are the same everywhere, when it comes to looking after their health. There is a gap between men and the Health Professionals, a gap that a well run men's shed can help to bridge.
Despite the remoteness of the communities we have visited, there is substantial economic potential for the men's sheds to build on, including arts and crafts, tourism, certain forms of agriculture and environmental management.
Remote living can be a wonderful way of life. However, for those men who are not golfers, bowlers, club goers, or who are not interested in joining in a beer of a night at the local, living in these areas can be isolated, lonely and often depressing. Of course, there are many men who live in these remote areas, who simply can't afford to take part in any of the above.