Spanner in the Works?

a men’s health initiative by the Australian Men’s Shed Association

Spanner in the Works? is a program designed to provide key health messages to men in a form that is understandable and achievable. Although the program was originally designed for Men’s Sheds it has proved to be easily adapted to other groups.

Spanner in the Works? is not about telling men what to do, but sets out some things that men can do (or not do) to improve their health and their chances of a longer and happier life. It gives men the opportunity to make adjustments as they see fit. Often minor adjustments can have a major impact on health, relationships with loved ones and friends and work.

The program has the following main aims to provide basic health screening and advice to men:

  • utilising the staff resources of the local health service
  • referring men to health professionals (as appropriate)
  • Providing “male friendly” health information and health awareness through the Spanner in the Works? booklet
  • Having local health service providers and local men engage with each other

Spanner in the Works? should not be considered a replacement for a check-up by your GP.

What to do if your community group would like to run Spanner in the Works?

Step 1

Consult with your group to decide whether you wish to run a Spanner in the Works? event. Review the Spanner in the Works? Overall Outline to help you make a decision. It will take some time and effort on the part of your group.

Step 2

Contact your local health service to get them involved. You will need some of their staff to be able to carry out the screening process and advise participants regarding their health needs. Provide the health service with the Spanner in the Works? Overall Outline to assist their decision to be involved in your event. When looking for you local health services they might be called:

  • Community Health Service/Centre
  • Primary Health Care Service/Centre
  • Population Health Service/Centre
  • Health Promotion Service/Centre

You may also wish to try your local GP/Doctors Practice. If you are unsuccessful with one organisation then try another. Health organisations do like to have plenty of notice so talk to them early.

You can also refer to our Health Speakers & Info Contact Guide for a comprehensive list of health organisation ‘Peak Bodies’ (the experts in their field) who can provide guest speakers for Men’s Sheds and men’s health events.

Step 3

In consultation with your local supporting health service set a date and time that the event can be run. You might like to link the event up with some other local event being held to make the most of people being around and/or you can “value add” to the program by organising some healthy food or guest speakers etc.

Step 4

  • Complete the Spanner In The Works Registration Form and then email to When the registration form is received by AMSA we will:
    • Mail you brochures (A5) and posters(A3) to help you promote the event in your community
    • Mail you the booklets needed for each participant at the event.
      Please allow at least two (2) weeks for the booklets to arrive. If your group is not a Men’s Shed then there is a small charge for each booklet plus the cost of postage.
  • Download the generic Spanner in the Works? event Media Release. Feel free to modify the media release to suit your local needs before distributing to your local media outlets.

Step 5

Promote your event within your local community well ahead of time using the brochures, posters and media release.

Step 6

Run your event with the support of your local health service.

Step 7

After your event, please provide us with feedback using our Spanner in the Works? Feedback form. Please follow the guidelines to complete the form and email to

We also appreciate feedback from your partner health organisation (one feedback form from the community group’s point of view and one form from the health worker’s point of view).

Support and Contact

Spanner in the Works? is an initiative of Australian Men’s Shed Association. Enquiries can be made to:


Phone 1300 550 009