Men’s Sheds: Communicating Accountability

Membership of the Men’s Shed Association in Tasmania: An Exploration of Value, Accountability and Communication

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

29 October 2021

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The Tasmanian Men’s Sheds Program aims to connect isolated men, who may have recently exited formal workplaces, with other members of their local community. The 60 registered Tasmanian Sheds are supported by both the Australian Federal Government and the Tasmanian State Government, with grant funding provided to, and administered by, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) and the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association (TMSA).

Membership of a Men’s Shed provides many benefits including improved health and wellbeing, connectivity with community, mentorship opportunities, and learning new skills. The activities and programmes offered by Men’s Sheds help build strong and resilient communities by enhancing the skills and wellbeing of members.

In line with the CoBE research direction of ‘Better Work and Wellbeing’, this project aims to understand and identify the positive experiences of members of Tasmanian Men’s Sheds. From a Social Marketing perspective, the project aims to identify how these positive experiences are framed and communicated to current and prospective members of Tasmanian Men’s Sheds, and other identified stakeholders. Through application of a Dialogic Accounting framework, the project aims to identify to whom an accountability obligation is owed (that is, who are the key stakeholders?) and how such obligation is discharged, mindful of the ‘at-risk’ demographic and low levels of functional literacy in Tasmania.

It is anticipated that the findings of this action research project will lead to improved evaluation and communication of the various positive social impacts generated by the sheds and provide valuable insight into such benefit which can then be used as part of the respective decision-making processes of current and future members, policy makers, Men’s Shed management, and funding providers. The findings of the research will be communicated through high-quality academic papers, industry reports and media and community engagement. The results of the study will provide valuable insights and direction for the TMSA and the AMSA, as well as providing meaningful recommendations for Men’s Sheds and similar non-profit organisations operating internationally.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Heinrich Oosthuizen

Funding

Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Eligibility

The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Domestic Student actively engaged or well-versed in the Tasmanian non-profit sector

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Proven Research record
  • A passion for advancing social welfare

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Heinrich Oosthuizen, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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