fix­ing frenzy

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - by KYLIE WIL­SON

PRIDE in giv­ing items a new lease of life, as well as friendly so­cial con­nec­tion and a de­sire to help the en­vi­ron­ment, has brought to­gether peo­ple from all walks of life to form the Wan­garatta Re­pair Café.

The group, which has been work­ing to­gether since spring 2017, is part of a larger in­ter­na­tional move­ment which has gained pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years and has seen the group hold reg­u­lar re­pair ses­sions in the town.

Re­pair Cafés are com­mu­nity-run or­gan­i­sa­tions where vol­un­teers get to­gether to help mem­bers of the pub­lic re­pair their small bro­ken items in or­der to re­duce wastage, keep items out of land­fill and more.

Since be­gin­ning in Wan­garatta, Re­pair Café mem­bers have helped re­pair a range of items, from an­tique clocks to punc­tured bi­cy­cle tyres, vac­uum clean­ers, wool gar­ments and more, and in the process, have kept them out of land­fill.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Richard Paschke said he loves to re­pair things and is also driven to keep rub­bish out of land­fill.

His pas­sion for do­ing so goes back to his younger days liv­ing in Syd­ney, when he “couldn’t be­lieve what was be­ing thrown out,” and de­cided to re­pair things that he found and then sell them.

“The chal­lenge is to find what’s wrong and then de­vise a plan on how to fix it,” HE SAID.

“I think it is im­por­tant to keep things in cir­cu­la­tion as long as pos­si­ble be­fore the ar­ti­cles are sent for re­cy­cling or land­fill.”

Richard said he had a pas­sion for just see­ing how things work, espe­cially older items.

“I like old me­chan­i­cal stuff, it’s pretty amaz­ing,” he said.

Richard said the idea has been well re­ceived in the area.

“It has been pretty good so far – peo­ple love the idea and sup­port it,” he said.

“The Re­pair Café is a great event to be so­cial, chat to peo­ple, and learn some new skills.”

Fel­low mem­ber Luke Stone has been bring­ing his in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ex­pe­ri­ence to the ta­ble to help peo­ple at the Wan­garatta Re­pair Café for sev­eral months now, and said he has a life­long fas­ci­na­tion with find­ing out how things work.

“I’ve al­ways pulled ev­ery­thing apart to see how it works,” he laughed, adding that he loved to re­pair things.

Luke said he has worked on a num­ber of items as part of the re­pair cafe, and has of­ten brought along 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy which has helped him re­pair a num­ber of items.

Th­ese have ranged from print­ing a new clip for a bro­ken kitty lit­ter tray, to re­place­ment parts for TV re­motes, just to name a few.

Fel­low re­pair café mem­ber Gil­lian An­der­son has been sew­ing since she was 16, do­ing ev­ery­thing from mend­ing items to mak­ing her chil­dren’s clothes, and she is proud to lend her tex­tile skills to help peo­ple get more life out of their cloth­ing items.

While she has worked at sev­eral re­pair café events mend­ing peo­ple’s fab­ric items, she can also of­ten be found putting to­gether Boomerang Bags as a sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tive to sin­gle use gro­cery bags, and said she is very com­mit­ted to the en­vi­ron­ment and a sus­tain­able life­style.

“I love do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent, that’s out­side the square,” Gil­lian said.

Fel­low sew­ing en­thu­si­ast Jac­quie Coupe said she en­joys the group’s ethos of “mak­ing do and re­pair­ing” and said she has done ev­ery­thing from darn socks to fix peo­ple’s much loved jew­ellery as part of the Wan­garatta Re­pair Café.

Up­com­ing Wan­garatta Re­pair Café events are sched­uled for 9am-12pm at 99-103 Mur­phy Street, Wan­garatta on May 19, June 16 and July 21.

For fur­ther de­tails, in­clud­ing de­tails on how to lend your skills as a vol­un­teer, go the website at wan­gre­pair­cafe.org or search for Wan­garatta Re­pair Café on Face­book.

PHOTO: Kylie Wil­son

HAVE TOOLS, WILL FIX: Mem­bers of the Wan­garatta Re­pair Café team (from left) Gil­lian An­der­son, Luke Stone, Ro­han La­timer and Richard Paschke.

HARD AT WORK: Luke Stone gets to grips with a re­pair job dur­ing a pre­vi­ous Re­pair Café ses­sion.

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