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Melbourne Repair Cafe

Home > Melbourne > Antiques | Community Centres | Community Events | Free | Vintage and Retro
by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published April 19th 2017
Save the day and save your pay, repair don't replace
Melbourne Repair Cafe finds a new way
Melbourne Repair Cafe finds a new way

We seem to have entered an era of throwing away "everything" as $2 dollar shops flood the market. And these cheap products seem to break after a very short time, so we just throw them out and buy a new one. As a result, our tips and landfills are overflowing. I personally have seen antique art deco dressers in mint condition, just tipped over the edge into the concrete abyss at the local tip. I would have loved just one. I was so tempted to yell stop and make a complete fool of myself. Thinking back, I should have.

This scares me. Antique dealership are feeling the squeeze and it is difficult to find a furniture restorer or ceramics repairer. I've tried. These ancient arts or being lost in this take up of high plastic housing decor and cupboards. I really do feel like we are now living in a Barbie world of plastic fantastic.

In some ways, it is good to see less trees being cut down as we need the oxygen, but in another way, we are throwing away so many valuable things, rather than repairing or restoring them. Everyone seems to want everything shiny, new and cheap, thus the boom of certain stores around Australia, importing these items and selling out fast.

Danny fixes those garden hoses for a new lease on life
Danny fixes those garden hoses for a new lease on life

But there is hope, a growing voice in the world, starting with Martine Postma. According to the website, "The Repair Café was initiated by Martine Postma. Since 2007, she has been striving for sustainability at a local level in many ways - as a journalist, publicist, local politician, entrepreneur, citizen and consumer. Her special focus has always been to decrease the amount of waste we produce as a society." In October 2009 in Amsterdam West, this wonderful visionary lady created the concept of Repair Cafes.

Bikes made new again with a friend
Bikes made new again with a friend

These are FREE meeting places where you and me or three can gather together and bring our valuable things to repair with the help of local experts. You will be one of many souls who will want to reclaim those special things that can continue to have a long and further illustrious life with the right patch, fix, tweak or touch up. And you will make wonderful like-minded friends at the same time.

For every one item you fix, you save money on not buying a new cheap imitation and help lower CO2 emissions as demand for these items goes down. Your bank balance will thank you too. All it takes is time spent with friends. So grab up your goods, hunt your local op shop, or clear out the shed and come together at the Yarraville Community Centre.

Tools galore to learn about and explore
Tools galore to learn about and explore
They have all the tools and materials, to help you make any repairs you need.

Restring the thing and make it sing again
Restring the thing and make it sing again

According to the Barbara Ranginui, of the Melbourne West Repair Cafe "We help you make repairs on clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, etc. You'll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields to start you on your fulfilling journey. Visitors bring their broken items from home. In the Repair Café, they start making their repairs, together with the specialists. It's an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee."

And it is FREE; well I'll be. I have two special art deco figurines and I will be heading down to a local Repair Cafe asap.

So make the time and come along to help our world and your goods prolong.

Thank you to the website for these lovely photos.
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Why? To extend the life of those loved things by repairing them with experts
When: Sunday of each month, 10 - 1
Where: Yarraville Community House, 59 Francis St, Yarraville VIC 3013
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
my partner restores antique furniture if you're ever looking for someone again
by Sharon (score: 1|29) 1742 days ago
I read about you chaps recently and CONGRATULATE you for having the gumption to set this up. NOW all I want and NEED is for you to open a repair shop over here in the Southern suburbs, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!

I cannot condone chucking things out just because they need 'a man' to fix a tiny thingy to make something work again!!
I was brought up to respect and take care of my belongings, after saving up to buy it.

I cannot and will not condone today's "rubbish" life style, where when anything breaks down we are expected to toss into Landfill then buy another one to replace it!
That makes no sense!
It is irresponsible, stupid and sooo expensive.
by fluffynut (score: 2|992) 1738 days ago
Cheers Tricia,

He's working out of home at the moment as his factory has closed. If you'd like to contact him, please email or call/text 0403 265 957.

His name's Ben, he can repair almost any antiques including hand carving missing/broken mouldings to match, fixing cracked/broken marble, etc.

Bailey & Co Antiques in Seaford use him to fix their stuff needs repair before sale.

by Sharon (score: 1|29) 1741 days ago
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