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Repair Cafe Woolloongabba

Home > Brisbane > Volunteering | How To | Free | Family | Environment
by Lee Ellwood (EllWords) (subscribe)
An editor, writer and creative communicator, also fond of quilting, reading, yoga and tea. Visit me at
Published March 21st 2021
Grandma used to mend and make do - why don't you?
Do you have a broken appliance, torn garment, malfunctioning clock or damaged bicycle? Maybe a favourite piece of jewellery with a broken chain, or a mechanical gadget that's just not working? Never fear, a new Repair Cafe is here - centrally located at Woolloongabba!

Repair Cafe Woolloongabba logo
Logo used with permission
The new Repair Café at 7 Burke Street will hold its very first fix-it session on Saturday 27 March from 10 am to 1 pm. At the event these repair services will be available:

Sewing - clothing and fabric repair
Bicycle and scooter repairs
General IT questions about computers, tablets or phones (computer software)
Small electrical appliances repairs (under 50V)
Licensed electrical work on appliances (over 50V)
General broken items that need glueing, taping and small fix-it jobs
Jewellery repairs
Small furniture, timber or joinery repairs

What's a repair cafe?

It's an opportunity to connect repairable broken goods (and their owners) with volunteer Fixers who know how to repair them and can help you do it. It's about sharing repair skills - and it's free!

A circular economy activity, a repair cafe is a simple concept that aims to save items from landfill and reduce the consumption of new goods, which drains precious resources.

A few generations ago, 'mend and make do' was conventional practice, but now the norm is to throw stuff away (where is 'away', anyhow?) and buy new. Along the journey from 'mend' to 'more' we lost the skills for fixing our own items, but repair cafes are reclaiming that space.

Repair Cafe Woolloongabba will open for more sessions over the coming months. The repair services available will depend on the skillsets of the volunteer Fixers each time.

Repair Cafe committee members
Café committee members are excited about their first session (Photo: Repair Café Woolloongabba

How to join in

Do you know how to mend or hem clothes, fix clocks, do mechanical or electrical repairs, or work with wood or metal? Why not consider volunteering as a Fixer for the next Repair Cafe? You'll enjoy meeting people, passing on your knowledge, and actively supporting this circular economy initiative.

Don't have the skills to mend and make do? Then pick up your broken things and come down to the cafe to learn how to give them new life. A Fixer with the right skill set will help you make the necessary repairs yourself, so you'll learn how - which is more valuable than having it done for you!

Volunteer Fixers at the Repair Café Woolloongabba
Volunteers waiting to meet you at the first café (Photo: Repair Café Woolloongabba)

Repair Cafe Woolloongabba is right near Reverse Garbage (also in Burke Street), so you may even be able to pick up materials needed for your repair job.

Like Repair Cafe Woolloongabba's Facebook page to stay in the loop (there's a circular economy pun!) on future cafe days.

The page also explains how the cafe will work on the day, so read up before you head on down.
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Why? Reuse, reduce, repair, recycle
When: Other dates will be listed on the Facebook page
Where: 7 Burke Street, Woolloongabba
Cost: Free!
Your Comment
I saw a news story of this initiative yesterday and was impressed at the skill in saving and giving items a second life. Good work
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2478) 28 days ago
A great initiative Lee. If there were hard rubbish collections when I was a youth I think everything would disappear overnight. Come to think of it, I don't think we would throw anything away in the first place. Progress?
by Neil Follett (score: 3|2129) 28 days ago
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