Docklands’ free Repair Cafe is returning and asking for interested locals to reach out

Docklands’ free Repair Cafe is returning and asking for interested locals to reach out
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Docklands’ Repair Cafe is set to return this May, and organisers Docklands Neighbourhood House (DNH) and Docklands Representative Group (DRG) are looking for locals to help it flourish.

Living in a vertical village can have many upsides, but both groups are also aware that it can mean there is minimal room to undertake repairs of personal possessions.

This is why this year both DNH and DRG are coming together with the City of Melbourne’s Library at The Dock Makerspace to try and grow their Repair Cafe.

“We are really excited about linking with the City of Melbourne’s Makerspace and the possibilities this can bring,” DRG member Janette Corcoran said.

“We see a natural synergy with the aims of the Makerspace, and they have some seriously skilled people and great tools that can only benefit our fledgling Repair Cafe.”

After trialling the cafe last year, both DRG and DNH agree that a local Repair Cafe is integral to the future fabric of Docklands, but for a local initiative like this to work, it does require community backing.

The cafe is as much about the locals coming in to receive assistance as it is about having repairers available to help.

“For our very first Repair Cafe, there was a little girl around five and she had overwound her music box, so the ballerina didn’t dance anymore,” DNH community development officer Jason Butcher said.


The repairer sat there for about 45 minutes fixing the music box, and she was ecstatic when it worked, her face lit up and it was beautiful to see. And the repairer was beaming almost as much as the little girl. You need positive moments like this.


Last year, DNH and DRG found that toy and clothing repairs were in huge demand, and both organisations are hoping that through talking with the community, locals can let the team know what else may be beneficial as well as what skills they themselves could offer.

“Repair Cafes work really well when there are local networks and communities built up around it,” Mr Butcher said.

“And when there are people interested in helping their neighbours out and meeting people, it becomes just as much social as it is financially beneficial.”

While there are hopes for the Repair Cafe to become embedded in the community, Mr Butcher said they were going to start small, continue to seek constant feedback, and try to aim at running a couple of repair sessions each season.

If you have any skills or feedback to share, or are interested in volunteering in some capacity, DNH and DRG are asking for people to reach out to them. •

For more information and/or to get involved in repairing or providing general support visit

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