The Unley Repair Café in Clarence Park

In a quiet Adelaide suburb, the tables are turning on our throw-away culture. At the Unley Repair Café, it’s a case of out with the new and in with the old, as beloved but broken household items are given new life by a group of talented tinkerers.

Once a month, volunteer repairers set up at the Clarence Park Community Centre, with no idea of what might come through the door. And for repair-ees, it’s pot luck, as well:  no promises, just persistence.

From jewellery to furniture, to small electronic doohickeys, no treasure is abandoned without a red-hot go.

Every year, 20 million tonnes of rubbish goes to landfill in Australia, and that was partly the inspiration  for this café. But there have been other unexpected and wonderful spin-offs as café founder, Ruby Wake explains.

“My main drive originally was the waste deduction aspect of it, but from the first session — when we saw 110 people come through the doors connecting with each other — I was like, no, actually it’s the community aspect that’s really beautiful, and the knowledge sharing and the creativity that comes when people are repairing stuff – and I think that’s something people really enjoy.”

The Unley Repair Café opens on the last Saturday morning of every month, though there’s a summer break in December and January. Check out the Facebook page for times, dates and repair guidelines.