Reduce, Reuse, Repair: Lakelands event gives broken things a new lease on life

The popular Repair Café initiative taking the world by storm has swept into Lakelands, offering locals the chance to fix broken or damaged items and learn how to repair them.

The brainchild of Martine Postma, who organised the very first Repair Café in Amsterdam in 2009, the initiative aims to challenge the 'throw it away' mentality.

With more than 1500 Repair Cafés around the globe, the concept is now closer to home with a group of Mandurah locals implementing their own version of the event at the Lakelands Shopping Centre.

Meeting on the last Saturday of every month, visitors can bring their broken items from home and work together with skilled volunteers to make the necessary repairs.

Anything from clothing to toys and bikes, small furniture, crockery and other non-electrical items can be brought along with volunteers equipped with tools, sewing machines and materials to repair an array of items.

The Café also focuses teaching locals the process of fixing broken things to gain the knowledge to do it themselves next time.

Working alongside a passionate committee, coordinators Mike and Jo Fawcett said the monthly meet-up also provided an opportunity for community engagement.

"The basic concept, first of all, is trying to reduce the disposable nature of society because often people will throw away an item that is broken or damaged when it could be repaired," Mr Fawcett said.

"But also, we have morning tea on offer and there is a real community connection aspect where volunteers and the people that come in are getting to know each other.

"We also have a kids table as well with arts and crafts and fix-it activities - it's an easy thing for the kids to do that also teaches them repair skills."

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Mrs Fawcett said those involved in the first two events so far had enjoyed the experience, met friends, shared repair tips with each other and, most importantly, helped to mend special treasures.

"It's been received so well, brilliantly, by the community," she said.

"The atmosphere is fantastic and we have a blast, everyone really enjoys it."

The committee is always looking for volunteers with handy skills and knowledge of repairing broken things to take part. If you can help as a fixer-upper, contact Zoya from Creating Communities on 9284 0910 or via email at

The Lakelands Repair Café is now a regular on the Lakelands Shopping Centre event calendar, taking place from 10am-1pm on the last Saturday of every month, with the next event coming up on Saturday 31 August.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

The Repair Café is made possible thank to the support of many locals and businesses including Peet's Lakelands Estate, the Lakelands Shopping Centre, City of Mandurah, Bank of Queensland and WA Primary Health Alliance.