The right to repair

‘If you can’t repair it, you don’t own it.’ (1)

‘Repairing something is the first line of defence against the massive waste challenge confronting Australia.’ (2)

‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’(3)

Repair Cafés are all about repairing things together, with committed volunteer experts offering their skills to help you. At Payneham Repair Café, we have an electronic and electrical section, a general ‘tinkering’ section for items mechanical and wooden, and a sewing section for hand and machine work and heavy-duty items such as backpacks and shopping trolleys. We also have some small tools, glues, sewing resources etc., should you want to DIY on-site.

Payneham Repair Café is one of about 10 in and around Adelaide, with more than 70 listed for Australia. We’re part of a global movement of over 2000 repair cafes worldwide, all this starting from a creative concept in the Netherlands in 2009.

We’re proud to be a small cog in that big global wheel. We’re also proud, along with a program of workshops, to run in conjunction with the One Planet Market, the flagship of Sustainable Communities SA, where volunteers give their time to assist at the three events. Together with the visitors who come along and support us, we all contribute to the growing participation in encouraging a sharing economy, increasing our consumer awareness and knowledge, and playing our part in reducing waste.

The international right-to-repair movement is part of that movement with an important aim to come up with smarter designs, galvanise more progressive manufacturers into action and encourage governments to drive change.

At Payneham Repair Café, we’re looking at playing our small part by gathering information needed that give weight to proposed initiatives, policies and changes, such as the types of items repaired, what can’t be repaired etc.

I recommend the following websites to help you get around the attempts to promote planned obsolescence and a throw-away mentality. – full of tips and tricks to repair items such as coffee machines and wooden chairs, toys and kitchen appliances, as well as showing you the skills to repair belts, bags and clothing, jewellery, shoes and watches among others. has a whole lot of repair guides and fix kits for items like smartphones, cameras, computers, laptops and game consoles.

  1. iFixit website Repair Manifesto’
  2. Griffith University intellectual property expert Professor Leanna Wiseman
  3. The origin of this thought is highly contested, but the meaning is clear.

Rosemary Cadden, Payneham Repair Café Coordinator

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