Jo Murray is connecting her community

“We ended up taking it to the Melbourne Repair Café (Inner West) in Yarraville where we met this lovely volunteer, James. He unscrewed the plastic casing, straightened the cord out and jiggled a couple of levers, plugged it into the power and it worked. He got me to put it back together again so next time it stops working, I’ll be confident to repair it myself.”

Jo Murray / Co-ordinator Surf Coast Repair Cafe

It was lovely to come across Matilda’s blog post and be inspired by it. It was time to share. Of late, us RUDE [Reusers of Unloved Discarded Excess] Guys have not had much time for our blog. Like Jo Murray, on Victoria’s Surf Coast, we too have been involved in the repair cafe movement, albeit a little bit differently to Jo.

Jo, organises a monthly repair cafe for her local community whereas we attend and volunteer at events organised by others, like Jo. We have not volunteered at the Surf Coast Repair Cafe but who knows we may get down that way one day.

Jo mentions James at Melbourne Repair Cafe and we too have had the pleasure of volunteering, as fixers with him, at repair cafes in Melbourne’s Yarraville and Moonee Ponds.

When we travel to repair cafes we are known as Mend It, Australia. In the last couple of years, we have volunteered at over 60 community repair events and travelled nearly 9,000kms. So far this year, at the end of April, we would have volunteered at 17 repair cafes.

We were hoping this year to tinker travel to other repair cafes across Australia, but life had other plans for us. Maybe in 2020, we can hit the backroads. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we feel with still have a lot more to offer closer to home.

The Village

DSC02641Jo Murray welcoming people to the Surf Coast Repair Cafe                        photo by Charlotte Bowra

I met Jo through my old friend Sue Guinness. Jo and Sue got together about 20 years ago and since then, I’ve followed their personal journeys with interest.  Both left jobs in Melbourne, embarked on a sea-change and are very active in their local community at Fairhaven on Victoria’s Surf Coast.

Living by the sea has created opportunities for my environmentally conscious friends to be involved in conservation initiatives. Jo cultivates an enormous vegetable patch, is a member of the Community Garden and volunteers at the Tip Shop. With Sue’s support, she recently started a Repair Café.  I spoke with Jo about why she focuses on building awareness and practical initiatives in her community.

I love the outdoors. I was born in Launceston and spent…

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