We gratefully received funding for the Sharing Shed from 16 Pitch Partners at the Community Pitch 2018 hosted by IWCE and the Seddon Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank.
Since then, we extended our reach into the community through a workshop on 30 May to begin the task of co-creating the types of items that might be included in the Sharing Shed. Although we are still in the process of setting up, we received some early donations – two sewing machines and some camping gear! We lent these out for use at the local Boomerang Bag community sewing bee in Seddon on 18 June.
We then put in an valiant effort to put together an application for the Victorian government’s “Pick My Project” grant, gaining the auspicing support from the Yarraville Community Centre and a mentoring collaboration with Brunswick Tool Library. Regrettably, we were unable to secure any of the parcels of land from state or local government that we’d nominated and so, regrettably did not progress to the public voting stage.
Securing a site continues to be a significant barrier to progressing the development of the Sharing Shed in Maribyrnong. We’ve had interest from other councils in Melbourne’s inner north, who approached us during and after the Zero Waste Victoria festival (where we attended jointly as the Sharing Shed and the Melbourne Repair Cafe), but we’re keen to initiate this endeavour here in the West.
We have continued to promote the concept and model at public events, including as a panellist at the Game Changers Conversation panel session on waste innovations and opportunities at VU Metro West on 20 June, a stallholder and speaker at the Zero Waste Victoria Festival on 5 August, a speaker at the New Economy Netwoork Australia Conference on 19-21 October, and most recently, a panellist at a screening of Closing the Loop: A documentary about the circular economy revolution on 28 November. The Sharing Shed will also be put forward at an “ideas hack” hosted by the Maribyrnong City Council on 5th December. We remain hopeful that a collaboration of some sort will ensue and, if not, will revisit our strategy in the new year.
– Michelle Fisher, Founding Member of the Sharing Shed