Photographic reflections on the Fair Share Festival


The Fair Share Festival upcycled banner

The Fair Share Festival is over! I’ll post some more detailed reflections later, but here are a few photos and some initial thoughts.

The rain radar Saturday morningAfter a successful screening of The True Cost (a documentary about fast fashion) on Thursday, we woke on Saturday to heavy rain. Much of the set up was done in  the rain, but the weather did clear before the start of the Festival. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind to us as it was quite hot on both Saturday and Sunday – especially as much of the festival was on the dark concrete playground – and there were strong winds. In fact while a local TV news crew were filming in the main hall, we nearly had a 6×6 metre marquee blow away! It would have been one way to get on the news!


Ukastle Ukestra perform just before the official opening

r-openingOne of the things I’ve learnt from the Family Action Centre is the value of starting a conference (or Festival in this case) with music. It was great having a Ukulele group perform and then, as part of acknowledging the traditional owners of the land, some Aboriginal students from a local high school  (with a couple of students from the primary school we were at) played the didgeridoo and danced.

My view from the parenting in a consumer world panel

My view from the parenting in a consumer world panel

We weren’t able to use some of the classrooms because they were being renovated and were offered some rooms upstairs instead. We worried that people might not go up there, so Cathy suggested using marquees instead. While the wind made them a bit challenging at times, they worked very well because people wandering past dropped in to listen.


The clothing and book swap

One of the more popular activities was the clothing and book swap. I must admit I wasn’t sure that it was going to work, but Cathy and some of the committee were keen, so I was happy to go along with it. It was a real buzz and over 800 items were traded.


Cathy and some of her upcycled garments

We wanted to create a good vibe at the festival and one of the ways we did it was to have some people wander around over lunch in some of Cathy’s upcycled garments – they certainly generated interest.


Better Homes and Garden filming the Tiny House Project

Another highlight was the tiny house project. As it was being filmed by Better Homes and Gardens with Adam Doville (one of the presenters and the 2014 winner of House Rules) there was lots of interest and many people watched what was going on. Some people also joined in to help make some of the fittings.


Jasmine and Larni in the finished tiny house

The idea of two Year 10 girls creating a tiny house captured lot’s of attention. The reality was that lots of other people were involved as well, so it turned into quite a community project.


Working on the denim wall for the tiny house


The tiny house being driven off at the end of Sunday!

Overall there was a great mix of talks, panel discussions, workshops, upcycling workshops and other activities. The Hamilton Public School also got behind the festival with providing food and a very popular lemonade stand, doing some wonderful signs and organising an evening of music.


Kids (and adults) trying out a cooperative computer game using old computer monitors


A textile upcycling workshop with Jane Milburn from Textile Beat

As the theme of the festival was consumption, waste and upcycling we wanted to limit our waste. One of the things we did was to have reusable plates and eating utensils rather than disposable ones. It took a bit of organising (particularly to address concerns relating to sterilising) and a bit of extra work on the day, but it was great seeing people at the washing stations.



A pallet upcycling workshop with David Sivyer from Feedback Organic Recovery. Notice the sign for the washing station in the background

While there is scope for improvement, I feel confident it was a successful event with a wonderful vibe.

If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:

  1. 10 things I’ve learnt about strengths-based community engagement
  2. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  3. Blue Men: Message to Humanity
  4. Learning to love ParkRun
  5. A passion for upcycling
  6. In Transition 2.0

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability, Working with communities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.