Over the years Bower has developed into a thriving community education hub, running courses and workshops 7 days a week across multiple locations, for thousands of people per year.
At Bower, we recently won the Community Educator or the Year Award 2020 from the Australian Association for Environmental Education.
“These Awards promote and recognise individuals, organisations and programs in NSW that have provided leadership and inspiration to others while contributing to quality environmental.”
Our award acknowledges the leadership of Bower in actively engaging and skilling up people in the re-use and repair of preloved goods.
The judges particularly noted our “exceptional leadership and innovation, and your broad contribution to bringing the repair and reuse mindset back to the community.”
Pioneering practical environmental education
Bower has been at the forefront of practical education in re-use, repair and sustainable living for over 20 years. In 2014, at Bower we introduced the community Repair Café to Australia – a place where non-repairers meet and learn (free of charge) how to fix their everyday household objects from skilled repairers.
Since them we have opened new workshop spaces in Zetland, Redfern and Parramatta, and in 2020 (thanks partly due to the covid-19 pandemic) we expanded into the online space, allowing anyone to participate in a Bower workshop, wherever they are, anywhere in the world.
Donate now so in 2021, we can continue to grow our ‘covid normal’ education program.
That includes our series of online and (covid safe, social distanced) face-to-face workshops covering areas such as simple electrical repairs of household goods, bike maintenance and repair, clothing repair, furniture upholstery, tool maintenance and much more, as well as longer courses including our 6 week course in basic carpentry as well as an ‘advanced carpentry’ course.
Our new and very popular home DIY series teaches simple repair and renovation jobs around the home, such as plumbing, window replacement, tiling, painting, hanging shelves and more.
The principle of using reclaimed materials and avoiding waste underpins these programs as it does all of Bower’s initiatives.
The courses are designed to provoke wider discussion about environmental sustainability and change our mindset about the nature of ‘junk’. But instead of making us feel helpless, the program gives us some practical tools and skills to live more sustainably.
We will also expand our ‘train the trainer’ courses in 2021, for skilled repairers, carpenters, electricians and others with valued repair skills, to ensure that those who know ‘how’ also know how to teach, and can share their valuable life skills and experiences.
We will also bring back our popular ‘Tiny House’ construction course in March. The ‘tiny house’ international social movement promotes simplicity, sustainability and living with less.
The only intensive, hands-on, tiny home building experience in the country, we focus on construction with recycled and reclaimed materials. The course also makes us think hard about how we would use and prioritise that tiny space. We are forced to confront some fundamental questions about what’s important in our life. How would we live? Where would we get power, water… ? Which small number of possessions would we keep?
The next generation
With your gift, we will launch a new ‘Re-imagine’ Schools program in 2021, to work with the next generation. Young people, engaged in climate strikes and beach clean-ups, are more attuned than ever to the environmental problems they are set to inherit from past generations. Bower’s Re-imagine program will give students practical tools and skills to imagine a world where we value our resources, limit waste and revive the art of repair and reuse. Donate today to make this vision a reality.