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Biggest Maker Faire in Southern Hemisphere to be held in South Australia on Sunday

Tourism

Australia’s only major Maker Faire – the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – will be held in Adelaide on the weekend.

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More than 5000 people are expected to attend the event on Sunday, November 5, at Tonsley – a former Mitsubishi car plant in the South Australian capital that has been transformed into Australia’s first innovation district.

Maker Faire Adelaide will feature more than 125 exhibits and hands on activities including Wacky Races, a no-rules miniature car building competition, and a Rocket Range where children can build paper rockets, which are then fired using a simple air-powered launching system.

Kids of all ages will also have a chance to compete in the largest Paper Plane Building Challenge and a chance to participate in a real live robot battle bout.

“Because we’re the only major Maker Faire in Australia we’re attracting exhibitors and speakers from interstate so by default we’ve sort of become the national Maker Faire,” South Australian Makers Chair Alison Kershaw said.

The maker movement is a trend where people create and market products that are assembled with unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or raw materials.

Adelaide held Mini Maker Faires in 2013 and 2015 before moving up to a full-scale faire last year.

The original Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, California, in 2006 – the 2016 event attracted 1300 makers and 150,000 attendees. There are now more than 40 Maker Faires held every year globally.

Kershaw said speakers, exhibitors and visitors from around Australia and New Zealand would attend the Adelaide event.

“The term ‘maker’ started in America and I think Australians are now getting what that means – being part of a community of people who are interested in how things are made but also how things can be repaired and reused and repurposed,” she said.

“We’ve got quite a few exhibitors this year who are using recycled materials so there’s a real interest as well in the sustainability aspect of the maker movement.

“We don’t just have to buy everything, we can repair things, we can use recycled materials to make new and better things so I think that’s a really interesting aspect as people become more aware that just buying cheap stuff is not great for lots of reasons.”

South Australian Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the maker community in the state provided an important launch pad for the creative entrepreneurs of the future.

“It’s always amazing to see what clever South Australians are working on in their backyards,” he said.

“When passionate people get together for the state’s largest ‘show and tell’, the hobby of today could turn out to be the business of tomorrow.”

Tickets are available at the Maker Faire website or on the day for $10 at the gate. Children under 16 are free.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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