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Melbourne Mini Maker Faire: A Community Finding Itself | GeekDad on Astini News

All Geeks – Dads, Moms, Kids – understand the importance of finding our place and working together and sharing our love of all things geeky. It is what GeekDad is all about, the alignment of our children and broad range of geeky interests and how that all combines into some form of parenting. Well, on Saturday, January 14, in Melbourne, Australia, there was an excited step towards strengthening the local Geek community when a band of intrepid hackers, makers and geeky types pulled together the mini Maker Faire Melbourne that introduced a whole cross-section of nerdy, geeky types from across Australia to each other and their community.

Thanks to the opportunity that Make and O'Reilly Media offer through the ability to hold these mini maker community events with the Maker Faire brand, a group of diverse makers have now found each other. The event was pulled together in a matter of two months, and the end result was around 50 exhibitors and makers and speakers and doers sharing their passion with around one thousand folks who came through the doors.

All the usual suspects were there, hacker and maker groups and spaces from the major capital cities in Australia, a bunch of 3D printer types and others sharing their depth of knowledge about Arduinos. We had Robogals, science educators, steampunk designers and sustainability makers sharing how to reduce your carbon emissions, build your own garden boxes.

The highlight for me, as a GeekDad, was the strong presence of children at the event and the activities designed to entertain them. The most successful being a Makedo inspired cardboard industry activity that allowed children to create their own city-slash-maze throughout the day. It evolved and shaped itself in and around the different tables and walkways in the end. Just magical.

And then there was the bloke with his homemade-hacked Segway that many people were amazed by, and keen to ride.

It is wonderful when a community finds a way to grow, when people who previously have felt isolated find that they have a whole bunch of people who they belong with. It is great when different type of makers come together with woven materials or electronics or hammers and nails and find out just how much they have in common.

As an Australian-based GeekDad I have always been a bit green with jealousy as Maker Faires roll out each year across the United States and my fellow contributors begin making plans and preparing for the great time that is had by all. Well, all going well Melbourne now has its own Maker Faire that will continue on – and of course we will work at making the GeekDad presence all that more significant. We were there though – see if you can spot the t-shirt in the great little video above.

See all the great activities and action mentioned in this post at the Melbourne Maker Faire Flickr pool.

Note: Video courtesy of Eleven & Twelve . Follow them on twitter @11and12

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