City of Monash: Monash Mini Maker Faire
Maker Faires bring people together in a community environment to explore, create and test ideas within a festival environment.
The City of Monash is a local government council, providing municipal services and support for a number of suburbs in the southeast region of Melbourne, including Monash University.
The Monash Mini Maker Faire was created through a mutual desire by Monash Tech School, the City of Monash and Monash University to establish an event that could foster community connections, celebrate STEAM focussed skills and interests, and profile the unique Monash Learning and Business precinct. Preliminary discussions produced a generous level of support, with several sponsorship arrangements being negotiated early in the planning process.
The challenge for the partnership included ensuring that “makers” (or stallholders) would genuinely reflect the values of the maker movement, have displays, activities and products that were community orientated, safe, portable and align with the Monash precinct. The focus was to create a localised, fun, family orientated day rather than produce a slick, professional event which relied solely on attracting huge numbers of attendees.
Partners took up different roles within the planning process. The City of Monash, as the licensee for the Monash Mini Maker Faire, managed the local media and marketing campaign, with strong support from the Monash Tech School team and Local Peoples. The City of Monash also supported a number of “makers” to register for the day and provided a team of volunteers on the ground before, during and after the event.
Monash University Vice Chancellor’s office provided use of facilities, OH&S procedural support, bump in and out planning support, marketing support and campaign, as well as staff support on the day.
Monash Tech School provided comprehensive marketing, sourcing and support of “makers”, technical, logistical and operational support, mentoring and support for a number of “maker” stalls, and post-event networking opportunities.
Despite the unseasonably cold, wet and wintry conditions, the day was extremely well received. Monash Tech School and surrounding Monash University grounds were well utilised to provide 25 demonstration stalls and 20 hands-on workshops for visitors to enjoy. Amongst the “maker” stalls were secondary student and university student led displays, including teams from Monash Tech School partner schools, including Glen Waverley Secondary College, Mount Waverley Secondary College, South Oakleigh Secondary College and Wellington Secondary College.
Large crowds enjoyed a variety of extremely engaging experiences and there was a genuine hype to the Faire. The scope of activities was varied and ranged from robotics, virtual reality, microcontrollers, electronics, sustainability, blacksmithing, glass blowing and video gaming, with a number of activities designed to engage younger children and families. Both indoor and grounds areas were used.
There were 7 sponsors, 45 volunteers and 54 “maker” stands on the day, with the Member for Oakleigh and the Mayor of the City of Monash opening the event.
The day connected the Monash community with Monash University and allowed visitors to explore STEAM activities and displays within a friendly, accessible and relaxed environment.
Importantly, it also allowed the wider community an insight into the Monash Tech School, raising the profile of and level of community interest in the Tech School initiative.
Monash Mini Maker Faire was an authentic community partnership project. The Monash Tech School team, City of Monash Economic Development Unit, Monash University’s Precincts and Government Office, as well as Campus Experience and Major Events worked together to deliver a truly family friendly, community event that celebrated all things STEAM.