Overview of 2016

The 2016 Fair Share Festival (10, 12 and 13 November) focused on showing positive ways we can help challenge our society’s current unsustainable levels of consumption and waste. It aimed to inspire people to share ideas, spark creativity and stimulate better community connections, for a sustainable, fairer life

During the festival we reflected on how we can help create a more just, sustainable world through how we live our lives – by bringing about the change we wish to see in the world. It was an opportunity to be inspired, share ideas, get creative and build stronger community connections.

Despite a rainy start (during the Saturday set up), hot weather and strong winds, around 1500 people came to one or more days, The Festival opened on Thursday night with a screening of a compelling (but disturbing) documentary, The True Cost, about Fast Fashion.

The main focus of Festival was the weekend. A popular addition to the Festival was upcycling workshops – hands-on classes in reinventing clothes, reupholstering furniture, mosaics, building garden planters from timber pallets, making a guitar from junk and making jewellery from old ceramics.

Over the weekend, Better Homes and Gardens filmed the construction of a Tiny House out of recycled and waste materials. Many people helped Larni and Jasmine over the weekend so that it could be completed by the end of the Festival. It generated a lot of interest and helped create a great vibe at the Festival.

Discussion panels were well attended, including interactive talks on food waste, urban farming, managing community recycling, building an ecology centre for Newcastle, and parenting in a consumer world.

There were a range of interesting workshops and presentations on slow clothing, change making, sustainable living, de-growth, growth and sustainability, eating sustainably, sustainable hairdressing, composting, no-dig gardening and managing waste.

On Saturday night there was an evening of music at the Festival Shindig organised by Hamilton Public School.

Kids enjoyed learning circus activities, recycling sorting challenges, creating compostable seedling pots and cooperative computer games.

More than 800 garments and books changed hands at the festival’s popular swap shop, and a drop-in sewing lounge helped visitors learn basic clothing repair techniques.

A fashion parade of more than 50 upcycled garments closed the weekend.

Check out the following links for more photos of:

You can see the full program here.

The emphasis on upcycling at the Festival has been inspired by Transition Newcastle’s new project – Upcycle Newcastle. Upcycling focuses on changing the way we see waste. Instead of an end product, it can be re-imagined as a starting point for something new, beautiful or useful. It also reduces the consumption of new products. Upcycling is part of a wider trend led by artists, makers and craftspeople, and practiced out of necessity in many communities with less access to resources.





We tried to reduce the amount of waste by having no disposable eating utensils (we provide crockery and cutlery and people were asked to wash up after themselves), having no single use plastic, and encouraging people to bring drink bottles. It took a bit of extra work, but we certainly had less waste than normal for an event of this size.

Thanks to the many people who helped make the festival possible:

  • Cathy – who took on the task of coordinating the festival
  • Lou – our media person (amongst other things)
  • Alan and Sara – our site managers
  • Shaunie for looking after all our sound and electricals (and the coffee run with Alexa on Sunday!)
  • The organising committee for their many months work
  • Hamilton Public School (particularly Linda and Elizabeth ) for the venue and organising food, drinks and the shindig, and their other support
  • All the volunteers who helped in so many ways
  • Jasmine, Larni, Ian, Cathy, Cayde and Michael (and all the other – for making the Tiny House happen
  • All the presenters and workshop facilitators for sharing their enthusiasm and expertise
  • The stall holders, food providers and entertainers
  • Heather and Lesley for looking after the washing station for the whole weekend
  • The City of Newcastle’s Community Assistance Grant for funding the upcycling events
  • Our sponsors for making it possible.