The club may still be young, but the East Gippsland Makerpace is coming together quickly and building interest in the rural region of Australian where it makes its home. This makerspace is putting together many of the traditional woodworking and metalworking tools common at other clubs, but also aims for a technological focus. In addition to a drill press, lathe and number of different size saws, the club will also have a computer lab and eventually projectors and audio equipment.
East Gippsland Makerspace got its start in early 2012, when a group of founders came together, setting up a website and Facebook page and calling on interested people to step forward to help get the club launched. It now has its own space, and is putting together a committee of members to establish policies and “steer the ship.”
The idea is going over well so far. The club is seeking funding from its local community college, has built an active following on its Facebook page and is creating buzz locally for the idea of a makerspace. Founding members have appeared twice on local radio stations to explain the concept of a shared workspace and bring in new members.
East Gippsland Makerspace offers a variety of membership levels depending on how involved the member wants to be and how much experience they have with the tools. There are restricted memberships, which gives them access to the lounge, a profile and e-mail address and supervised access to the makerspace itself. Once they have been trained in how to use the equipment, they can move to an unrestricted membership that also gives them extra perks like use of meeting facilities and free or discounted access to special events.