Community, learning and sharing are the central tenets of Class Bunny, an initiative set up by Pamela Woods that brings community-based learning to the Inner West by encouraging people to share their skills and passions with others.
“You don’t need to be an expert,” says Pamela. “You might be a scientist by day and juggle at night. You can pass on your skills to anyone, anywhere. People don’t realise they all have something to teach.”
The idea for Class Bunny begun with a frustration at the lack of fun in traditional ways of learning. “I used to be an academic and work in a university,” says Pamela. “But I felt it wasn’t about learning for fun, and there’s a lot of room for that.” Class Bunny gives no grades and has no exams.
“It’s about building community wherever we go,” Pamela says.
Classes can range from growing succulents and making earrings to script-writing or learning about the stock market. “At the moment we’re doing dancing at Mr Falcon’s at Glebe,” says Pamela. “You don’t need a partner – it’s just about being social, being daggy and making a fool of yourself.” There’s a focus on Christmas crafts gearing up to the holiday season, with lessons on creating Christmas crackers and stockings.
The crowds that Class Bunny attracts are as diverse as the classes taught. “Mostly it’s a mixture of young and old,” Pamela says. “All kinds of people – from hipsters to those who are less fashionable.” The classes are held in a variety of locations locally: empty shops, closed cafes or community centres.
For Pamela, the most rewarding aspect of Class Bunny is watching people find talents and teaching abilities that they didn’t know they had. “It’s empowering people who might be a bit shy or have come to teach a skill just once,” Pamela says. “From that, some have now started their own businesses. One lady learnt crochet in one and a half hours and now she sells her crafts at the market.”
You can find out more about classes coming up, prices and locations at www.classbunny.com
Words by Natassia Chrysanthos