Here I share a little bit of the background on what led Hobby Society to be created and why it is needed in our society. But before I get to that, I first want to tell you a little bit about my own ambitious hobby of building a very capable Land Rover.

As a small kid, I always helped my older brothers work on their cars. Repairs, modifications, improvements, you name it, I was doing it… Or at least trying to help.

Fast forward 20 or so years, and I am a couple of years out from my Engineering Degree and working in the Power Generation industry. I had the urge to put my design & build skills to the test and thanks to a group of friends and a bit of peer pressure, I found myself purchasing a car which would be the basis of my project — a 1993 Land Rover Discovery. I have always been in or around Land Rovers so having a Land Rover as my starting point was obvious. Here is the car back in February 2009:

The Land Rover before I took to it with a 9″ angle grinder

Now as I am writing this article, it is January 2018 (Happy New Year everyone!) and just today I did some work on it. Yes, that’s right, it’s now been nearly 9 years and the project isn’t finished yet. It’s close, but not finished…

So what could I possibly be doing that is taking me so long to finish?

Basically, in a nut shell, I cut the back of the car off and converted it into a utility. But then I didn’t stop there, I modified the suspension, converted it to LPG, built a powerful turbo charged engine and designed all the electrics of the car. I naively thought I would finish all of that in one year… Completely overlooking how technically difficult, time consuming and expensive it would be!

Because I’m trained as an Engineer, I used a 3D model to design what I wanted to do first. Here is the model of an un-modified Land Rover Discovery:

The original 3D model I started from (Not my work!)

I did a “Virtual chop” to get a rough idea of how everything would look, I tried lots of different shapes and ultimately settled on this:

What it looks like after a “Virtual Chop”

The model towards the end of this project:

The final model of the car

I could go on and on about all the bits and pieces I have done along the way with the build of the car, but this would become an article that 99.85% of people wouldn’t find interesting. Instead I have pulled together some photos of the highlights over the years of my project.

2009 — Chopped!


2012 — Tray frame, LPG tanks, wall mockup and roof started


2014 — Cabin finished, onto the tray

2016 — The twin turbo V8 engine I built

2016 — When the engine went in!



So how does this complicated, expensive and time consuming project relate to Hobby Society? Well, in the journey of building this car I have faced all the challenges that come with taking on a large project such as this:

  • Lack of space: I lived in an apartment and I had nowhere to store the car or a space to work
  • Lack of tools: I had to buy all the expensive tools or find people I could borrow tools from to finish what I needed to do
  • No one to learn from: While I am familiar with cars, there were many things I never had done before and therefore I had to teach myself the skills to do them. When I am talking about skills here, I am referring to things like fibre glassing, welding, engine management systems, and so on

I think it is fair to say that most people would be put off from having a go at anything like my project. This is because the challenges I mention above are real barriers which only a crazy few (like me) can justify the time, energy and cost to overcome.

So with the problem identified, a solution was needed and that led to the creation of Hobby Society. With Hobby Society being around for 6 months now, we have already helped people all over Sydney get started in Cooking, Pottery and Woodwork by:

  • Connecting them with highly skilled individuals who can give personalised advice and tuition and,
  • Providing them with low cost access to suitable spaces and special equipment needed for the hobby.

While Hobby Society has started off with Cooking, Pottery and Woodworking at this stage. Ultimately, Hobby Society will become the place where people everywhere can connect and learn amazing skills from each other, while at the same time accessing the resources available within their community. No matter what their hobby might be.

The journey so far has been pretty amazing with myself and the others on the team having met some great people doing amazing things all over Sydney who I think deserve a special mention below. You are welcome to contact them by clicking the link under each of their photos.


Wayne Mavin


Andrew Pinnock Hobby Society

Andrew Pinnock


Shane Wiechnik (The Bower Woodworks)

Shane Wiechnik (The Bower Woodworks)


Bankstown Woodturners Hobby Society

David & Kevin (Bankstown Woodturners)


Claypool Cherie, Brett & Sally

Cherie, Brett & Sally (Claypool)


Hayden Youlley Hobby Society

Hayden Youlley


Leanne Berelowitz

Leanne Berelowitz



Samantha Robinson

Samantha Robinson


Juhi King

Juhi King


Michael Shafran

Michael Shafran