Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau and Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert presented two student teams from Holmesglen Institute with the Minister’s Student Award for Excellence in Timber Design and Manufacture for their design and creation of a communal seat.

The award project, which was supported by the Victorian Government, was based on an initiative to utilise timber sourced from a 140-year-old Hoop Pine tree.

The project is part of the program of activities ForestWorks is collaborating on with Timber Training Creswick to take trees of significance in a community setting that are at the end of their safe life, and transform them into high-value products.

A key part of the process is the educational opportunities these types of projects can deliver, as showcased at the ForestWorks Industry Development Conference in March.

Michael Hartman, ForestWorks CEO, said initiatives such as this are fantastic for developing the skills of Victoria’s future furniture designers, as well as demonstrating the uniquely sustainable array of products the timber industry offers.

“What better use could this timber provide than to be used as a resource to train Victoria’s next generation of timber and wood workers and designers?”

“It is an example of how one tree can be recycled, reused and redistributed in an eco-friendly and community-minded way,” Mr Hartman said.

The recovered timber was transported to the Timber Training Centre in Creswick, where it was milled, dried and graded by students as part of their skill development, to enable it to be passed on to joinery and cabinet making students for furniture making.

ForestWorks managed the application process, where eligible applicants had the opportunity to produce a detailed design brief for a new timber product.