Ranges TEC students using Powelltown Sawmill timber for stellar furniture pieces

Ranges TEC student Elijah (Middle), Ranges TEC teacher Mike Waddell (R) and Powelltown Sawmills CEO Dan Pote (L). Picture: SUPPLIED.

Students from Lilydale’s Ranges TEC have received awards for signature furniture pieces crafted from native timber donated by Powelltown Sawmills as part of their community awareness course requirements.

The course, a partnership between the school, the mill and VicForests, concluded with an awards ceremony held on Monday 23 October. The awards, provided by Powelltown Mill, were presented across four categories: design, application to task, quality and difficulty of task.

Using native timber donated by Powelltown Sawmills, students crafted a signature piece of timber furniture such as a dining table, a coffee table, a cabinet or a chair. 

VicForests Stakeholder Relations Specialist Kim Barned said that throughout the course, students experienced hardwood timber production from start to finish and have created furniture that would last a lifetime.

“Students visited the forest and the Powelltown Sawmill to observe every stage of the native timber industry giving them a true understanding of where their furniture piece came from,” Mr Barned said. 

Powelltown Sawmills CEO Dan Pote said it was a privilege to be involved in the partnership program.

“It was fantastic to see the projects progress to the quality pieces they have produced. The program started with tours of the forest to gain an understanding of native timber harvesting practices, how the logs are processed to make the timber, to the students being able to utilise the timber for their projects, without the financial impact,” Mr Pote said. 

“They have created truly exceptional pieces that they should be extremely proud of.” 

Ranges TEC teacher Mike Waddell said one of his students, Elijah, had put a lot of work into his furniture piece, which was a table he hoped would be around for generations to come. 

“Making a family heirloom table from this timber was very exciting and it was great to see the finished piece,” Elijah said. 

Another student, James, said it was a gift to be able to use such beautiful wood. 

Referring to the fact the donated wood was an offcut that would have been used for firewood, James said, “I am thankful that I could give this wood a second chance.”