Turning more than heads
Sawmilling, a calendar and now furniture making – all of this as a result of members from the Daly River community in the Northern Territory working to make it safe again for residents after African mahogany trees planted many years ago started to shed their limbs.
Retired teacher and furniture maker Peter Dorman has spent several weeks in the community as part of an ICV project helping develop the furniture-making skills of community members.
“I am here to basically teach the participants how to operate a wood lathe and make bowls, etc. and then to follow up making different pieces of furniture,” explained Peter who is from near the NSW coastal resort of Port Macquarie.
The workers have come a long way in the six weeks Peter has worked with them.
“The skill level was very poor due to the lack of knowledge of how to use the power tools and machinery correctly. Woodwork skills were limited but their eagerness and ability to learn has developed these skills to a satisfactory level,” Peter said.
The participants are part of the Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) which earlier this year was involved in another ICV project developing their skills using a sawmill to process the mahogany which was planted when Daly River was a Catholic mission.
It was during the earlier project that the workers also produced a calendar.
A number took photographs of their efforts, later using them in a calendar which found its way into homes, government offices and the Victorian-based manufacturer of the portable sawmill.
“I have enjoyed the experience and the interaction with the workers. I have enjoyed seeing workers develop skills and get a pride in their work and help others with difficulties,” Peter observed.