“We share cultural expressions that have been passed from one generation to another, have evolved in response to their environments and contribute to giving us a sense of identity and continuity”
This statement from The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) captures the essence of the social benefits derived from the ongoing nature of the woodcraft sector in Tasmania.
Tasmania rightly celebrates its tangible heritage of places, buildings and sites. These are made real through stories about people, their circumstances and actions.
The woodcraft sector and its relationship with Tasmania’s special timbers is a key dimension of Tasmania’s intangible heritage. Just as the craft food and beverage industries are now discovering, its authenticity and sustainability resonates with people who are increasingly urbanised in both location and consumption.
The special timbers industry makes a strong contribution to Tasmania’s identity, linking past present and future.
The Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin in Tasmania’s Huon Valley and the Australian Wooden Boat Festival demonstrate the philosophy and practice associated with the UNESCO statement below:
“Intangible cultural heritage depends on those whose knowledge of traditions, skills and customs are passed on to the community from generation to generation and to other communities”.
In a society where social cohesion is disrupted by technology-induced isolation, the ability of simple skills and crafts that give us a connection or a sense of place are increasingly important for the health of our communities and the people who live in them. In Tasmania, there are many very successful woodcraft based community organisations that break down barriers to social inclusion through common interests and a love of working with our wonderful timbers.
Organisations such as the Woodcraft Guild, the Wooden Boat Guild, Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association and the Living Boat Trust provide a focal point for strong community connections and an opportunity to pass on skills and knowledge to our future generations.
For further information, see Tradition.