Calling all Wood Artisans – Entries now open for the 2024 Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize!

Sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council, the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize invites woodworkers and artisans from across Australia to enter this prestigious woodworking competition with a conscience. 

Finalist pieces of the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize go on to form the feature exhibition at the Maleny Wood Expo, which will be held May 4 – 6, 2024, in the picturesque town of Maleny, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. 

What sets the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize apart from other woodworking competitions, is that all applicants have to work in sustainably harvested native timbers, weed timbers or timbers that have been repurposed, salvaged or recycled. It’s a platform to celebrate sustainably made works that blend environmental stewardship with artistic brilliance! 

A proud and long-standing initiative of environmental non-profit, Barung Landcare, the Maleny Wood Expo is set to be a big one in 2024 as it celebrates its 25th year! The Wood Expo is known as one of the best wood shows in Australia attracting up to 10,000 people to the region, and has been a beacon for woodworking enthusiasts, fostering an appreciation for the natural environment, and the sustainable use of timber. 

With an exceptionally diverse program, the Maleny Wood Expo has something for everyone, from wood workshops for all ages, kids activities, live music, interactive tool and trade displays, a range of sustainably harvested timber for sale, educational talks and more. There’s over 150 exhibitors to visit!

Woodworkers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals, are encouraged to submit their entries, creating a diverse and vibrant showcase of talent. Finalists will be in the running to win an overall cash prize of $10,000 as well as a share in a further prize pool of $9,000. There are three distinct categories to explore: Furniture, Sculpture, and Tiny Treasures, catering to a wide range of woodworking skills and expertise. 

This year, the competition welcomes a new stand-alone prize category; ‘Evolve’. ‘Evolve’, which is sponsored by Maleny Art Direct, acknowledges newer craftspeople and seasoned individuals who have dedicated a lifetime to tinkering in sheds or collaborating within woodworking groups, and alleviates the pressure of competing against recognised professionals. 

Applicants can submit any type of woodworking piece to be in the running to win $1,000 under the Evolve Prize category in line with the competition guidelines.

This year’s Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize competition is open themed, meaning there are no limitations to how applicants may express themselves through their work under any of the categories. 

The competition is a unique opportunity for woodworkers to showcase their skills, and for the community to witness the artistry that emerges when craftspersonship meets sustainability.

Entries are now open until the 22nd of March, 2024.

The Maleny Wood Expo is proudly supported by Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast.

Images by Steve Swayne