Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize


‘Wootha’ is a local Kabi Kabi / Gubbi Gubbi name for Red Cedar, a beautiful tree that grew in the subtropical rainforests which once dominated Maleny, the Blackall Ranges and much of the East Coast of Australia.

Early European settlers and timber getters who prized the Red Cedar above other species and cleared land for agriculture, were unfortunately responsible for significantly diminishing the distribution of this species. But small remaining remnants of rainforest along with the work of caring community members and Landcare groups such as Barung Landcare, has seen this beautiful timber tree and rainforest species make a comeback to the region and other areas of Eastern Australia. 

Today, Red Cedar is grown and harvested in much slower and more sustainable ways.

Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize 2023

Proudly sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council and hosted by Barung Landcare, the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize is the feature exhibition at the Maleny Wood Expo.

The competition showcases beautiful and sustainably crafted pieces from wood artisans and furniture makers from all over Australia. This year, entrants were invited to explore the theme ‘Dovetails’.

The competition attracted the most applications it has ever received, 42 exquisite pieces of furniture, sculpture and Tiny Treasures were on display over the weekend.


Artist: Guy Breay 
The Maiden’s Hair

2023 Prize Winners

Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize $10,000

The overall first prize for the Sunshine Coast Wootha Prize is selected from any of the below three categories, and is awarded a cash prize of $10,000. This prize is sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council.

2023 Winner: ‘Lautissimum’
By Derek Calderwood


The Furniture category rejoices in all aspects of furniture making, traditional and contemporary, design, artistry and innovation.

2023 Winner: ‘Stella’
By Garan Hale

Prize $2,500

Sponsored by


The Sculpture category will highlight carving to its fullest extent from the delicate to the robust, abstract to representational.

2023 Winner: ‘Lily Light’
By Robert Howard

Prize $2,500
Sponsored by

Tiny Treasures

The 'Tiny Treasures' celebrates works of smaller dimensions. It acknowledges work small in scale, but big on design and exquisite craftspersonship.

2023 Winner: ‘Storm Boy’
By Hape Kiddle

Prize $2,500

Sponsored by

Peoples Choice $500

The Peoples Choice is awarded to any entrant in any of the above three categories. The Peoples Choice Award is sponsored by Queensland Country Bank.

2023 Winner: ‘Cape Tribulation- Rainforest to the Reef’
By Jack Wilms


Header artwork: Jeannette M Rein