News for ‘OAK Achievements’
“Oakdale Industries has done a commendable job in dealing with a number of challenges in recent times, the biggest being the uncertainty created by the shambolic forest deal which saw stakeholders – like this innovative enterprise – largely ignored during so-called peace negotiations, in spite of the fact they rely on access to Tasmanian native timber to survive,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“I very much wanted to meet with representatives from Oakdale Industries and their parent company Oak Tasmania, to listen to their concerns, learn from their experiences and discuss their suggestions so they can be better supported in the future,” Mrs Mirabella said.
Standing as a sentinel to park users and passing river traffic, a new landmark on the promenade at Lower Sandy Bay is “Beacon”, the City of Hobart’s newest major sculptural work by Sydney artist Ari Purhonen.
The artists design concept involves a large column of high-quality stainless steel rods 10 metres high, supported by a base of Celery Top Pine manufactured by Oakdale Industries.
“We were approached by the Hobart City Council to see whether Oakdale Industries had the capacity to manufacture the timber components for the art installation,” said Oakdale’s divisional manager John Hollis.
“Once we went through developing a prototype to Council’s specifications, we were successful in being chosen as the preferred manufacturer of the Celery Top Pine components. Under the guidance of Oakdale’s Kim Bale, our supported workforce manufactured, profiled and finished the product to specification.”
Protecting the sculpture from the harsh marine environment was a key consideration during the planning and construction process. A natural lanolin-based product called Lanotec was chosen to protect the artwork from being exposed to the corrosive elements of the sea.
“The Lanotec finish used on the timber and the stainless steel in the sculpture comes from a discovery that many of Australia’s docks and jetties had been preserved by the lanolin from the wool export trade,” explains Oakdale’s Kim Bale.
“The docks were preserved from the sea air and the sea water with the protection of the lanolin that was deposited onto dockside during the loading of wool from port to ships.”
Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Damon Thomas said the major piece of art was likely to attract attention for many years to come.
“Through commissioning of this major work, the City of Hobart has made a very conscious decision to say that public art is highly valued in Hobart.”
While the Grove Heritage Nursery collection of heritage fruit trees is a treasure recognised Australia-wide, it is also a sought after gem further abroad in the UK.
Housed at Grove, in Tasmania’s picturesque Huon Valley, the beautifully preserved collection of more than 600 heritage apples, pears and cider apple cultivars includes many varieties no longer available commercially.
UK based specialist plant nursery owner and enthusiast Derek Tolman first came upon the site (then known as the Grove Research and Demonstration Station) and its heritage collection in 2003, when his passionate search for old school apple varieties led him to Tasmania.
After fearing many heritage varieties had been lost forever, Derek was thrilled and surprised to track down many of the missing varieties on the other side of the world.
“We were, frankly, staggered to find such a rich vein of old varieties, many of which originated in Britain and had long been grown here, but had not been mentioned perhaps for 100 years,” he said.
The next few years saw Derek and his wife Judy, ably assisted by employee Alison Stewart, purchasing scion wood of heritage varieties from Grove to return to UK shores and produce trees for the public. To their delight and surprise, most took well to their new environment.
When Derek and Judy gave up their jobs to follow their passion and start their Bernwode Fruit Trees nursery in the late 1980s, they were amazed at the number of old school varieties of trees that had been simply forgotten.
“There were not many nurseries [then] as few fruit trees were being bought and sold and the country had entirely forgotten the enormous number of historic fruit varieties long grown here,” Derek said.
“At that time it was common for old trees to be ripped out to be planted with the latest thing (and, alas, often still is).”
To find many of these historic varieties in Australia was a fantastic discovery for the couple and other enthusiasts.
“A lot of people here have been more than intrigued by the happy discovery that old varieties neglected to the point of being ‘lost’ here, should have made their way, with settlers, to the antipodes and can still be found,” Derek said.
Just recently the relationship between Bernwode Nursery and the Grove site was reignited when Derek began another search for assistance in locating several rare pear varieties.
Derek’s work is all part of a massive task he and Judy set themselves, of compiling a database of all the apple varieties they could find. The search for data and information has included years of looking through old books and many visits to old orchards and individual trees. The database today comprises over 18,000 names. The couple are also busy working on an ‘ultimate’ reference work for domestic apples, a DVD and a book, which they hope in time, will also help growers in the UK as well as the important work done to maintain the heritage varieties in Australia at Grove.
And through all this hard work, Derek believes attitudes in the UK have slowly changed.
“It was clear to us that while a vast number of old trees were still growing in the country, they were disappearing fast and needed logging, researching and protecting,” he said.
“We played some small part in encouraging others to look again at these old trees, and now there is a vibrant national movement to look to the past, with many orchard groups, public bodies and private individuals conserving and researching our old fruit trees and varieties.”
As for the importance of heritage fruit varieties, on whatever side of the world they may appear, Derek said they were not only better in quality and variety, but there are also an important link to our past.
“There is an ancient pleasure in planting a fruit tree and nurturing it,” he said.
“For decades we have turned our back on them [long established fruit tree varieties] for the modern conveniences of cheapness and easy supply, at the expense of quality and variety.”
While Derek said there was much pleasure to be found from inquiry into the past, there were also great rewards in planting a rare, endangered and old fruit variety.
“Even the least of them will give more pleasure than the poor offerings of the supermarkets,” he said.
“These old fruits were valued, propagated and kept for good reasons.”
OAK Tasmania is leasing the former Grove Research and Development Station from the Tasmanian Government. Further information about the Grove site can be found here.
Oakdale Industries is holding a timber auction this weekend to raise funds in support of Tasmanians living with disability.
More than 100 lots of timber are to go under the hammer and the auction will appeal to builders, owner-builders, shack owners, renovators, furniture makers, boat builders, crafts people & artisans. This is a unique opportunity to purchase highly-valued products directly from the manufacturer. All 100+ lots are in dry storage, and the range of timbers being offered for sale includes:
• Rough sawn Jarrah
• Architraves, skirtings & mouldings
• Huon Pine, Blackwood, Myrtle, Celery Top Pine, Sassafras & Tasmanian Oak
• Flooring products (19mm strip flooring, 13mm overlay flooring & parquetry flooring)
All lots have reserve prices and payment must be made on the day by cash or credit card. Winning bidders can take immediate delivery, so bring your ute, trailer or truck to the auction. There is plenty of parking on-site and Oakdale Industries staff can help load your vehicle with our forklifts. Delivery can also be arranged at additional cost.
The auction will be held on-site at Oakdale Industries, 4C Bounty Street, Warrane on Saturday March 23, 2013. Gates open at 8.15am and inspection of the lots commences at 8.30am. Bidding starts at 10.00am sharp.
We extend our thanks to Mr Nick Corkhill, who has kindly volunteered his time and skills to be our Guest Auctioneer.
Enquiries can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning (03) 6244 2277 during normal business hours.
Download the Timber auction_March 23 2013 flyer.
Download the Timber Auction CATALOGUE – 23rd March 2013
OAK Youth Pathways participants have worked alongside students from Huon Valley schools, in an exciting new fruit industry program.
Aimed at providing direction, mentorship and vocational training for up to 10 students and 5 OAK Youth Pathways Clients, the OAK Tasmania Together project is supported by a $4,000 State Department of Education Together Project grant, under the Huon Strong Communities Partnership.
About 15 young participants have worked on the project, including 18 to 25 year-olds living with a disability from the OAK Youth Pathways program and Huonville, Geeveston District and Dover High School students in need of encouragement and engagement.
Fruit for the project has been provided by OAK Tasmania’s Grove Heritage Nursery. The Heritage Nursery, along with fellow OAK Tasmania business Tahune Fields Nursery, at Lucaston, is well known in the Huon Valley for providing meaningful employment and training opportunities to Tasmanians living with a disability.
Participants were given the chance to create plum jam from Grove Heritage Nursery fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Some fresh produce will also be passed on to the Huonville Co-Op and other emergency relief organisations in the Huon Valley.
As a vocational program, run at a commercial nursery, OAK Tasmania Together has provided its participants with industry standard skills across preparation, packing, distribution and sales. With a focus on flexible learning, the program has also provided business skills to participants while fostering a mentorship program between students and the community, as well as between people living with a disability and those who are not.
While it the first time OAK Youth Pathways has been involved in a project of this kind, OAK Tasmania’s connection with the Huon community and schools is more than two decades old, with many students using OAK’s Grove Heritage Nursery and Tahune Fields Nursery for work experience and employment.
Huonville High School Assistant Principal and Together Project coordinator Pam Lane said vocational programs were important to high school students as they enabled them to make connections with the “real world” as well as to understand the importance of employability and education. She said the OAK Tasmania Together Project, also involved students working with local volunteers, sharing knowledge with retiree mentors and being mentors themselves, also offered students extra special life skills.
“This program is really special because it allows students from the high school to learn important life skills of compassion, kindness and accepting difference and ability in all,” Pam said.
“The chance for young people from the high school to act as mentors is very valuable as it allows them to develop leadership skills and confidence, patience and good listening skills and understand that all have value and can contribute to the community.”
Huon Valley Health and Wellbeing Coordinator Alison Eastland, who was also instrumental in the project’s establishment, commended OAK Tasmania, Rotary and Huonville High School, for making the project a reality.
“[They) have worked hard to get this project going and they deserve congratulations for getting it off to a great start,” she said.
Project participants have produced more than 200 jars of plum jam which are being offered for sale through OAK Community Services. Proceeds from sales will go towards purchasing new jars, lids and basic ingredients for the next batch of jams, purees and sauces.
190ml jars are available for $4.50 each, and smaller 110ml jars can be purchased for $3.50 each.
To purchase jars of plum jam in support of the project, please contact OAK Youth Pathways Manager Deb Peers on 6208 0600 between 8.30am and 4.00pm weekdays. Payment and collection of the produce can be made at OAK Community Services, 6B Lampton Avenue Derwent Park.
OAK Tasmania has been presented with a national award recognising 30 years of continued support and contribution to Australia’s peak disability body, National Disability Services (NDS).
The award was presented to OAK Tasmania by NDS Chief Operating Officer Mr Patrick Maher at the opening of the new NDS office in Hobart earlier this week.
The national award is part of the NDS Membership Recognition Awards program which acknowledges the significant membership milestones of 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and 50 years of NDS membership.
Members in these categories are awarded a Membership Recognition plaque to commemorate the long-standing partnership NDS has had with each organisation.
OAK Tasmania’s continuous 30 year membership has contributed to the growing strength and influence of the disability sector and reflects a shared commitment to providing quality services and improving the lives of Tasmanians with disabilities.
After 12 months in the making, the State’s newest artisan cider brand Lost Pippin will be available to the public at this weekend’s 2012 Tasmanian International Beerfest.
Lost Pippin is produced south of Hobart, in the picturesque Huon Valley, on the former Grove Heritage Nursery and Grove Research and Development Station site. Boasting a repository of more than 850 cultivars and lines of apples, pears and quinces, the site is also home to Australia’s largest collection of heritage apples and pear trees, many of which are no longer commercially available. The Grove site is leased from the State Government by OAK Tasmania.
Lost Pippin has been a labour of love for manager and cider producer Mark Robertson, who has worked long hours to give people a chance to enjoy what he calls a genuine, boutique cider experience.
“One of the things the craft cider industry is trying to do at the moment is to widen the spectrum and differentiate itself from the mass produced ciders,” Mark said.
“We are looking more at the boutique, premium handcrafted end of the market,”
“For us it will be more about quality than quantity.”
Unlike many cider products which are manufactured by external producers, the Lost Pippin range is made on site from fruit grown on site. Mark said while the cider industry was strong and new players were continually entering the market, natural marketing advantages such as the ability to value add and process on site, would make Lost Pippin stand out from the crowd.
“People want to buy food [and beverage] where it has been produced,” he said.
“They want to know where it comes from and how it has been treated.”
The ability to provide the fruit to make the Lost Pippin range also made great environmental and business sense.
“The whole idea of producing cider out of this site and coming up with a value added product to try and deal with some of the fruit that was going to waste, is a damn nice thing,” Mark said.
Mark said the Lost Pippin range would also stand out stylistically from other boutique products. While Lost Pippin featured a premium sparkling cider, it also included a still apple cider and a still perry, both of which were unusual finds in the Australian boutique cider market. The inclusion was a deliberate stylistic point of difference as well as a nod to the English tradition of drinking still cider.
“The idea of putting a still cider out challenges what people think about cider,” Mark said
“There are not many people around Australia doing still ciders and I think we will be the only one on the market locally,”
“Of all the people who have tried it, a lot of English people come back again and again because it’s so different and reminds them of the cider they would be drinking at home.”
At the moment the Lost Pippin brand incorporates online tree sales, as well as cider production. There are plans to gradually include more of the Grove site’s traditional cider apple varieties into cider blends. Next year the site will also include a Heritage Apple Walk and in the future a cellar door, to give people a complete boutique experience.
“Everything we do here is about real fruit, real flavour and letting the public discover what’s out there,” Mark said.
“It doesn’t matter whether we are selling a nursery tree or an apple or cider, we are selling flavour.”
Mark said Tasmania was especially suited for making fantastic boutique cider.
“Tassie is in a really interesting position from a point of view of flavour in apples,” he said.
“From what I’ve seen on the mainland, cider varieties tend to perform better down here and have better structure and more flavour.”
You can get your first taste of Lost Pippin at the 2012 Tasmanian International Beerfest, which will be held on the Hobart Waterfront on Saturday November 24th and Sunday November 25th. Mark Robertson will also run a Lost Pippin Masterclass at the festival, on Sunday at 1.30pm.
The Lost Pippin range of still, perry and sparkling ciders will be available through selected restaurants and speciality venues from mid-December. Lost Pippin will also be available at this year’s Taste of Tasmania.
An exhibition celebrating disability arts and community creativity will be launched on Friday the 17th August at the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart.
Entitled Signal Box: Urban Canvas, the exhibition is the culmination of the Hobart City Council’s Signal Box public art project, and features the designs and work of community groups, schools and artists who painted 40 of Hobart’s traffic signal boxes over a two year period.
A group of clients from OAK Community Services painted the first of the 40 traffic signal boxes in 2010. The traffic signal box is located on the corner of Morrison and Murray Streets on Hobart’s waterfront.
The artwork on the traffic signal box reflects an important event or events in the lives of the artists, and is also linked to a poem about Hobart written in 1910 by Elizabeth Hutchinson Scott. Each painted panel is linked to the next panel, offering a 360 degree storytelling and artistic experience.
Oak Tasmania CEO Mr John Paton said the initiative demonstrated the breadth of talent that can be found in the disability arts sector.
“The images depicted in the artwork are well known to Tasmanians and visitors to the State, but interwoven in each panel are sub-texts that aren’t at first recognisable.
“It will take two or three viewings of each panel before all of the stories unfold before your eyes.”
Mr Paton said partnering with national community organisation Reclink had enabled thirteen of Oak Tasmania’s clients to work one-on-one with artist Aedan Howlett in order to finalise their design before it was transferred to the traffic signal box.
“Mr Howlett used his considerable talent to work with our clients and develop the final artwork to their specifications, which wouldn’t have been possible without Reclink’s financial support.
“Our clients are extremely proud that their designs are painted on a very prominent traffic signal box for the whole community to enjoy,” he said.
Signal Box is a cultural initiative of the City of Hobart as part of its Public Art Program, managed by Urban Smart Projects.
The Exhibition can be viewed at the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart which is open to the public between 10am and 5pm daily until Monday 20 August.
OAK Tasmania’s Photography Program has received a generous boost, thanks to a $5,000 donation by Hobart legal firm Simmons Wolfhagen.
An innovative program of photography tuition introduced by OAK five years ago, the Photography Program is a favourite among clients and offers both beginner and advanced classes in camera and composure skills. All participants have gathered an impressive portfolio of work which has resulted in several successful exhibitions since 2007.
As OAK Tasmania’s lawyers, Simmons Wolfhagen already provide ‘in kind’ services and advice to the company, and is a recipient of the prestigious Heart of OAK Award.
OAK Tasmania CEO John Paton said the firm’s donation to the Photography Program further demonstrated its community focus and strong values.
“The firm’s values and Social Responsibility Charter align closely with those of OAK Tasmania,” Mr Paton said.
“Simmons Wolfhagen is indeed a progressive, modern organisation that places the needs of its clients at the very heart of what they do…as we have always done at OAK Tasmania.
“It has extended its community focus by making a financial contribution to OAK in support of our Photography Program, of which we are extremely grateful.”
Part of the donation has been used to purchase six new digital cameras which were presented to OAK’s Photography Program participants at a morning tea hosted by Simmons Wolfhagen.
Simmons Wolfhagen Partner Mr David Morris said supporting OAK was a good way of taking social responsibility, as well as being involved with a great organisation.
“It’s something everyone is excited about and we are looking forward to seeing how it unfolds and the rewards that come from having this type of relationship with OAK,” Mr Morris said.