Private Forestry Service Queensland’s executive officer Sean Ryan at Gympie’s WoodWork Forestry and Timber Museum.
Private Forestry Service Queensland’s executive officer Sean Ryan at Gympie’s WoodWork Forestry and Timber Museum. Renee Pilcher

A new era out of the 'WoodWorks'

THE WoodWorks Forestry and Timber Museum is set to enter an exciting era under new and very compatible management.

Private Forestry Service Queensland (PFSQ), a not-for-profit organisation that supports a range of private forestry activities, was awarded the tender to run the site by Gympie Regional Council.

PFSQ executive officer Sean Ryan said they intended to expand the attraction to incorporate a timber industry interpretative centre and hoped eventually to make it largely self-funded, with initiatives such as a blacksmithing shop, fully operational timber mill and other related enterprises.

The pairing of PRSQ with the WoodWorks Museum was “a perfect fit”, Mr Ryan said.

The museum, built to celebrate Gympie’s rich timber history and industry, will undergo the renewal and expansion process over the next few years.

“The interpretive centre will promote the whole of the modern day industry while maintaining and improving the historical aspects of the museum,” he said.

In addition to upgrading and maintaining the valuable exhibits the museum already boasts, Mr Ryan said they were keen to establish a fully operational timber mill and blacksmithing shop with a view to making the centre “self-sufficient”.

There will be new, interactive exhibits which will have a rotating focus to keep it fresh for repeat visitors.

“It can’t happen overnight,” he said.

“But we will put together a 10- year business plan and we will have a public meeting as soon as we can.”

PFSQ will work with local timber processors and other people connected to the timber industry to encourage their participation, sponsorship and assistance.

“We want to show the whole story,” Mr Ryan said.

The Gympie woodworking club intends to have a significant workshop on the site.

“Timber is our region’s largest industry by a mile,” he said.

“It is very significant.”

The official opening is scheduled for Gympie’s Ultimate Steam Festival on July 22-24.

Mr Ryan said they were interested in hearing from anyone with blacksmithing or milling skills, as well as anyone wishing to donate artefacts or pass on timber-related skills.