History and Philosophy

Wood Workers of Orbost and District initiated the Orbost Exhibition Centre back in 1997 because the Australian Wood Design National Collection needed to be housed in a permanent venue that did justice to the annual exhibition and collection. The Myer Foundation and the Foundation for Regional Rural Renewal saw our vision and got behind us in the very early days. Then we were able to gain support from the State Government's Community Support Fund and Federal Government's Regional Solutions Program to contribute the funds to build a purpose built Arts Centre with a strong focus on wood design made from Australian hardwoods.

The Exhibition Centre opened on 18 December, 2004. Now the centre is also supported by arts user groups, visual and performing arts.

We have two fine galleries:

  • National Collection gallery for established artists and
  • Access gallery for emerging artists.

We also host performances (music, theatre, dance) on the upper floor and the venue is for hire by contacting us on 0449734587. The Exhibition centre has a large foyer area where you can purchase work from local artists of all kinds throughout the year.

A major objective of the Orbost Exhibition Centre is to highlight the potential of our hardwoods for high value added products such as furniture and woodwork items whilst utilising small volumes of timber. We aim to increase public awareness of the value of Australian timbers, for high quality products and as part of our environment. We try to bring woodworkers and the hardwood industry together to promote the quality of Australian timbers and the excellence of Australian design, whilst ensuring the sustainability of our renewable natural resources.

We do not promote or condone the use of timbers that are rare or endangered, such as some species that are dependent on rainforest ecology for their regeneration.

We recognise the diversity and quality of fine furniture and woodwork developing within Australia and seek entries Australia wide.