The Environment Award was given for the first time in 2016 to Stephen Hann for "Branch Out" - a hollow form Paulownia surfboard with shou sugi ban dan (Japanese burnt timber technique) detailing and Red cedar internal bracing.
As Stephen pointed out, surfing is often thought of as a 'green' sport but this belies the toxic nature of modern-day boards. Stephen felt he was making a small difference with his entry, by working "against the grain" of modern-day surfboard manufacture, reflecting a new trend emerging within the surf community as environmental awareness increases.
The Wootha Prize generates enormous interest, allowing woodworkers, many of who are not in a position to exhibit at the Maleny Wood Expo, the opportunity to showcase their work to the thousands of visitors who visit each year.
The Wootha Prize is open to all woodworkers, both professionals and non-professionals, and the theme for 2017 is "Inside Out".