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Timber mill established by Aussie actor

A timber milling operation has been established for the first time in a remote part of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The Gumatj Aboriginal Corporation has set up a timber mill and carpentry workshop. Source: ABC Rural

Funds came from an agreement that was signed with a nearby mine and from the actor Jack Thompson’s philanthropic fund.

The corporation’s CEO Klaus Helms says the mill uses timber that would have needed to be cleared from the mining site anyway, and it is an opportunity to create employment for local Indigenous people.

Indigenious workers from the Yolgnu people are working in the mill and carpentry workshop after receiving training from experienced carpenters and mill operators.

“Now we’re starting to get a lot of orders in to utilise the hardwood as furniture -tables, hard chairs, outdoor furniture – which is now commercially viable,” Helms said.

Sales of the furniture were initially to those in the local area but orders are now coming in from as far away as Darwin.