The Slab Hut
PO Box 284, Orbost, Victoria, Australia 3888

2018 Working in Wood

After WWII, many European men came to Australia. The Orbost district provided jobs in the timber and sleeper cutting industries. This photo is of young Italian men, many of them sleeper cutters.

From 1912 onwards, many men camped in the bush while cutting sleepers and hewing beams for the railways. These were rough camps in isolated places often in bag tents or bark huts.

Although the sleeper cutting industry closed down in 1993, some of the sleeper cutters and their families were interviewed. Each of these interviews was displayed individually on specially designed posters. These gave insights into their work and lives.

A display of chainsaws from the 1940s onwards was a special feature of this exhibition.