Woodgroup SA was the original group representing woodworkers of all persuasions across South Australia. Over a period of many years special interest groups were established to represent the interests of wood turners, sculptors, general woodworkers, scrollers, carvers etc.  In 2007/08 these special interest groups became incorporated associations in their own right and became the members of Woodgroup SA.  In late 2020 the member clubs of Woodgroup SA voted to dissolve the association.  The process of dissolution was completed in April 2021.

The initiative for the formation of Southern Turners came from Richard (Dick) Pillar.  Using the membership list of Woodgroup SA Dick extracted the contact details of 14 people who lived in the southern area.  This covered Seaview Downs to Willunga and east to Coromandel Valley. A letter was sent inviting these people to a meeting on 13 February 1988 to consider forming a group for turners in the southern areas. This first meeting was to be held at Dick Pillar’s house in Happy Valley.

Extracts from the minutes of the first meeting:

“At that meeting it was decided to form an interest group to meet each moth, on the second Saturday afternoon following the monthly group meeting [early WoodgroupSA meetings?]…. Meetings will be held in participant [sic] workshops on a rotational basis.  Emphasis at each session will be on practical activities and in giving assistance with any problems.  It is hoped that some meetings it will be possible to include a guest turner from a different area.”

From Noel Playfair (an original participant)

“A pattern was developed whereby interested people (all men in the early days) could meet monthly in one another’s workshops and share in the practice and art of wood turning. Interspersed with these mutually helpful activities (both successes and disasters – i.e. learning opportunities), were visits to tradesmen’s workshops, wood gathering expeditions, sawmills and even a few caravan trips to more distant parts – the most memorable, to my mind, to Chriss Hortop’s at Penola. A social camaraderie developed and wives joined in some social events and, of course, supplied modest afternoon teas. We regularly entertained the public at the Willunga Almond Festivals from 1988 onwards, and occasionally at other public functions (Strathalbyn’s penny-farthing race day and even at Carrick Hill). Trevor has educated and entertained us at his furniture workshop at Myponga several times. We also visited David Tulloch when he had his workshop at Woodside.”

In 1997 Southern Turners moved to meeting in the Technical Studies Building at Aberfoyle High School.


More to follow in the near future

The Founder's Award

The Founder’s Award is presented annually to the member who, in the opinion of all members, has contributed the most to the club over the past twelve months.  Until 2018 this award was known as the Bob Summerhouse Award.

2005 – Brian Foreman

2007 – Mel Pearce

2009 – Neville Pudney

2011 – John Edyveen

2013 – Craig Martin

2015 – Alvan Roman

2017 – Mel Pearce

2019 – Simon Bagshaw

2021 – Alvan Roman

2023 – Alvan Roman

2006 – Peter Dawes

2008 – Roger Parker

2010 – Neville Pudney

2012 – Roger Parker

2014 – Craig Martin

2016 – Gary Weir

2018 – Simon Bagshaw

2020 – Simon Bagshaw

2022 – Kip Constance

Alvan being presented with the 2023 Founder's Award by Mark W

Life Members

Awarded for long and outstanding service to the Southern Turners Inc

Pre 2010 – Doug Lane (Deceased)

Pre 2010 – Brian Foreman (Deceased)

2019 – Peter Dawes

2019 – John Bennett

2023 – Craig Martin

2023 – Alvan Roman

Our Life Members. L to R, John Bennett, Peter Dawes, Alvan Roman, Craig Martin

Brian Foreman Award

Awarded monthly for the best piece of work in Show and Tell as judged by the Master of Ceremonies who is the winner of the award for the previous month.  The criteria is the prerogative of the MC.


Jan –

Mar –

May – A victim of covid 19

Jul – Bronte Edwards

Sep – Al

Nov – Bob Taylor

Feb –

Apr – A victim of covid 19

Jun – A victim of covid 19

Aug –

Oct – Jeff Wrigley

Dec – Peter Hudson


Jan – David Eitzen

Mar – Brian Nykiel

May – David Eitzen

Jul – David Eitzen

Sep – Bronte Edwards

Nov – Bronte Edwards

Feb – Peter Hudson

Apr – Ashley Wallage

Jun – John Tillack

Aug – Peter Hudson

Oct – Simon Bagshaw

Dec – David Eitzen


Jan – A victim of Covid

Mar – Bronte Edwards

May – Stephen Russell

Jul – Ian Henley

Sep – David Eitzen

Nov – Peter Hudson

Feb – A victim of Covid

Apr – Gerry Percy

Jun – Uwe Karstens

Aug – Danny Zivkovic

Oct – Jeff Wrigley

Dec – Simon Bagshaw (Advanced), Jeff Ayton (Intermediate), Mark Whyte (Novice)



Jan – Brian Nykiel

Feb – Mark Whyte

Mar – Russell O’Brien

Apr – Brian Nykiel

May – Brian Nykiel (MC Jun)

Jun – Les MacIntosh

Jul – Bob Page

Aug – Tony Purdon

Sep – Gordon Coleman

Oct – Gordon Coleman

Nov – Gordon Coleman

Dec – Tony Purdon

2023 Beginners Award

Dennis Fordham


Jan – Lloyd Russell

Feb – Alvan Roman (MC Mar)

Mar – David Eitzen

Apr – Mark Whyte

May – Bill Parry

Jun – Bill Parry (MC Jul)

Jul – Danny Zivkovic

Aug – Mark Whyte (MC Sep)

Sep – John Reding (MC Oct)

Oct – John McTier (MC Nov)

Nov – Mark Whyte

Dec – Mark Whyte

2023 Intermediate Award

Mark Whyte


Jan – Simon Bagshaw (MC Feb)

Feb – Gerry Percy

Ian Henly (MC Apr)

Apr – Simon Bagshaw (MC May)

May – Peter Hudson

Jun – Peter Hudson

Jul – Simon Bagshaw (MC Aug)

Aug – Bronte Edwards

Sep – Bronte Edwards

Oct – John Tillack

Nov – Ian Henly (MC Jan 24)

Dec – Bronte Edwards

2023 Advanced Award

John Tillack



Jan – Karen Ames (MC Feb)

Feb – Tony Purdon

Mar – Gordon Coleman

Apr – Gordon Coleman

May – Karen Ames

Jun – Gordon Coleman

Jul – Jon Hill


Jan – Brian Nykel

Feb – Bill Parry

Mar – Alvan Roman (MC Apr)

Apr – Russell O’Brien

May – Bill Parry (MC Jun)

Jun – David Eitzen

Jul – Uwe Karsten


Jan – Mark Whyte

Feb – Ian Henly (MC Mar)

Mar – Simon Bagshaw

Apr – Mark Whyte (MC May)

May – John Bennett

Jun – Gerry Percy (MC Jul)

Jul – Roger Parker (MC Aug)

The Mel Pearce Award

The Melvyn Pearce Award is made to a Novice member with less than three year’s membership of Southern Turners and who has demonstrated

  • Club spirit
  • Regular attendance, and
  • Demonstrated desire to improve their skills

A Certificate accompanies a Dust Be Gone dust mask. The Award is presented annually and is in memory of Melvyn Pearce, a stalwart Club member who passed away in early 2018.

2018 – Danny Zivkovic

2019 – Bob Taylor

2020 – Shaun Fitton

2021 – David Eitzen

2022 – Dennis Fordham

2023 – Mark Whyte

Mark receiving the Mel Pearce Award from Estelle Pearce