About NESTS

The National Endangered Skills and Trades Show is an annual event run by Endangered Heritage to showcase artisans, makers, and repairers equipped with years of traditional knowledge. These traditional knowledge and skills are essential parts of our history that are gradually disappearing. They will be extinct one day if nothing is done to stop this process.

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Objectives

  1. Conserve intangible heritage by increasing awareness of disappearing heritage trades and their importance. 

  2. Foster a new generation of youth interested in these trades. 

  3. Bring attention to the jobs and industries Australia desperately needs.

 

NESTS emphasises the importance and persisting relevance of these skills and trades that are endangered, not due to a lack of demand, but due to the lack of visibility of the need for apprentices. While training for these trades was once possible, they no longer fit within the Australian trade apprenticeship structure, with existing legislation prevents these traders from taking on trainees or apprentices.

 

There are only two families of coopers, people who make or repair casks and barrels, in all of Australia. Coopers are essential to Australia’s wine, gin, and whisky industry! And this is just one example. We hope to inspire a new generation of apprentices to take up these trades before they disappear forever. Because the biggest shame is that most people are not even aware of these trades and traders who want to pass on their skills to the next generation can’t. 

National Endangered Skills and Trades Show 2022

This year's event raises awareness of how traditional trades can be fostered and adapted to promote environmental sustainability.

HERITAGE TRADES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

This event aims to highlight how traditional trades could help promote environmental sustainability in 3 main ways.

1. Traditional trades use traditional materials which tend to be biodegradable.

Traditional methods that have evolved before modern chemical science tend to use natural materials derived from plants and animals, which are biodegradable. Thus, any material or product made with these methods will also be biodegradable and be better for our environment.


2. Traditional trades offer bespoke solutions to bespoke problems rather than a generic one-size-fits-all option.

The process of being involved in the creation of a product creates a bond of sentimentality. If you had a chair customised and tailored to your smallest specification, would you want to settle or replace it with something generic? We take better care and cherish the things that matter more to us.


3. Traditional trades and skills promote the repairing and enhancing of existing objects.

Consider our built heritage, and how traditional buildings can last hundreds of years and be continually repaired with local skills and local materials. Or, for a less obvious example, think about reupholstery, the art of covering old furniture, particularly seats, with new padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers. This process promotes the reusing and recycling of old furniture rather than replacing it with something entirely new and filling up landfills even more. 

This event will include both an exhibition of traditional trades and a seminar event with speakers from different backgrounds discussing the role of heritage trades in environmental sustainability. 

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