Defence Families Blacksmithing

The Cuppacumbalong Foundation provided scholarships that allowed two people (an adult and a child) to attend a Family Blacksmithing course conducted by Tharwa Valley Forge. This program was open to the immediate families of current and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force living or serving in the ACT, and was delivered to 24 participants using a combination of volunteers, donations, and a government grant.

These scholarships have been made possible by a Veterans Grant from the Community Services Directorate of the ACT Government

When you donate, you have the option of choosing which course your money will go towards.

All donations $2 and over are tax deductible.

It was a one-day basic course designed to bring people family members together to work on a project. The projects are designed to be something that a the family will go on to use together. It is suitable for children aged 12-16 years and adults.

The course covers:

  • Workshop safety
  • Using a gas forge
  • An introduction to metallurgy:
    • How metal behaves under heat and pressure
    • Using hammers and tongs to move and hold metal
  • Forming metal using forging processes, including:
    • Forging a point
    • Flattening metal
    • Bending and twisting metal into shapes
    • Hardening and softening metal
    • Making different textures on the surface of the metal

At the end of the course, each pair of particpants produced their choice of either:

  • A set of hand-forged family steak knives
    • Traditional 19th century pattern
    • Four knives in total
    • Designed to last for 2-3 generations


  • A cooking set for cooking over a campfire, including:
    • Fire poker
    • Cooking Fork
    • Cooking Tongs
    • Camp Fire Tripod
    • Hooks to hold pots from the tripod over the fire

Participants will receive a USB stick containing photos of them at work during the course.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must meet the criteria outlined below:

  • The adult applicant has served or is serving with any branch of the Australian Defence Force OR is the spouse of someone who meets this criteria
  • The child applicant is related to, or cared for by, the adult applicant
  • The child applicant is no younger than 12 and no older than 16 years of age
  • The adult applicant must permanently reside within the ACT OR the adult applicant is a current serving member of the Australian Defence Force (or spouse of same) posted to a unit within the ACT

These courses were delivered in the 2019 April school holidays, July school holidays and the weekends in between

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