IFA/AFG Directors and Staff
The IFA (incorporating AFG) is a registered non-profit company limited by guarantee, run by a skills-based Board of Directors. Board positions are honorary and Directors hold office for a period of 3 years. The Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the Institute, providing oversight of the corporate, business and financial affairs of the Institute. The Board have at least one face-to-face meeting each year and meet by telephone conference at other times.
Bob Gordon - President
Bob Gordon is a highly experienced Chief Executive and Non Executive Board member. Bob has spent 40 years in the Forestry and natural resources sector, since 1991 as a senior executive or CEO. After a series of senior management roles in Forestry, Bob was appointed a Forestry Commissioner in 1991 and then Managing Director and CEO of Forestry Tasmania in 2006, a position he held until 2013 when he retired to pursue roles as a NED and turn around CEO.
Bob is currently a Non Executive Director of ASX listed Financial Group, Mystate limited including subsidiaries Mystate bank and Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees. In 2015 Bob was asked to be a turnaround CEO for the Institute of Foresters of Australia , a role he expects will conclude later in 2017 after a successful turnaround of the IFA's financial performance and strategic focus.
Another role Bob has been engaged in is assisting Indigenous Communities in remote NT establish sawmills, furniture factories and house building. This has involved working directly with Traditional owners in setting up training, equipment and markets.
Bob has also been leading a project to establish a property trust to build and lease out to NFP service providers Supported accommodation for NDIS participants.
Earlier in his career Bob held positions on the Board of TASCOSS, was National President of what was then one of the largest Trade Unions, held leadership positions in a range of community organisations including on the Board of Football Federation Tasmania, Swimming Tasmania , Epilepsy Association, and Fingal Valley Community centre.
Bob has held Board roles in companies in tourism, furniture, construction and in a large joint venture with a USA based investment fund. Bob has been married to Dr Dianne Snowden for nearly 39 years and shares her interests in history, heritage and education. They have 4 adult sons and 2 grandchildren.
Dr Kevin Harding - Vice President
Kevin completed a Bachelor of Science (Forestry), at Australian National University 1975 – 1978 and a Ph.D. (Forestry), at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A. 1991-1995. He is a graduate member of the Australia Institute of Company Directors (GAICD, 2013 – current).
He was formerly the Wood Quality Improvement research scientist and team leader for the Queensland Government Forestry Research Group (from 1982 to 2012). He has worked in and experienced forestry in China since 1987 (more than 10 visits) and Vietnam, Ecuador and Europe. Kevin has been the Wood Quality Panel Editor for the Australian Forestry Journal since 2010 coordinating the review of forest products and wood quality manuscripts and was Chair of the IFA 2017 Cairns Conference committee.
Since 2012 he has completed consultancy assignments with Guangxi Forestry Research Institute, China as a Government approved Foreign Expert (2 months in 2013 and a month in 2014) and was a member of an international project review panel for project reviews in 2016 and 2017 for the New Zealand government/industry funded Speciality Wood Products Research Partnership.
He has been a member of AFG since 2007 and was co-opted to fill a casual Australian Forest Growers Board vacancy in October 2013. He has served on the AFG Board as Treasurer and as President and Chair since 2014. He has attended the last four New Zealand Farm Forestry conferences and is a member of NZFFA. He has represented AFG at AFPA meetings since 2015.
Since joining the AFG Board in 2013 Kevin has supported and lead change by the Board to stabilise the AFG financial position and to modernise national office management systems and communication with members. He has participated in AFG conference organising committees for the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 AFG conferences and participated in all conferences and preconference tours since 2008 as well as organising/leading these tours in 2012, 2014 and 2018. He has been a long term IFA member since joining as a student in 1976.
Blair Freeman - Director
Blair is the Head of Strategy and Sustainability with Indufor, an international forest sector consulting firm. He is a professional forester with over 25 years of experience in providing advisory services on forest policy, strategic planning and natural resource management across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
Blair has a Bachelor of Forest Science degree from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration degree from AGSM in Sydney. He is also an alumnus of the World Forest Institute, where he represented the Australian forestry sector under the Global Forest Information Fellowship Program.
Dr Michelle Freeman - Director
Michelle is a forester with a passion for native forest management. She has a double degree in Science (Ecology) and Forestry, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD was in partnership with CSIRO Darwin looking at savanna fire and tree dynamics of northern Australia, as part of the Tiwi Carbon Study. She has worked in timber harvesting operations, planning and regulation in Victoria and is currently a Senior Planner at Forestry Corporation on the south coast of New South Wales. She was on the Board of the IFA from 2012 – 2014, and chaired the Future Foresters Initiative from 2015 – 2017. From 2014 – 2017 she was an Independent Council Member on the Federal Governments’ Forest Industry Advisory Council and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of company Directors.
Dr Lachie McCaw - Director
Dr Lachlan (Lachie) McCaw has worked in forestry since 1980 and is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) with skills in native forest management. He has extensive experience in bushfire research and management with a focus on forests, woodlands and shrublands of Western Australia.
His research interests include fire behaviour, fire climate and weather, and the role of planned fire in sustainable land management. He has been involved in a many aspects of native forest management including regeneration processes, thinning of regrowth stands and forest health.
Lachie works as a Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Western Australia. He manages a 15 ha family forest at Manjimup and has been an active member of Australian Forest Growers.
Jan Newport - Director
Jan has had an extensive career in forestry in Australia, New Zealand and Canada working in both the public and private sector in plantation establishment, forestry education, research, forestry development and policy. After graduating with a Bachelor of Forest Science from University of Melbourne, Jan started her career with APM Forests based in Gippsland. After living and working in Canada for a number of years, she returned to Australia and was based in Mount Gambier working in forestry and natural resources for PIRSA, ForestrySA, Regional Development Australia and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Since moving to Melbourne in 2017, she has worked in forest policy (DJPR), earth resources (DJPR), forest regulation and policy, and timber harvesting compliance (DELWP) before joining VicForests in 2019.
Jan first joined IFA as a student in 1983. She has been an active member of AFG since 1997, serving on the Green Triangle Branch Committee AFG for nine years and as president for three years until its closure in 2017. She has served on the AFG board as a director for four years, and the IFA/AFG Victorian Division Committee for the past two years.
Jan has formal qualifications in forest science (University of Melbourne), business management (marketing) (Monash University), and education (Deakin University), and additional training in business management and leadership (University of Adelaide), and governance (AICD).
Dr Peter Volker - Director
Peter has been an IFA member for 40 years, is an IFA Fellow, RFP and past President of the IFA (2005-11). He spent a couple of years working as an advisor to the Commonwealth assistant minister for forestry. Peter is currently the Chief Forest Practices Officer with the Forest Practices Authority in Tasmania. He owns and manages a eucalypt plantation and natural alpine ash forest. Peter has also worked on international projects and has a wide network of contacts associated with eucalypt plantation silviculture and genetics. As well as a forestry degree he has an MBA(P) and a PhD. He is devoted to lifelong learning. Peter is passionate about forestry as a sustainable industry as well as conservation of forests for all the natural and cultural values they provide – he doesn’t consider these concepts to be mutually exclusive. See https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-volker-77014120/
Jacquie Martin - CEO
Jacquie is a highly experienced association and event management specialist with a passion for member-based organisations and collaborating with volunteer boards to develop and deliver on an organisation's strategic objectives. Most recent roles include the Executive Officer for the Australasian Lymphology Association and the HR & Event Manager for the Australian Corrosion Association.