Forestry Australia announces new Directors, finds member satisfaction and retention higher than ever


MEDIA RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2021

New Director announcements and new figures showing member satisfaction and retention are higher than ever were highlights of the Institute of Foresters of Australia’s (now trading as Forestry Australia) AGM held last night.

Forestry Australia President Bob Gordon welcomed new Directors Mick Stephens and Jim Wilson, who was elected after serving via a casual vacancy over the past 10 months.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to officially welcome two outstanding forestry professionals in Mick Stephens and Jim Wilson as our association continues to go from strength to strength under our new identity, Forestry Australia,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr Stephens and Mr Wilson join continuing Directors Bob Gordon (President), Dr Michelle Freeman and Dr Kevin Harding (Vice Presidents), Blair Freeman, Jan Newport and Dr Lachie McCaw on the Board. Board Observer Leon Holt has also been re-appointed. Mr Gordon also paid tribute to outgoing Director Dr Peter Volker, who has retired as a Director after 10 years on the Board over the past two decades, including serving as President between 2005 and 2011. “Dr Peter Volker has made a more than significant contribution to our association over the past years as President,

Director and an active volunteer. I would like to thank him on behalf of the Board, and all the members he has served so well,” Mr Gordon said.

Forestry Australia CEO Jacquie Martin the latest results from the 2021 Forestry Australia member satisfaction study, which show the association has experience significant growth over the past 18 months.

“Our latest member engagement studies show that member satisfaction within Forestry Australia is very high, and member retention is above 93 per cent,” Ms Martin said.

“Both these statistics demonstrate that the very ambitious three-year strategic plan is progressing well, with the association experience significant growth and momentum over the past 18 months.”

New Forestry Australia Board Member profiles and quotes are available below, with images for media use attached to this email.

Mick Stephens
Mick Stephens is a resource economist based in Queensland with 30 years' experience in policy development, advocacy and applied R&D in forestry and agriculture.

In 2008 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate agroforestry practices in North America and Europe, and in 2010 received a Gottstein Fellowship to look into active forest fire management in the United States and Canada.

Mick is currently the CEO of Timber Queensland.

“I am deeply passionate about the role of well-managed forests and forestry in developing and managing sustainable landscapes, which will be even more important in a carbon conscious world,” Mr Stephens said of his appointment. “I look forward to contributing to the growth of the organisation under the umbrella of Forestry Australia and working with the Board and executive team to implement this vision. This represents a great opportunity to promote the relevance and visibility of forestry with land managers, policy makers and stakeholders, given the broad reach of forestry with its multidisciplinary underpinnings and benefits.”

Jim Wilson
Jim’s career has been focused in the private sector and he has invested his recent years working with Forico in Tasmania, as well as providing significant service to the forest sector in advocacy and leadership.

Jim is a registered Forestry Professional. Jim is also an active farm forester with both plantation and native forest in Tasmania. His experience and knowledge in these areas will bring a new dimension to the board and his recruitment is part of the Institute’s succession plans.

“I am delighted to provide service to the Institute as a Director. The future is bright for our profession,” Mr Wilson said of his appointment.

“We are increasingly recognised as an enabler to a significant climate change solution. My passion is with people and I’m interested in supporting the IFA/AFG as we mature into the merger, rebrand as a united entity, and recruit broader membership interest from all who are passionate about well managed forests.”

Leon Holt
Leon's background is in native forestry and the public sector in Victoria. He was awarded the Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forest Management in 2019. He lives in northern Victoria with his young family and has recently begun establishing a farm forestry enterprise. As a long-time contributor to the IFA/AFG, and the sector more broadly, Leon’s continued insight will be highly valued in this new role.

“I am very happy to continue contributing to the IFA/AFG in the role of Board Observer, after several years working on the Future Foresters Initiative and the Member Services Working Group,” Mr Holt said.

“I'm passionate about forestry and the future of our profession, and I have recently started out on what I'm sure will be an exciting journey as a tree grower. I think the IFA/AFG is increasingly providing a leadership role in our sector, and I look forward to being part of the institute as we continue to become more diverse, promote our brand, advocate for forestry, and deliver more and better member services.”

Media contact:
David Abbott, Font PR, 0400 446 736, davida@fontpr.com.au