The Future Foresters Intiative Committee is made up of young professionals and forestry students. The purpose of the FFI is to provide support to students and early career professionals from forestry or related fields, through mentoring, training, networking and other social and professional development activities.
Meet the Committee
Chris recently graduated with a Masters of Forest Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne. During his studies Chris developed a special interest in bushfire management, working as a project firefighter with Parks Victoria and undertaking fire behavior research. Chris now works for AFAC, the national council for emergency management, as a Bushfire Fuels Project Officer. He has supported fire and land management agencies in the implementation of the Bushfire Fuel Classification, a national approach to characterising fuels. He also supports the AFAC Rural and Land Management Group in the development of operations policy. He's passionate about the role of data and systems in supporting bushfire management, and the importance of sound policy development in enhancing fire and emergency management in Australia.
Working in forest management has given Michelle a diverse range of opportunities: She was an active member of the International Forestry Students Association
(IFSA) during her undergraduate in Forestry and Science at the University of Melbourne; she is an ex-Board member of the Institute of Foresters; in 2013 was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award
; and is a member of the Forest Industry Advisory Council
(FIAC). She worked in a very rewarding Harvesting role at VicForests in Alexandra and is now casually employed as a Project Officer. Taking up much of her current time is the completion of her PhD investigating the effect of managed burning regimes on native tree growth and recruitment on the Tiwi Islands.
Anna is studying Forest Sciences at the Australian National University (ANU). She began her career in natural resource management by working with Conservation Volunteers Australia. In late 2015, she worked as a Seasonal Firefighter for the ACT Parks and Conservation Service (PCS). In 2016, Anna began the re-establishment of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) group at the ANU. Additionally, she worked for ACT Forests in PCS and coordinated the ACT's submissions for the Australia's State of Forests Report 2018. In the same year she was awarded the IFA Undergraduate Scholarship and she worked for the IFA as our Membership officer. Today, Anna works as a Research Assistant for the ANU College of Science, focusing on soil research in the context of native grassland conservation. "
Leon works for the Victorian government in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. He is part of the Department's science graduate program, and has had roles in public land management, statuatory planning and timber haresting compliance. His studies as part of a Masters of Forest Ecosystems Science at the University of Melbourne have focussed on silvicultural systems in Mountain ash forest.
Erin works for PF Olsen Australia as a Projects Forester based in at Head Office in Melbourne. She has completed a Bachelor of Horticulture and a Masters of Forest Ecosystems Science at the University of Melbourne. At PF Olsen Australia Erin is based within the Technical Services team who specialise in GIS, inventory, auditing, forestry systems and business processors. Through her work Erin has focused on the implementation of process improvement works for operational staff and safety of external contractors.
Gavin is currently undertaking research in the area of forestry operations and logistics as part of his Master’s degree in Forest Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne. Before commencing his Master’s degree Gavin completed a Bachelor degree in Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies at the University of Tasmania. Outside of his studies Gavin is a committee member of the Institute of Foresters Australia, Tasmanian division. He is passionate about the forestry profession with an interest in plantation management and has gained experience in the industry working with Forestry Tasmania and Norske Skog.
Career Events & Networking
Nobody can underestimate the importance of professional networks for developing your career and advancing ideas or projects in the workplace.
Student and Early Career Presenter Prize Winners - IFA Conference 2017
In recognition and celebration of students and early career foresters' contribution to the IFA Conference on Tropical Forestry, the Future Foresters Iniciative lauched an early career award. The award cerimony took place in Cairns in August 2017, during the IFA Conference.
The inaugural Future Foresters Initiative Student and Early Career Presenter Prize was awarded to Kamal Malvani of Charles Darwin University for her presentation, Farmers’ Values Driving Rehab of Land into Forest Gardens (Sri Lanka). Jing Hu of the University of Queensland was the runner up with her presentation, Dynamics of a Logged Tropical Forest - Following Silvicultural Treatments over 50 years (Mt Baldy, Atherton).
Thank you to the IFA members who dedicated their time during the conference to judging the award. A special thank you to IFA members Stephen Walker and Kevin Harding as well as Routledge / Taylor and Francis Books for their generous contributions to the prizes.
The professional development project is one of the five primary strategic focuses of the Future Foresters Initiative.
Scholarships & Fundraising
The scholarships and fundraising project is one of the five primary strategic focuses of the Future Foresters Initiative.