Forestry Australia Directors and Staff

Forestry Australia 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 Michelle Freeman – Vice President

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.

Michelle 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, AFSM – Vice President

Lachie McCaw has worked in forestry since 1980 and is a Registered Forestry Professional (RFP) with skills in native forest management.

Lachie has extensive experience in bushfire research and management with a focus on forests, woodlands and shrublands in Western Australia and has published more than 80 journal articles and book chapters on fire. His professional 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 was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in 2021 and is an active volunteer firefighter with his local bush fire brigade. His spare time is occupied managing a 15 ha family forest at Manjimup in the southern forests of Western Australia.

Prof Mark Brown – Director

Professor or Forestry Operations, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Deputy Director – Forestry Research Institute (FRI) – USC, Director – Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC) – USC

Mark is an applied research leader with nearly 25 years’ experience in applied forestry and biomass supply research and innovation.

His focus is on research implementation across the entire forest product and biomass supply chain, integrating traditional product supply with biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts and adapting supply chains to engage emerging circular economy frameworks.

As the director of FIRC, Mark’s experience in partnership building and implementation is being applied with forestry and biomass collaborators internationally.

Mark has extensive international collaborations, having leadership roles in the IEA Bioenergy TCP as a member of the Executive Core Group, Chair of the Communications Committee and Biomass Supply Task Leader.

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.

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).

Mick Stephens – Director

Mick is presently the CEO for Timber Queensland, the peak state industry body. He is a resource economist with 30 years’ experience in policy development, advocacy and applied R&D in forestry and agriculture.
He has held senior private and public sector roles both in Australia and overseas, delivering leadership and mentoring teams for durable outcomes.

In 2008 Mick was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate agroforestry practices in North America and Europe, and in 2013 received a Gottstein Fellowship to look into active forest fire management in the United States and Canada. Mick has a degree in economics, post-graduate qualifications in environmental science and a Master of Forestry from the Australian National University.

Jim Wilson  – Director

Jim Wilson has a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) Australian National University 2003 and is the Plantation Operations and Services Manager at Forico, Tasmania.

He is a Registered Forestry Professional and graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Rural Leadership Program. Jim’s career has been focused in the private sector and he has invested his recent years working with Forico, as well as providing significant service at sector level in advocacy and leadership.

Jim is also an active farm forester with both plantation and native forest in Tasmania.

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.

Sue Bruce – Finance Officer

Sue is Fellow CPA, an experienced financial manager, accountant and HR professional. With over 30 years’ experience and qualifications in accounting, management, teaching and governance, Sue takes pride in providing top-class service to Forestry Australia’s members, staff, suppliers and stakeholders.

As our Finance Manager, she also enjoys seeing a balanced balance sheet! A career highlight was the reconciliation of expenditure for a $640 million project spanning 14 years across 3 financial systems. Away from the spreadsheets, Sue has two adult children and two grandchildren who love spending time with their Nanna Sue.

Andrea Diem – Branch, Events & Communications Officer

Andrea has over 10 years’ experience in Marketing. Andrea organises the highly successful Forestry Australia webinar program as well as coordinating our communications including issuing e-News, broadcast emails and producing The Forester.

Andrea provides support to Forestry Australia Branches, Divisions and Regions to offer online and face to face events including field trips, networking events. Andrea welcomed the rapid change of Forestry Australia in the last 2 years and loves working with other Branches and committee members to deliver value and networking opportunities to members.

Andrea is originally from Colombia, married and a mother of one child. Andrea loves travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Jodi Duiker – Administration Officer

Jodi has worked in Administration Support roles for over 15 years, including Executive Assitant, Officer & HR Manager and Practice Manager across varied expressions and passions. She currently works as administration support across a number of areas of Forestry Australia, including our Mentoring Program, our Registered Forestry Professionals scheme, and our incredibly generous volunteers.

Jodi is passionate about supporting individuals and teams to help achieve successful outcomes, whilst working with purpose and passion in all that she does, and ensuring that we value people along the way. She is wife to Andrew, and mother to 4 grown children, Ben, Abbie, Grace and Anja, who together seek to embrace family, life and adventure in all they do.

Naomi Will – Membership and Conference Manager

Naomi is an experienced event and association management professional with over 15 years experience, and is Forestry Australia’s Membership and Conference Manager. She lives in Launceston, has almost five years experience working in the Forestry Sector, and runs her own successful Event Management business that services many Government, corporate, association and NFP clients across Australia.

Naomi and her husband Simon have a young son, Arthur, who keeps them on their toes and ensures time away from work is full of adventure, fun and mischief!