Tuesday 17 October 2023

Past, present & future forestry greats recognised

Dr Kevin Tolhurst, Victoria | Rowan Reid, Otway Ranges | Jenna Hammond, Tasmania

The late, great Dr Kevin Tolhurst AM has today been awarded the N.W. Jolly Medal, the highest honour for outstanding service to the forest science profession in Australia.

Forestry Australia President Dr Michelle Freeman said the award was a timely opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Dr Tolhurst, following his sudden passing this month.

“The loss of Kevin has been felt deeply by many in our community and beyond,” Dr Freeman said. “Kevin’s contribution to forest and fire management has been phenomenal, and his knowledge and passion were truly awe inspiring.

“Generations of foresters and forestry scientists were inspired and influenced by Kevin.

“He was generous with his knowledge and time, and ever the gentleman who was always considerate and kind.

“It speaks to Kevin’s intellect that he was nationally and internationally recognised as an expert in a wide range of areas – fire ecologist, fire scientist, professional forester, lecturer, practitioner, academic and collaborator.

“Kevin’s legacy will continue to endure through the practices that he created that continue to shape how we manage fire, and through today’s N.W Jolly Medal.”

Dr Tolhurst’s award was accepted by Gary Morgan AM AFSM.

Two other awards were announced at the 2023 ANZIF Conference, being held on the Gold Cost. Forestry scientist and world renowned agroforester Rowan Reid joined Dr Tolhurst in receiving the 2023 N.W Jolly Medal.

“Rowan is a visionary, and an exceptionally deserved recipient of the highest honour in the forestry profession,” Dr Freeman said.

“Rowan has authored numerous books, articles and reports on silviculture, integrating trees into farming systems, agroforestry economies and extension.

“He has put his knowledge into practice with his family farm in the Otway Ranges, Bambra Agroforestry Farm, a 42-hectare outdoor classroom visited by more than 12,000 farmers, scientists, students and tree lovers.

“Arguably his finest achievement is the Master Tree Grower Program, which runs across Australia, and has been adapted and delivered in Africa, Indonesia, Vanuatu and East Timor.”

The Prince of Wales Award was also awarded at the conference, in recognition of the achievement of an outstanding young to mid-career forest professional.

“Tasmania’s Jenna Hammond is a forest steward standout, and an exceptionally worthy recipient of the Prince of Wales Award,” Dr Freeman said.

“Jenna’s enthusiasm, authenticity and highly engaging approach both in her role as Senior Engagement Advisor with Sustainable Timber Tasmania and in her volunteer contributions within the sector including Forestry Australia.

“Jenna is a role model for young forest professionals and has helped to develop and deliver a highly successful communications campaign that aimed to attract, retain, and support women in the forestry sector.

“Within the wider forest sector, Jenna is an active collaborator with the Forest Education Foundation and has worked in partnership to deliver multiple successful work programs over several years, including a highly successful and engaging Schools Tree Day Program across Tasmania.

“Jenna’s dedication to communication and inclusivity makes her a truly special member of Australia’s professional forest community and a very worthy recipient of the Forestry Australia Prince of Wales Award.”

To interview Rowan or Jenna, or for a photo, contact:

Danielle McKay
0438 390 273

Forestry Australia is an independent professional association of more than 1,200 forest scientists, managers and growers who work in native forests, plantations and provision of environmental services. Its members are committed to the principles of sustainable forest management and applying these principles to generate environmental, social and economic outcomes in all types of forests and land tenures.

Michelle 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, forest management planning and regulation in Victoria and New South Wales and is currently a forest and land management consultant.