New Governing Council member announcements and a keynote address by Planet Ark’s David Rowlinson were highlights of VFPA’s first AGM, held online on 21 October.
Outgoing Chair Tony Price welcomed Hamish Little (AKD Softwoods) and Martin Crevatin (PF Olsen Australia) as new members of the Governing Council. “I’m pleased to officially welcome two outstanding forestry professionals in Martin Crevatin and Hamish Little as our association continues to go from strength to strength,” Mr Price said.
Mr Crevatin and Mr Little join continuing member and newly elected Chair Rob Hescock (HVP), Deputy Chair Phil Mason (New Forests), re-elected Treasurer Darren Shelden (ABP), and continuing members Vince Hurley (ASH), Sarah Harvie (Opal), Mike Lawson (SFMES) and Paul Heubner (ANWE/Pentarch) on the Governing Council.
On behalf of the Council and Association, Mr Hescock thanked outgoing Chair Mr Tony Price who stood down due to his pending retirement in early 2022.
“Mr Price has been instrumental in overseeing the establishment of VFPA, and leaves the organisation well placed to represent forestry in Victoria going forward,” said Mr Rob Hescock, incoming Chair.
Mr Price paid tribute to outgoing Council Member Simon Gatt, who the Council appointed as a casual vacancy in April.
“Mr Gatt has made a significant contribution to the VFPA as an active Governing Council member. I want to thank him on behalf of the Council and all the members for his input and support,” Mr Price said.
VFPA CEO Deb Kerr presented the annual report and strategic plan for the coming years.
“With a highly engaged membership base and Governing Council, we are well-positioned to grow the VFPA and promote our vision of united and influential forestry in Victoria. Our very ambitious strategic plan has been well received, and we have experienced significant growth and momentum over the past months.”
Profiles, images, and quotes of VFPA’s new Chair and Governing Council Members are below.
Rob Hescock represents the softwood plantation sector having worked in the industry across Victoria for many years. Currently, he is the Chief Operating Officer for HVP Plantations. Although based in Melbourne, he spends most of his time in the three regions that encompass the northeast and western areas of the state as well the large softwood region in Gippsland. Stewardship of the environment and maintaining viable domestic contractors and processing facilities are key areas of interest. Along with his partner and family, he also operates a farming enterprise with a strong focus on environmental enhancement.
“Positioning the Victorian forest products industry as a well-respected and influential voice will be a challenging and rewarding role that I look forward to as the incoming Chair. The critical need to improve Victoria’s sovereign timber supply and the community’s understanding of the importance of our industry to their daily lives are central roles for our organisation,” Mr Hescock said.
Martin Crevatin is National Operations Manager at PF Olsen (Aus) Pty Ltd, managing over 140,000 hectares of hardwood and softwood plantation assets in Victoria, SA, NSW, WA, and Tasmania. With over 30 years of forestry experience, Martin has worked extensively in native forest and plantation management in the public and private sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) (Hons), Bachelor of Science and has completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, France. He is currently a member of the Forest Industry Advisory Council of South Australia and the Forest Management and Harvest Industry Reference Committee of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee.
“I’m looking forward to working with the other Governing Council members to promote the shared vision of VFPA. As an industry, we continue to deal with change, but I sense that as we transition further into a carbon-constrained world, there will be many opportunities for the forestry sector. To be best positioned to take advantage of this, we need to continue to protect and strengthen our social licence,” Mr Crevatin said.
Hamish Little is General Manager Operations of Associated Kiln Driers Pty Ltd (trading as AKD Softwoods). AKD is an Australian owned and operated integrated forestry and timber processing company operating in Victoria, NSW, and QLD. Mr Little has 12 years of experience working in the private forestry and timber processing sector and currently manages AKD’s Sawmill and Forestry Operations.
Hamish has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from The University of Adelaide and a Diploma in Forestry Management from the University of Melbourne. Hamish has recently returned from the mining sector after spending 10 years managing various mines across Australia.
“I am humbled by the appointment and look forward to using my skills and experience to help promote the sector to sustainably benefit local communities, businesses and the environment,” Mr Little said of his appointment.
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