The Sylvanite

The Sylvanite was the official magazine of the Victorian Old Forestry Students’ Association. The Association was inaugurated in 1920 with the aim of preserving the school spirit, personal contacts and close friendships stemming from the years in the Victorian School of Forestry. The magazine was produced by the students of the School with input from the graduates as a means of maintaining contact between the foresters after graduation and with the hope of it also serving as a technical journal.

The magazine canvassed such issues as the relationship between the Forests Commissioners and foresters, pay schedules, matters of general and forestry interest, activities of the graduates as well as notes about the School and its current students. Relevant extracts from the 1927 and 1929 issues of the magazine can be found in the links below. 

It is not certain yet when The Sylvanite ceased production but 1934 saw the publication of the first issue of The Victorian Forester which was replaced, in 1953, with the Victorian State Foresters Association Newsletter, as the means by which information about technical, social and other matters were disseminated to the forestry diaspora.  Those more recent magazines are published in the Site Library of this website.

The articles from The Sylvanite of 1927, 1928 and 1929 listed below are available here.

  • (Inter)State Forest Activities - 1927
  • Tree Planting and the Science of Forestry - 1927
  • A Man-size Job - 1928
  • Destruction of Blossom by Birds - 1928
  • Granton Kiln Seasoning Process - 1928
  • Polyporaceae in Creswick Forest - 1928
  • School Activities - 1928
  • Some Mistletoe Notes - 1928
  • VSF Camp Bendigo - 1928
  • VSF Eucalyptus Oil Still - 1928
  • Flora of the Werribee Gorge - 1929
  • Pithy Pars - 1929
  • Pollination of Eucalypts by Birds - 1929
  • Timber or Cellulose - 1929





Tyalla was the name of the magazine produced by the students at the Victorian School of Forestry at the end of each academic year from 1960 to 1980.

The origin of the word Tyalla is explained in a letter written to the School by J. H. Willis of the Melbourne Herbarium in 1960, of which the following extract was printed in the 1961 edition.

"I like your choice of name, musical and simple. The aboriginal "Tyalla" appears in Brough Smyth's ABORIGINES OF VICTORIA. VOL. 2 1878, and is said to be the name of an unidentified species of mallee in the region of Lake Hindmarsh. I have scoured our Herbarium in the hope of locating the original "Tyalla" sample that Rev. Hartmann sent for determination to Baron von Mueller in the 1870's but apparantly it was never preserved. The name most probably refers either to Eucalyptus gracilis, E. oleosae, or E. incrassata".

The format of the magazine remained much the same throughout its life, and included a list of the Board of Forestry Education, the staff - both resident and visiting, visitors, a Principal’s report, academic results from the previous year and where the graduates of that year had been posted, a photo of the current graduating year, short bios on each of the students (in both The Sylvanite and Tyalla these were typical undergraduate student musings and need to be viewed from that perspective), reports on the various sports played by the students, and reports on activities such as fieldwork, excursions and the previous summer’s work. Generally there were also two to three contributions from staff, students and others which covered a wide range of topics related to forestry. The magazine was largely funded through advertisements from the forestry industry and these were interspersed throughout the magazine.

Relevant extracts can be found below, including Principal reports which give a feel for some of the changes and challenges over the years, reports on life and activities at the School, and articles which explored various facets of forestry.