Gordon Cleary

Gordon began work for the FCV in the summer of 1968 as a driver in the Division of Forest Protection, taking Radio Technician Max Bott to every forest district as he installed aerials for the new UHF radio system into FCV lookout towers. After a summer with National Parks, he joined the Heyfield Mobile Support Crew as a chainsaw operator in the 1970/71 Summer season, based at Connors Plains under John Wilson. He rejoined the Heyfield Crew as Senior Leading Hand in the 1974/75 Summer season, when the crew left Connors Plains forever and moved to Surveyors Creek Camp. Over this time, the HMSC worked on fires in diverse locations around Victoria, from high country lightning strikes to mallee scrub, arson and dune fires at Wilson’s Promontory.

He was undertaking a B.Agr.Sci. Degree at Melbourne University when VSF Creswick B.For.Sc. students joined the newly merged Ag-Forestry faculty, discovering that his father Val’s lectures in Fire Protection and Forests Law at VSF were pedestrian. After graduating, he spent 2 years in agricultural research at the Animal Research Institute, Werribee, earning M.Agr.Sci. from La Trobe University, before becoming a District Extension Officer with the Victorian Department of Agriculture, based in Shepparton.

He became a private Agricultural Consultant in 1984, doing stints as a Visiting Lecturer at La Trobe and Victoria Universities and working across many agricultural industries, both nationally and internationally, over the next 30 years. A Fellow and ex-member of the National Executive of the Australia Association of Agricultural Consultants, a Division of the Institute of Agricultural Science & Technology, he remains an avid 4WD enthusiast, mateur historian and bush-loving grandfather.