Tony graduated from the VSF in 1975 and the University of Melbourne in 1978. In 1984-85, as a Russell Grimwade scholar, he completed a Master of Science in Forestry at Oxford University. He obtained his PhD from the Australian National University in 2018 which examined factors that affect success of international forestry research projects.
In 1976 he worked at Swifts Creek. In 1979 he worked on forest genetics in the Research Branch before being posted to Gellibrand in 1980 managing hardwood operations in the Gellibrand and then Otways districts until 1984.
In 1986 he moved to Orbost Region of CFL, undertaking roles as the Senior Resource Conservation Officer, Fire Protection Officer and Forest Management Planning Officer until 1993. During this period, he prepared the Orbost Regional Fire Protection Plan and managed the development of the Forest Management Plan for the East Gippsland Forest Management Area. In 1994 he was appointed Manager of Forests and Fire in CNR’s North East region. He authored Fire Research Report No. 38 on the suppression of the 1988 Byadbo and Tingaringy wilderness fires.
Between 1997 and 1999 he was the Manager, Forest Policy in NRE’s head office. During the 1990s, he also worked on the Nepal-Australia Forestry Project for two years and as Vanuatu’s Principal Forest Utilisation Officer for two years.
In 1999, he resigned and moved to Canberra becoming the Director of ACT Forests for six years. He subsequently managed the Commonwealth government’s Forestry Branch before joining the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research as its Forestry Research Program Manager from 2010-2018.