"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Tom Bailes, Mount Cole Forester

Peter Evans (bio)

This article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Australian Forest History Society, Issue 43, April 2006

Tom Bailes
Date: Unknown
Source: Bronwyn Shalders

Thomas Derham Bailes arrived at Beaufort, Victoria, in 1899 to take up the post of Forester for the Mount Cole Reserve. He stayed for thirty-eight years in his official capacity and, like most foresters, displayed a passion for protecting the forests under his care from foolish and wasteful exploitation. While we do not know whether or not he was formally trained as a forester, he appears to have had a solid grasp of all the practical principles of forestry, and was a fine example of that class of unsung heroes so aptly named ‘public servants’. In response to an application by sawmiller James Emery for a site at Mount Cole in 1925, Bailes rose to the defence of his forests in an impassioned letter to AV Galbraith, a newly appointed member of the three-man Forests Commission of Victoria. This letter amply demonstrates some of the conflicts between conservation and utilisation at the level of an early twentieth century forester in the field.

ER Torbet

VSF Graduate of 1920

Article from the VSFA Newsletter, February 1956

Mr E R Torbet, whose death after a short illness occurred on December 22nd, I955, spent his early life in Hamilton where he attended Hamilton High School. He first became associated with forestry when he entered the Creswick Forestry School.

George Samuel Perrin (1847-1900)

The First Conservator of Forests

GS Perrin was appointed as Victoria's first Conservator of Forests in 1888. In 1890 he delivered his first Report to Parliament, and he died in Ballarat in 1890. On reading the Report you could be forgiven if you were positive about future management of our forests. However, the following quotes from the 14th Report of the Royal Commission established in 1897 indicate that Perrin was hamstrung in his endeavours to bring about important changes in management.

Peter McHugh

First Year with FCV

The article here, written by Peter, covers his first year of work with the FCV in 1978.

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Bill Flentje

Forester, RAAF Pilot, Naturalist

This article has been developed using extracts of Bill's story published by 485 Squadron, RAAF