Paraphrased from Jim’s notes and from Bert’s unpublished Recollections: My career in Forestry
Written on 7 December 2015 by Peter Greig
Lake Elizabeth stretches languidly for a kilometre along the heavily forested valley of the East Barwon River, about seven kilometres east of the little township of Forrest, on the Otway Ranges’ northern slopes. It’s a popular attraction for campers, walkers, and canoeists, not least because you can spot platypus – in the early morning and at twilight – if you’re lucky.
Introduction by David Williams
Ken Morrison was appointed District Forest Officer of the Heywood District in 1960. Ken’s observations about management of hardwood forests in south-western Victoria and life as the District Forest Officer in the 1960s are captured in his recent reflections which are reproduced here.
"Matlock, Bendoc, Wedlock" was a common expression in the FCV based on the belief that, for a single Forester or Forest Overseer, one way of avoiding a posting to either of these very remote locations was to get married before such a posting might be seriously considered.
Murray went to the VSF from Birchip in 1941 as a 16 year old, and graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1946 with a BSC (Forestry). He went on to have a most influential career in both the FCV and CFL before retiring from the public sector in 1985. In 2000 he completed a story about his life entitled "A Good Run in the Perfect Job", and his sons, Bruce, David and Mark have given permission for the FCRPA to use extracts from that publication on this site.
Perhaps Murray was best known for his major contribution to the understanding of Victoria's timber resources because of his time as Forest Assessor for the FCV from 1953 until the early 1970s. Field assessment work field most often involved new VSF graduates, and many would remember Murray for his strong mentoring role during this time. However, as his story shows, his career path had other elements that we need to explore.
Below are some extracts about particular subjects that are covered in Murray's story, and his complete account on each subject is available via the link attached to each heading.
"Let us regard the forest as an inheritance, not to be destroyed or devastated, but to be wisely used, reverently honoured and carefully maintained. Let us regard the forest as a gift, entrusted to any of us only for transient care, to be surrendered to posterity as an unimpaired property, increased in riches and augmented in blessings, to pass as a sacred patrimony from generation to generation."
Baron Ferdinand von Mueller - Suggestions on the Maintenance, Creation and Enrichment of Forests (1879)