Leon graduated from the VSF in 1950, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Melbourne in 1955. Further study led to a PhD which was conferred at the University of Melbourne in December 1967. His thesis was "‘Cytogenetic Studies in Pinus radiata D. Don".
On graduation from the VSF he went to the Assessment School at Kinglake before working on assessment projects in a number of locations around Victoria for about five years. He was posted to the Wail Nursey for a time, before heading into research in the area of tree improvent and tree breeding. He was to work in this field until retirement in May 1993, and his contribution in this area in particular was very significant.
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.
My first introduction to “Wireless” was in 1924 when one of my Uncles let me hear music from a pair of headphones laying in a bowl of some sort, I have never forgotten it. This was in England, but when we arrived in Australia, in 1926, it was very rare to find a wireless, and those that did exist were crude TRF receivers usually always with a separate tuning ‘condensor’ for each one, two, or three tuned circuits.
Valves filaments (heaters) were supplied with DC from lead acid accumulators, and the local Motor Garage usually made quite an income from the charging of (usually) 2 volt batteries.
This article is based on extracts from an article about Richardson the website of Federation University.
During the early years of VSF, many lecturers of the sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Geology etc) were persons from the Ballarat School of Mines.
Sometimes lecturers attended at Creswick and sometimes students travelled to Ballarat for tuition. One interesting person in this category was Richard (Dick) Richards who lectured in Physics at the VSF in 1934.
Bert Semmens’ detailed reflections on his career, the people he worked with and the working and living conditions mirror what many VSF graduates of his era experienced. His employment with the Forests Commission from his graduation from the VSF in 1936 to his retirement in 1977 covered many of the social and industrial activities of the Commission and displayed Bert’s innovativeness to addressing the many problems he encountered. The nine chapters set out the various stages in Bert’s career. They are edited from a paper he gave to the FCRPA in 2013.
"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)