"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.

David Holmes

David gained a Bachelor of Forest Science at the University of British Columbia in 1969, and during his study spent his summers as a tallyman working in the BC Forests Service in forest inventory, growth and yield studies, and volume and decay studies in various locations in the Province.

He travelled and worked in Australia and NZ from Nov 1969 to May 1971, before returning to Canada to work for the British Colombia Forest Service in inventory and field management roles.

He came to Australia with his family in 1979 and joined the FCV, working first in the Beaufort District. He went on to become the Manager of the Forest Management Branch in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources before retiring from the public sector in 1995 to work as an independent forest consultant.

Peter Hopmans

Peter completed a degree in Applied Science at RMIT in 1975 whilst working in the laboratory of FCV, and then went on to complete a PhD in soil science and plant nutrition on the subject of nitrogen fixation by legumes at the University of Melbourne in 1982. He returned to the Research Branch of FCV to work with David Flinn on soils and tree nutrition of plantations and native forests for the next 20 years, before taking the golden handshake in 2004. Too young to retire he started the next phase of his career as a consultant continuing with his work on soils and nutrition of radiata pine plantations for Hancock Victorian Plantations and other forestry companies. He has always enjoyed the challenges of forest science and his greatest reward is seeing the adoption of new knowledge in forest management.

Phil Whiteman

Phil graduated from ANU Forestry in 1981 and Monash University in 1994, and he spent the first three years working for CSIRO on genetics and seed collection programs in Traralgon and Canberra.

For the next 17 years he worked for APM Forests (aka APMF, Amcor Plantations, Australian Paper Plantations), for about a decade in nurseries and research and then eight years in plantation operations.

After APMF was purchased by Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP) in 2001, and initially known as Grand Ridge Plantations, Phil was Gippsland Plantation Manager for 11 years.

He then moved to Melbourne for six years as HVP's Environment and Certification Manager and he is still (in 2019) in that role although he moved back to Gippsland in 2018.

David Flinn

David entered the VSF in 1963 and eventually completed a PhD in 1975 on the calcium nutrition of Radiata Pine. He spent his entire career in forest R & D with a focus on soils and nutrition of native forests and softwood plantations. He retired in 2000 as Inaugural Director of the Forest Science Centre, an alliance between the University of Melbourne and Centre of Forest Tree Technology of the Department.

He became a part time consultant in forest science and permanently retired when aged 69 years to free up time for Hazle and himself to enjoy their 5 beautiful grandchildren. Guiding lights during his rewarding and enjoyable career included, but were not restricted to, Ron Grose, Fred Craig, Barrie Dexter, Kevin Wareing, Joan Kirner, Bob Smith, Richard Rawson, Mike Leonard, Gary Morgan and John Turner.

Richard (Dick) McCarthy

Richard (Dick) McCarthy is a highly experienced operational forester, with post graduate qualifications in forest management.

His many years’ experience (especially in Papua New Guinea - Dept of Forests, and as Operations Manager APM Forests - AMCOR) in forest management, and plantation development in the public and private forestry sectors, in both temperate and tropical forestry, is recognized globally.

In 2019 he is the Managing Director and Principal Consultant of McCarthy & Associates (Forestry), a global forest consulting and contracting practice.

Leon Pederick

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 three years. He was posted to the Wail Nursey for a time before, in 1958, 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 highly significant.

After finishing full time work Leon wrote about his family and working life in "A Forester's Tale - Memoirs of a Victorian Tree Breeder", and he has kindly given permission for extracts of that publication to be used on this site.



Oliver Raymond

Oliver graduated from the VSF in 1962, and his first FCV posting was to Beechworth District where he stayed for 2½ years.

He also joined the Citizens’ Military Forces (CMF), now the Army Reserve, in 91 Forestry Squadron, and many years later became the Officer Commanding, with the rank of Major. The engineering and organizational skills he learnt in the Army over the 25 years served were extremely useful to him in his civilian work.

Les Lasham

After Les completed the 1966 Forests Commission Foreman’s Training School he was posted to Powelltown in the then Upper Yarra Forest District in November 1966. Les retired in November 2003 after 37 years working in forest management, initially as a Forest Foreman and Forest Overseer with FCVic, and later as a Work Centre Supervisor with CF&L and successor Departments. He worked predominantly in the former Upper Yarra Forest District and the former Dandenong, Port Phillip Regions and Gippsland Area.

His career in forest management involved a wide range of roles, duties and experiences including supervision of road construction and maintenance, eucalypt nursery management, assistance with forest regeneration and re-forestation programs, plantation establishment, aerial Phasmid control, assistance with some forest research projects, 4WD trainer and assessor, plant operations manager, and fire protection and management.

Les was awarded the 1972 VSFA Travel Award to report on Nursery Practices and Reforestation Techniques within Victoria.

Lois Dexter

Lois was born in Creswick in 1939, and she attended both Creswick State School and Ballarat High School.

John Taylor

John graduated from Creswick in 1964 and from Melbourne University in 1967. He worked for the Forests Commission in Research, Working Plans, FEAR and Statutory Planning branches. From 1971 to 1978 he was a research officer at the Land Conservation Council. In 1986 John became Manager of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, and in 1993 Director of Parks and Gardens with Brisbane City Council.

In retirement John returned to forestry, and with his wife, owns some dry sclerophyll forest and a spotted gum plantation in northern New South Wales which are managed for wood production.

Barrie Dexter

Barrie graduated from the VSF in 1954, and then attended The University of Melbourne to obtain his BSc Forestry in 1960 and a MSc Forestry in 1970. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters in 2015.