"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.

Bill Meadows

Bill was bom in 1925 in Melbourne, and grew up on the family farm near Benalla. After completing his secondary education at Benalla High School, Bill entered the VSF in 1942.

David Parnaby

David graduated from the VSF in 1940 and was first appointed to the Assessment Branch. 

Bill Middleton

Bill was born in 1926 in Nhill, where his father was a doctor. He was educated at Geelong Grammar, before entering the Creswick School of Forestry in 1946. He commenced his career at Daylesford in 1949. Other postings were to Woodend, Matlock and Forrest, where he became District Forester. Bill married Joan in 1954.

In 1959 Bill was appointed District Forester at Dimboola, where his duties included running the Wail Nursery and forestry extension work. After 17 years at Wail, Bill moved to the Horsham office, where he continued with his advisory and extension work for eight years. With a lifelong interest in nature and conservation, Bill became involved in the Little Desert controversy in the 1960s, and in the Potter Farmland Plan. On retirement Bill continued to work in the interests of nature conservation, and he received the OAM in 1999.

One of Bill's enduring legacies is the road reserve that bears his name adjacent to the Five Chain Road west of the Dimboola-Rainbow Road about 8 kilometres north of Dimboola. As stated on the sign "Bill recorded more than 100 bird species using this roadway from the 1970s and was able to demonstrate the real value of roadside vegetation."

Photograph taken in 2020 (Source: Dimboola Courier) :    The Reserve is the full length of the section of the 'Five Chain Road' road reserve between the Dimboola-Jeparit Road and Collard Road to the west.

 Bill died in July 2018.


Source: Oral History and Dimboola Courier (photo)

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.