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.
From 1955 to 1966 he had postings with the FCV in the Research Branch and forest districts, and then he was involved with silvicultural research and development in both native and exotic forests, and factors affecting bushfire behaviour for application in wildfire control and the planned use of fire until 1975.
Barrie and Lois married in Ballarat in 1963.
In 1975 he was appointed Chief Park Management Officer of the National Parks Service,Victoria before returning to the FCV in 1976 as Chief Forest Research Officer. In 1980 when he was appointed as the Chief Silvicultural Officer, FCV and then CFL, and in1985 he became Assistant Director, Lands and Forests Division, CFL.
Barrie retired from the Victorian Public Service in July 1989.
From October 1983 to March 1991 Barrie was directly involved in the development and operation of the Dharnya Centre in the Barmah Forest, and Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Centre from 1984 to 1991.
From 1989 to 1991 he represented the Victorian Department of Conservation and Environment on a Steering Committee oversighting a consultancy let by the Murray Darling Basin Commission for the development of a Water Management Plan for the Barmah-Millewa (River Red Gum) Forests.
He participated in the revision of TAFE curriculum for the Associate Diploma of Applied Science - Natural Resources, and was an Occasional Lecturer at both Monash University and the University of Melbourne.
From 1991 to 1992 he was the Executive Director, Trees for Profit Research Centre, set up under the auspices of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, the University of Melbourne.
Between 1992 and 2001 Barrie was one of two representatives of Timber Communities Australia on a Community Reference Group set up by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to further develop and advise on the implementation of a water management plan for the Barmah-Millewa Forests. He was also a Member of the Forum set up by the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council to advise on water management of the Barmah-Millewa Forests.
Other involvements included being a Member of the Board of Management of the Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria (2002-2006), a Member of Forest Fire Victoria Inc. (2002–2008) and a Member of the Parks Victoria Scientific Advisory Committee. (2009-2012)