"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.

The Beaufort FCV Works Crew (1979-84)

A tribute to the Beaufort and other FCV works crews across Victoria
David Holmes (bio)

David was the Assistant District Forester at Beaufort from 1979 to 1984

The history of timber utilisation on Mt Cole and Mt Lonarch is already available on this site. (See: Mt Cole) I would like to add to this knowledge by recording who was on the Beaufort Forest Commission Victoria (FCV) District Works Crew in the period 1979-84, their skills, some of the work they carried out, and the legacy they left on both Mt Cole and Mt Lonarch.

As a Canadian trained forester I was new, in 1979, to the forests and wildfire conditions of Victoria. Over the following five years as Assistant District Forester I learned a lot from the Beaufort Crew, including respect for their knowledge and skills. I also enjoyed their humour and camaraderie. As their crew leader on many occasions, at large fires in East Gippsland and elsewhere, we lived, ate and worked together, and I came to know them quite well.


I would especially like to thank Kathie Pitt,  Elizabeth Thurgood from the Beaufort Historical Society, Bronwyn Lyttle, Kelvin Davies, FCV Crew member and Beaufort Forest Works Officer 1997-2012 (NRE, DSE) and Helen, his wife, for assisting with the text.

The author acknowledges the Beeripmo Balug clan of the Djab Wurung First Nations people, who occupied the area around the Mount Cole Ranges for some 50-60000 years. Beeripmo means ‘wild mount’, which is believed to refer to Mount Cole. In addition the author acknowledges the clan’s management of Mount Cole and its surrounding lands. They created, with their knowledgeable use of fire, the park-like landscape the first Europeans saw, and the conditions where they could ride easily through the landscape and up to Mount Cole on horseback.