News & Events

ForestLearning Industry Champions get busy in schools Term 1 2019

05 April 2019

ForestLearning Industry Education Champions are forestry and wood processing professionals and can be found in each state of Australia.  They  offer schools and students a unique glimpse into the work and benefits of forests and wood products through incursions and excursion experiences and presentations or hands on workshops. 

During the first term of 2019, our industry champions have been active sharing to students - read more below!

  • partnering with a school for a live-stream demonstration of the use of Drones in forestry and capturing a harvesting event,
  • opporutnities for women in the industry at the Canberra schools International Womens Day event,
  • hosting an excursion to the fire fighting helicopter pad to learn more about forestry fire fighting operations, and

Live-Stream Drone Demonstration - Forestry Corporation of NSW

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Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, Year 5 students, have been recently learning about the timber industry as part of the teaching curriculum “Living World”. This has given ForestLearning Industry Education Champions from Forestry Corporation of NSW the opportunity to showcase the renewable industry to the next generation and help them better understand how the wood we see on our floors or tables, actually got there.

The students started the process by measuring Blackbutt and Radiata Pine seedlings, donated by Kath French from Forest Corporation of NSW's Grafton Nursery, over a 10 week period. From this they were able to discuss growth rates, plantations and native forest usage in Australia (and around the world) and start to see where the process begins.

Next, it was a trip out to Glenreagh to visit Chris Hanson at Coffs Harbour Hardwoods. Chris was able to show the kids the complete milling process to the final product. They saw log trucks being unloaded, logs carried into the mill, and logs cut up into various products. Chris was excellent in explaining the process and at the end of the day, gave each kid a spotted gum seedling and the teachers a cedar seedling which will be planted at the school.

The final step was showing the kids a harvesting operation. In the past, Forestry Corporation of NSW have taken groups of students out to harvesting operations but OH&S and the sheer logistics of moving 60 students around the bush is now deemed too difficult. Thankfully, this year, I was able to live stream via drone (direct to the classroom) a native forest harvesting operation. The students were able to see live, from the air, the trees being selected and cut by the harvester, the skidder picking up the logs and taking them back to the log dump and logs being processed on the log dump. All in real time.

This was a first for us and for the school. Students were able to ask questions during the flight and got to see the process of how the logs they saw at the mill, got there. It also fulfilled another requirement of the teaching curriculum “Using Technology”.

The Year 5 students at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School now have a complete understanding of our local timber industry, the processes that are involved and the long term sustainability that it achieves.

Special thanks goes to Mrs Quayle, Mrs Simon (Coffs Harbour Christian Community School), Chris Hanson (Coffs Harbour Hardwoods) and Kath French (Forestry Coporation). It was awesome to see people, outside and within our forestry industry, come together to teach the future generation something that we’re all passionate about. Timber.


Women in Forestry on centre stage at International Womens Day Canberra School Event

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Tumut-based harvesting supervisor Ellen Kromer was invited to speak at an ACT International Women’s Day event for high school students. More than 200 students heard from Ellen on what it was like working in the forestry industry.

“A day like this is absolutely fantastic,” Ellen said. "It brings strong women together and gives them something to run with when they get back to their schools. She added: “My take home message on the forestry industry was that if you are willing to get in there and have a go, the amount of respect you get is absolutely phenomenal.”

Due to her speaking success, she has now been invited to another school workshop presentation on careers in December.


Preschoolers learn the importance of Forestry Fire Fighters

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 Mitchell Early Learning Centre students got to see firsthand some of the tools keeping the community safe from bushfire yesterday morning.
The excursion to Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Bathurst office offered the students a chance to see a firefighting helicopter in action and talk to grown-up forestry firefighters.

Mitchell Learning Centre’s Blue Gum Room Leader, Anne Corby, said the visit gave students a better understanding on how firefighters are protecting the community. “As a part of our educational program, we have been looking at various parts of our community, particularly at aspects of safety around our community,” Ms Corby said. “One of our daily discussions has been about the role of firefighters, helicopters, ambulance and police and how they can help us.  The excursion has given us a great opportunity to enrich the children’s learning about fire, road safety and various ways our children can contribute to their world."

This is one of the many ways students are learning about their community, said Mitchell Early Learning Centre Assistant Director Kim Horner
“A big focus for our preschool room this year is getting out into the community, exploring and seeing what there is around town, and planning authentic experiences for the children – even if it is just going to the supermarket to buy fruit they’ve never eaten before – and where they can interact with and experience our wider community.”

The students were impressed with the Forestry Corporation excursion with the helicopter based at Bathurst during the bushfire danger period (October to March) a clear highlight. 

“It goes up and the blades go round and round,” Levi added. Cadence observed, “We covered our eyes because there was so much more dust.”
Bohdi was keen to see more: “I wanted to go in there.” Frank concluded, “I couldn’t wait to see it drop down water.”

The helicopter is owned by Pay’s Air Service, one of the largest aerial firefighting services in the country and is contracted to respond to fires within or threatening any State forest in the region.  This year’s fire season for Forestry Corporation’s Bathurst office has been relatively quiet, with pilot Lance Allison responding to three fires and actively firefighting at two. 

Forestry Corporation works closely with the Rural Fire Service and National Parks and Wildlife Service to minimise the effects of bushfires to our community and environment.  The helicopter remains on stand-by with the current dry hot weather continuing and as a back-up for the current hazard reduction burning program being conducted, said Forestry Corporation Stewardship Coordinator Melanie Klootwijk.  “Managing fire is a year-long task. We use the cooler months to undertake hazard reduction burning reducing fuel loads and meaning a less intense burn in the event of a bushfire,” said Ms Klootwijk.

Forestry Corporation have conducted two hazard reduction burns in Sunny Corner State Forest in recent weeks, with more planned over the coming months. To find out more about Forestry Corporation’s firefighting role visit

To view the Win News video for this session, head to Facebook:



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