Forest and Wood Products RD&E Forum Participants

  • Brian Farmer – CEO, HQPlantations (Chair)
  • Ric Sinclair- Managing Director, Forest and Wood Products Australia
  • Prof. Rod Keenan- Director, Dept of Resource Management and Geography, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Douglas Head- CEO, Australian Solar Timbers
  • Paul Wells- Forestry Manager – DPI Forest Unit , Dept of Primary Industries (NSW)
  • Prof. Gordon Duff- CEO, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry
  • Ian Dumbrell- Manager, Dept of Agriculture and Food WA – Forest Science and Industry Development
  • John Chapman- Managing Director, Agri-Science Queensland
  • Prof. Keith Crews- Deputy Director, Centre for Built Infrastructure Research (UTS)
  • Andrew Wilson- Director, National Science Forest Policy, Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Ian Tyson- CEO, Timberlink Australia Pty Ltd
  • Dr Daniel Walker – Deputy Chief, Division of Ecosystems Science, CSIRO

Brian Farmer

CEO, HQPlantations Pty Ltd

With over 30 years’ experience in the forestry industry, including 5 years as chief executive of ForestrySA, Brian Farmer brings a wealth of experience to the role of Forest and Wood RD&E forum chair. Brian held positions in various forest industry organisations in Tasmania and NSW before taking on the role of CE at South Australia’s state-owned plantation resource, where he was responsible for ForestrySA’s plantation assets in the Green Triangle and Ranges Regions.

In 2010 Brian took on the role of CEO at HQPlantations Queensland, which manages around 204,000 ha of plantations as well as large areas of adjoining native forests throughout the state. Throughout his career Brian has had responsibility for various aspects of forestry management including forest operations, sales and marketing, business development and environmental protection.


Ric Sinclair

Managing Director, Forest and Wood Products Australia

Ric Sinclair has been Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia since 2008, prior to which he spent seven years in the grocery and food industry, where he worked in operations, corporate finance and strategy roles. He has held operations, marketing and strategy positions at Origin Energy, KH Foods, Chiquita Brands and Amcor/PaperlinX. Ric has a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) and a Masters in Business Administration.

Prof. Rod Keenan

Director, Department of Resource Management and Geography – University of Melbourne

Professor Rod Keenan is the Director of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Centre at The University of Melbourne – a position he has held since 2009. Before that he was Program Leader, Forest and Vegetation Sciences at the Bureau of Rural Sciences, and Principal Research Scientist at the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.

Rod has been a Professor at The University of Melbourne since 2005 and was Head of the Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science before taking up his current role. His research interests include forest environmental services, assessment and monitoring, and planning and management. He holds a Bachelor of Science and PhD in Forestry.

Dr Douglas Head

CEO, Australian Solar Timbers

Douglas Head is CEO of Australian Solar Timbers (AST), an organisation that employs around 70 people at its mill in northern NSW. AST is an innovator in the industry, pioneering the use of greenhouse-friendly drying kilns as early as 1994, and continuing to strive for environmentally friendly excellence in its manufacturing of veneer and flooring products. Born into AST as a third generation family concern. He is a past president of the National Association of Forest Industries and Deputy chair on the CRC Wood Innovations.

Paul Wells

Forestry Manager – DPI Forest Unit , Dept of Primary Industries (NSW)

Paul Wells is a professional Forester of 25 years experience, including private consultancy experience in the plantations investment and valuation areas across SE Australia, followed by 18 years experience in operational native forest management with NSW Forest Service.

More recently he has been with NSW DPI responsible for the state’s plantation authorisation and audit functions, the NSW Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Unit managing various native forest structural adjustment programs, and general forest policy management for DPI within the NSW Government.

Paul is responsible for the Forestry Research Group within DPI delivering forest research projects for Forest Corporation NSW and other forestry partners

Paul is the Executive Officer of the NSW Forest Industries Taskforce, and has also been involved in the National Primary Industries RD&E groups for the Forestry and Bioenergy sectors.

Prof. Gordon Duff

CEO, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry

Professor Gordon Duff is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, the national forestry research and development organisation, a position held since October 2006. Previously he was Chief Executive Officer of the Tropical Savannas Management Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) between 2001 and 2006, prior to which he held a variety of research and management roles at James Cook, Deakin and Charles Darwin Universities.

Gordon is currently Chairman of the Forest Practices Authority and the Forest Education Foundation. He was Chair of the Northern Territory Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Board during the first three years of the EPA’s establishment, and remained on that board until 2011. Gordon has a Bachelor of Science (Honours), a PhD in plant physiology, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ian Dumbrell

Manager, Department of Agriculture and Food WA – Forest Science and Industry Development

Ian Dumbrell has over thirty years’ experience in the forestry sector in Western Australia. He is a highly motivated industry development manager with experience in the planning and delivery of projects designed to influence and promote positive change in regional forest industries.

He is currently the Manager of the Forest Science and Industry Development group with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA. Prior to this he was the Manager Science and Resources Branch and Manager Research & Development with the Forest Products Commission of WA and the Research Centre Manager at Busselton with the Department of Conservation and Land Management. Ian has led a number of research projects relating to tree ecophysiology, tree nutrition, silviculture, forest health and climate change adaptation. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biology.

John Chapman

Managing Director, Agri-Science Queensland

John Chapman is Managing Director of Agri-Science in the Queensland Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, a position responsible for all productivity driven plant and animal RD&E in the Department. His career has spanned more than 40 years in Queensland Government R&D and administration. John’s immediate previous position was General Manager of Horticulture & Forestry Science. He was a board member of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Wood Innovation, and is a Past President of the Australian Society for Horticultural Science and the Finance Director for the 2014 International Society for Horticultural Science world congress to be held in Brisbane. John has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) and a Master of Business Administration.

Prof. Keith Crews

Deputy Director, Centre for Built Infrastructure Research (UTS)

Professor Keith Crews is Associate Dean – External and Deputy Director of the Centre for Built Infrastructure – one of the key university research centres at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Keith joined UTS in 1993 to establish an education and research program in Timber Engineering following 10 years’ experience as a consulting structural engineer. A major focus of the Centre’s work is developing cost effective, sustainable technologies for maintenance of physical infrastructure. Keith is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of assessment (safety), rehabilitation and repair of timber structures such as bridges, buildings and utility poles. He is the author of over 200 technical reports and papers relating to the use, safety and reliability of structural timber. Keith holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), a Masters in Engineering, and a PhD from UTS.

Andrew Wilson

Director, National Science Forest Policy, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Andrew Wilson is Director of National Science Forest Policy for the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – a role he has held for the past 7 years. Before that Andrew was Director of International Science Forest Policy with the same department.

His responsibilities include acting as Australia’s representative at various international forums and forest policy bodies such as the UN forum on forests, the International Tropical Timber Organisation, and the Montreal Process.

Originally from New Zealand, Andrew’s earlier roles include positions at the New Zealand Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as being a researcher at the New Zealand Forest Research Institute (NZFRI). He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science from the University of Waikaito in New Zealand.

Ian Tyson, CEO Timberlink Australia Pty Ltd

Ian is the CEO for Timberlink Australia, an integrated plantation pine business that owns and manages pine plantations and processing facilities.

Ian Tyson joined McEwans from University as a young cadet in 1976. He  worked in a number of areas across the business over a five year period, including store management, HR and merchandise buying.

Ian’s career then moved into the manufacturing sector where overtime he has held a number of Senior Sales and Marketing management roles with companies such as Boral, CSR and Smorgon Steel.

He returned to retail as a Senior Category Manager with McEwans/Bunnings and later moved to Mitre10, initially as General Manager Marketing and then moved to the GM Marketing and Merchandise role. Subsequently he managed the  Australian Timber business for Carter Holt Harvey Wood Products Australia.

Ian has served on the Board of AFS Australia, and the NFP Board of TWR Australia. Ian holds a Masters in Business Management Degree and a Graduate Diploma in Business.

Dr Daniel Walker

Deputy Chief, Division of Ecosystems Science, CSIRO

Daniel Walker is a Deputy Chief of CSIRO’s Division of Ecosystems Science.  The Division comprises some 500 staff with expertise in ecology, agricultural and forestry systems sciences, social and economic sciences, environmental biotechnology and urban infrastructure and engineering at 18 laboratories across Australia.  He plays a leadership role in systems-oriented research on the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable production and consumption in Australia’s urban centres, agricultural, forestry and rangelands landscapes as well as management of our conservation estate.

Daniel is also an Editor in Chief of the international journal ‘Agricultural Systems’.

Daniel joined CSIRO in Townsville in 1994 and worked on regional sustainability and development issues in northern Australia including work with sugar industry and regional planning and management in Australia’s savannas.  He moved to Canberra in 2004 and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Before joining CSIRO Daniel worked on research to better integrate local knowledge systems into R,D&E programs in agroforestry in the developing world.  This included substantial work in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal.