In late 2019, World Forestry Center Senior Fellow Rick Zenn delivered the keynote address at the first Australian Story of Our Trees conference.
The two-day conference, hosted by the Forest Education Foundation, was held at the University of Tasmania School of Architecture & Design in Launceston, Tasmania.
The event brought together a broad cross-section of forestry professionals, teachers, and school administrators for lively group discussions, hands-on learning, and study tours.
The mission of the Forest Education Foundation is to “develop teacher and student knowledge about forest landscapes by providing educational opportunities that explore forest environments, resources and the future role of forests.”
Hearing how our colleagues around the world are addressing the most pressing forestry issues is important because we’re all facing similar natural resource challenges.Sara Wu, World Forestry Center Deputy Director
Following the ceremonial opening of the conference, Zenn spoke about the importance of collaboration and encouraged participants to “add wood” to their activities and to take advantage of local expertise from businesses, government, universities, and non-profits. “They don’t have to be foresters,” said Zenn. “Find the connections – social, economic, or environmental.”
While in Australia, Zenn also attended the regional leadership meeting of the Australian ForestLearning program. ForestLearning is pioneering the use of virtual reality to bring forest and mill tours to classrooms across Australia.
Before the conference, Zenn participated in several tours of Western Tasmania, which included mountain, river, and coastal forests, a craft Huon Pine mill in Strahan, a driving tour of the Forico Surrey Hills Estate near Bass Straight, and a morning visit to the remote Pieman River Hydrowood reservoirs where native hardwoods are recovered from hydroelectric projects. In addition, he visited the historic Hollybank Reserve operated by Sustainable Timber Tasmania and the Narawntapu National Park.
While overnighting in Hobart, Zenn met with Dr. Sue Baker, former International Fellow and Hagenstein Lectures speaker. Baker now works at the University of Tasmania as a Research Fellow for the School of Natural Sciences and the Australian Research Council Centre for Forest Value.
“There’s a huge value to these types of exchanges,” said World Forestry Center Deputy Director Sara Wu. “Hearing how our colleagues around the world are addressing the most pressing forestry issues is important because we’re all facing similar natural resource challenges.”
Thank you to the Forest Education Foundation for sponsoring Zenn’s trip.
International Fellowship Alumni Update
Lee Miezis, International Fellow 2001-02
After the devastating wildfires in southern Australia, Lee Miezis was appointed CEO of Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BVR), a new permanent authority to work closely with local communities with clean-up, rebuilding, rehabilitation, and recovery. Lee is a professional forester and has spent his career in forest management, fire, and public policy in New South Wales and Victoria. He was formerly Deputy Secretary of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in Melbourne
Dr. Sue Baker, International Fellow 2010-11
The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded Dr. Sue Baker the prestigious Future Fellowship to advance her work in conservation, biodiversity and production forestry. Sue was also honored by the Forest Practice Authority of Tasmania with the 2019 Excellence in Research award. Sue is Research Fellow and Forest Conservation Biologist at University of Tasmania School of Natural Sciences in Hobart. She a was an International Fellow in 2010-11 and returned to conduct research in the Pacific Northwest as a Fullbright Fellow in 2012. Sue was one of the first Emerging Voices in Forestry selected for The Hagenstein Lectures at World Forestry Center in 2016.