1. What is your role?
My role is Managing Director and CEO.
2. What organisation do you work for?
I work for Midway Ltd which has a Tasmanian subsidiary called Midway Tasmania Pty Ltd.
3. How long have you been in the industry?
I have worked in the forest industry forever! I started in the 1980s after studying forestry at ANU (Australian National University) and spent my early days with the QLD Forest Service before joining the Forestry Commission and then North Limited in Tasmania. I have worked in many forestry roles both locally and interstate.
4. What’s the most exciting part of your role?
One of the most exciting parts of my role was the process of listing Midway Ltd on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) – this was a challenging but exciting and fulfilling process.
I am also excited by the work we are doing to expand and diversify our business, which of course includes Tasmania.
5. What are you most passionate about in the industry?
I have always, and still really enjoy working with the people our industry. I also have a broad but genuine interest in the work we do both on the native and plantation sides of the industry. I find it frustrating that we struggle to gain broader public support for our industry and that is so much misinformation out there around the native forest sector.
6. What is your vision for the Forests and Forest Products industry in Tasmania?
My vision is to have a vibrant, thriving sustainable forest industry that covers all facets – growing trees, expanding plantations, actively managing native forests and development of additional downstream processing – I’d really like to see the whole industry be an accepted and proud member of the Tasmanian community!
This includes taking the opportunity to get forestry messaging right for the broader community to help show the people in the middle ground that this is a long-term sustainable industry. This includes building messaging around things like climate change and be able to demonstrate we are part of the solution to climate change .
7. What do you think the industry does very well?
I think our industry does most thing very well. We sustainably manage forests, effectively manage our supply chains and processing. We also have strong marketing capability – whether it be wood fibre or solid wood products – I think we do all these things well, but of course there is always room for improvement.
8. Where do you think there is room for improvement?
The forest industry does so many things well – however I think the main area for improvement for us is to be proactive in our messaging. Sadly, there are many people whose are working tirelessly to against our industry, and to date we continue to spend a lot of time defending and reacting to claim made by our opponents. In our current environment, we have a lot of opportunity to be proactive and improve our messaging, we need move quickly in doing so.
9. On a weekend, we’d find you where?
On a weekend you would find my either sailing – I am a keen sailor and have a boat in Hobart – or watching rugby union.
10. What is something that would surprise people about you?
Something which would probably surprise people about me is that I have a bit of an artistic streak and like sketching in some of my spare time.