Shane (top right) in the poppies with his dad, brothers and sister
Dr Shane Broad has fond memories of building cubbies and ‘mucking around’ on the family’s farm in Gawler, with his brothers and friends growing up in Tasmania’s picturesque northwest.
“I was one of four kids, and from a young age had the freedom to explore,” he said. “As long as I was home by teatime, of course.”
The family had a native forest on the farm, from which young Shane saw great philanthropic opportunity.
“On the farm I learned the values of hard work, dedication and persistence, making pocket money from cutting and selling firewood,” he said.
“Later we had the bush harvested and naturally regenerated, so I have literally been around working forests since I could walk.”
It was his upbringing in rural Tasmania that cemented his interest in agriculture. From the age of 18 to his early twenties, Shane combined overseas travel with working on the family property – even taking a student exchange to the Faroe Islands where he learned to speak fluently the region’s ancient Viking dialect.
Shane with dad, Ian on the family farm in Gawler
“We considered buying more land and expanding the farm, but instead I decided to go to the University of Tasmania and study Agricultural Science, to deepen my understanding.”
Shane went on to successfully gain a Doctorate in his chosen field.
A keen and competitive rower, Shane saw the move to Hobart as a good opportunity to further his passion for the sport – a passion that has since seen him earn the title of 10-time national champion and represent Australia, winning medals at the Rowing World Championships.
Since graduating, Shane has worked in various professional fields including agriculture, finance, education, science and in government at all levels.
As Shadow Minister for Resources, he understands the challenges and opportunities for the Tasmanian forest industry.
“Globally, forest and plantation products are going to be in increasing demand in a carbon constrained world. The real opportunity for Tasmania is through value adding and branding,” he said.
“The next step is getting the Tasmanian public to understand that a sustainable forest industry is part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Attending last year’s TFFPN industry forum, Vision 2050: Realising our Potential, Shane said the passion and confidence within the sector was evident.
Shane at the 2003 World Rowing Championships
“Labor wants to support the industry to grow—especially in value—through branding, on island processing, innovation, and maximising recovery.
“There is also a need to better manage the current transition to larger volumes of plantation sawlogs, as predicted native timber resources decline, and make genuine efforts to increase supply of special species timbers.”
Living in Turners Beach, the husband and proud father of three balances political life with family and a healthy lifestyle. No stranger to parkrun, Shane has recently begun rowing again.
“I’m back competing at the master’s level, which I’m really enjoying,” he said.
When quizzed which three people he would most like to be stuck with in a boat he was unwavering.
“Definitely local lad Kelly “Hooch” Hunt for the fishing, Gordon Ramsey for the cooking—and entertainment—and Nelson Mandela for the inspiration.”