‘It has been a privilege’ The Network farewells its inaugural Convenor

What a ride it has been!

It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work with so many great people in the forest industry over the past five years to establish and nurture an umbrella organisation which enables members to work collaboratively together on priority issues in the forest industry.

Therese with former Assistant Minister Jono Duniam and award winner Malcolm Larner (Tasmanian Timber Awards 2021)

The TFFPN (the Network) was launched in 2018 with the aim of increasing cooperation and collaboration across the supply chain, and to act as a central communication hub.

I’m proud to say that today the TFFPN has an impressive list of achievements, which showcases the industry and allows people to build relationships. These include:

  • More than 2400 members
  • Established the biennial Tasmanian Timber Awards
  • Established the biennial Tasmanian Forest Industry Forum
  • Established the annual Agfest Forest Industries Site
  • Developed and implementing the Forest Industry Workforce Development Plan
  • Delivering Women in Forestry Initiates
  • Developed and implementing the Diversity Action Plan
  • Establishing successful regular member events, including monthly statewide breakfasts and regional Burgers, Beers and Big Ideas innovation nights
  • Regular updates via Network communication channels
  • Managing the Tasmania Forestry Hub
  • Convening Industry Working Groups to progress issues of industry importance

Therese getting into the Agfest spirit (2023)

A number of success factors have enabled the TFFPN to grow to this point.  We have been very clear on our purpose and have worked within that scope.  Our work is led by industry needs and feedback, which has allowed us to provide the services and connections that fit the situation and where industry is at.

The Working Group approach has enabled representatives from different companies to work together to bring their perspectives to nominated issues. This has built relationships and understanding across industry.

Therese with Board Chair Steve Whiteley and Naomi Will

There will always be challenges with industry networking associations. Chief amongst these for the TFFPN is the need for ongoing financial commitment from industry to ensure its continuity. Once established, it’s easy to take the benefits of these organisations for granted.

There are so many people to acknowledge as I begin the transition out of the Convenor role. I thank the establishing Directors of the Board—Steve Whiteley, Bryan Hayes and Andrew Morgan— for their commitment and belief in establishing the Network. I also thank all Directors who have served on the TFFPN Board over the past five years for their leadership, insight and commitment. They have been a great and committed bunch to work with!

I also thank the VERY small team that makes up the TFFPN. A better group of people to work with would be very difficult to find.  In order of appearance… Naomi Will, Monika Winston, Romany Brodribb, Tracey Taylor and Simon Talbot. They are all brilliant, and each one has offered so much to the work of our organisation.

The incoming Convenor will continue to take the TFFPN to the next phase and of course I wish them, and the Network, every success into the future.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Network’s upcoming Tasmanian Timber Awards gala dinner on 15 September, where we will do what we do best – celebrate a brilliant industry and those who make it so.