This year the Tasmanian Timber Awards will again recognise excellence in the forest and forest products industries at its gala dinner event on Friday 10 September at Launceston’s Albert Hall.
In the lead up to the 2021 Awards, the TFFPN newsletter will share the views of previous winners and highlight key milestones in the organisation of the event.
Jillian Aylett-Brown is Chief Executive Officer of MechLog and spoke to us this month about the benefits and opportunities entering the Awards provided the business and it’s staff.
Briefly describe your organisation and what it is you specialise in.
MechLog commenced operations in 1994 and positioned itself as an ecologically responsible forestry services company. At the time it was quite a revolutionary decision; but one that has become standard practice for most forestry companies. MechLog looked at forestry industry practices around the world and adopted the best practices we found. This included sourcing equipment that had less impact on the environment and was more efficient. We also looked at training and staff in other places and adopted philosophies of: Safety first, safety always, skills help us do, values help us become, and inspire and lead through action, which we refined and still use today.
MechLog has grown from a small five-person operation 27 years ago, into a national endeavour employing 40 people across nine crews, operating 34 harvesting machines.
What prompted you to enter the Tasmanian Timber Awards in 2019?
The Tasmanian Timber Awards are as much about showcasing the industry as they are about showcasing individuals and organisations. Most people never see the forestry industry in practice because we work in forests, which are disconnected from the cities and towns. The Awards offer an opportunity to express our pride as a stakeholder and operator, elevate the profile of the industry, and promote the economic and social benefits of the most renewable and environmentally responsible industry in Australia.
Which Awards did you enter? And which categories did you find success in?
MechLog entered four categories and proudly won awards in all four categories:
- Harvesting Excellence
- Skill Development & Training Excellence
- Workplace Health & Safety Excellence
- Trainee of the Year
How did you find the process of submitting entries?
The process of submitting an entry to the Tasmanian Timber Awards is easy and cathartic. As we completed the MechLog entries, we discovered a new sense of pride in what we are doing as an organisation and an even higher level of respect for our employees, who were the inspiration for nominating in four of the Awards categories. It is easy to overlook our achievements when we are living them every day, but the Tasmanian Timber Awards allow us to focus on what we are doing and reinvigorate a sense of pride in MechLog’s achievements and milestones.
The Tasmanian Timber Awards encourage all participants to strive to be better, which is a great outcome for the industry.
What benefits or opportunities have presented since your success at the 2019 event?
MechLog’s industry profile has been heightened, which has resulted in more media interest in MechLog as an environmentally responsible forestry company. As a result of having a higher industry and media profile, MechLog has been offered more opportunities to present our thoughts, perspective, and vision for our sector to industry groups, government, and the community. As a result, the MechLog team has developed an even greater sense of pride in their work, the company, and the forestry industry.
What did you enjoy about the Awards gala dinner event?
The opportunity for all stakeholders across the sector to come together and celebrate the industry and all that it has achieved in the previous 12 months. Our MechLog team attended and shared in the experience together, which made everyone feel as if they were part of a proud, forward-looking, dynamic industry.
Why are the Tasmanian Timber Awards an important event for industry?
The Tasmanian Timber Awards are critical to the success of the Timber industry.
If we as a sector do not take pride in the forestry industry, how can we expect the community to be proud of our contribution to the economy, to training and employment, and best environmental practices for a renewable resource?
If we as a sector do not promote and expect excellence in forestry practices, how can we expect the industry to improve and grow?
If we as a sector do not take steps to showcase and educate people about the modern forestry industry, how can we expect the community and governments to understand that the forestry industry of today is light years ahead of the forestry industry of old?
The Tasmanian Timber Awards, say to the community and government that we are an industry that has come of age and that we make a valuable and responsible contribution to the betterment of society, Tasmania, and Australia.