Young cadet urges others to consider forestry

Despite a family connection to the industry, eighteen-year-old Hayden Crook’s interest in forestry was first piqued on a school visit to a harvesting site and has since led to a cadetship that has further fuelled his aspirations to work in the forest sector.

Hayden Crook, Cadet Forester with Technical Forest Services Pty Ltd.

A keen mountain-biker, Hayden studied at Launceston’s Big Picture School, which encourages students to explore their individual interests.

“I was keen to learn more about what happens in the forests so the school got in touch with Arbre Hub and organised a few excursions out to harvesting sites,” Hayden said.

“This hands-on experience using some of the tools that measure heights and distances in the bush gave me a lot of insight into forestry operations and I wanted to learn more.

“I’ve always been interested in technology and drones, and the forestry excursions helped me to understand how new technology was being used in the industry and how I might be able to pursue my goal of using drones in my career.”

The school excursions confirmed for Hayden his desire to pursue a career outside the four walls of an office.

“I recognised that I didn’t want a desk job but one where I was active and healthy and could use modern technology as well, so I applied for the Arbre Cadet Forester program.”

Soon after, Hayden was successful in gaining a cadetship with Forico.

“In year 12 I was able to complete my TCE as well as earn money working in a field that really interested me,” he said.

Hayden said his positive experience with the program has reinforced his passion to learn more about forestry—especially the innovative aspects that employ technology, such as inventory of trees.

“I have learnt so much, both in the field and by completing the assessments for the Cert II. and appreciate the opportunities Forico gave me to see all aspects of the industry including harvesting, planting, nursery, research and much more.”

Earlier this year, Hayden began a new Cadet Forester role at Technical Forest Services Pty Ltd, which he said has provided him the opportunity to continue his education and undertake a traineeship in Cert III and Cert IV in Forestry Growth and Management over two years.

“Technical Forest Services has provided me with the mentoring, materials and work experience needed to learn and further pursue my goals and supported me along the way.

“I like working outdoors and TFS provides me the opportunity to do this, which helps keep me fit and healthy—physically and mentally—and importantly, the harder I work the more money I can make,” he said.

Hayden is now trained in a range of areas including firefighting, inventory, quality control for planting and checking for pests.

“Both staff at TFS and Forico have given me a strong understanding of the fundamentals of forest management and it’s been a great way for me to start in the industry.”

Hayden believes there is ample opportunity for young people to find an engaging and lasting work in the forest industry and encourages them to consider a career in the sector.

“I think the forestry industry is a place where you can really grow. It covers a wide range of different interests and is a good mix between office and outside work.

“Most young people would not recognise the many different job opportunities or understand how modern technology is becoming huge part of the industry.”

Technical Forest Services P/L (TFS) is currently looking to employ up to three more field staff. If the below sounds like you, contact Clive on 0407331023 for a confidential chat, or email

  • Correct attitude and aptitude
  • Ability to work outdoors in varying conditions
  • Physically very fit and healthy
  • Ability to train and qualify to assist with fires and fuel reduction burning
  • Flexible and a team player
  • Based in the North of Tasmania (preferably in/around Launceston)
  • Training and all PPE provided