Students attend industry's night of nights in Canberra

Four students from the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science attended the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Industry Gala dinner held at the Great Hall in Parliament House, Canberra.

L-R: Joseph Hall, Jamie Burton, Hon Bob Katter MP, Clare Duck and Thomas Fairman

Clare Duck, Thomas Fairman, Joseph Hall and Jamie Burton attended the event, which attracted over 500 forest industry leaders and politicians, to hear about key policy priorities and developments within the forest, wood and paper industries.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's keynote address announcing the National Forest Industries Plan was one of the highlights of the evening for Ms Burton.

"It is a comprehensive plan to support the growth and sustainability of the Australian timber industry over the coming decades and it was great hear him talking about a positive future for this important renewable industry," she said.

The event also celebrated innovation in the forest industry. Mr Hall said he was "particularly impressed" with one of the finalists for the Innovation in Business Award.

"A company, aptly named Hydrowood, has developed the technology to harvest submerged trees from Lake Pieman in Tasmania, and in doing so have been able to discover and utilize highly sought after speciality timbers," he said.

The dinner was a vital opportunity for students to witness the coming together of leaders and decision makers in forestry, and highlighted the importance of further dialogue between government, industry and science.

“Opportunities like this during our coursework really help to provide some context to our studies,” said Ms Duck.

“This event demonstrated how communication and the development of respectful relationships are central in good sustainable forest management decision making”.

The students wish to acknowledge the support of the AFPA and the School of Forest and Ecosystem Science in attending the dinner.