Forestry Centre of Excellence appointed Transitional Board

by | Nov 15, 2023

A Transitional Board for the Forestry Centre of Excellence has been appointed by the South Australian Government at Mount Gambier, naming Professor Rob Lewis as the independent Chair.

Appointed to the Board are industry professionals, including Managing Director of Green Triangle Forest Products’ Odette Lubbe; Timberlands Pacific People and Culture Manager, Emma-Kate Griffiths; University of South Australia SETM Dean of Research, Professor Jason Wittle; and Executive Director of Industry, Strategy and Partnerships, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, Jo Collins.

Currently the Director of Science Without Bounds, Professor Lewis has already been contracted by the State Government to facilitate engagement between industry, government, and other stakeholders, while also providing strategic advice and leadership in establishing the Forestry of Excellence.

Timberbiz reported that the Forestry Centre of Excellence is initially being established within the University of South Australia (UniSA), with oversight by this Transitional Board and an independent chair while the final structure is designed. Once the board is in place, operations will be transitioned to a permanent structure as the Transitional Board is replaced with a skills-based board.

The Labor Malinauskas Government has reportedly committed $15 million over 10 years for the new forestry centre, which is the first of its kind in South Australia, and is being developed to create long-term research and development capabilities to enhance the Green Triangle’s economic prosperity and generate more jobs and investment in the region.

The centre will accommodate entities such as the National Institute of Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) along with UniSA, the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH), Tree Breeding Australia and the Logging Investigation and Training Association (LITA Training) at the existing UniSA/TAFE precinct in Mount Gambier.

Earlier this year, the Centre for Excellence released its strategy plan, and a global search will commence soon for a centre director to lead its research objectives and connect with the industry to identify key resource requirements.