Bernie graduated from the VSF in 1959 with an Associate Diploma of Forestry, and then went on to obtain the Diploma of Forestry in 1975. With the FCV he was first engaged in assessment and district work in a number of Gippsland locations and Mansfield, before becoming Silvicultural Officer from 1975 to 1978.
From 1978 to 1984 he was the District Forest Officer at Myrtleford which, at that time, had the largest governement-owned softwood plantation resource in the State.
He was appointed Regional Manager, Wodonga and then Regional Manager, North East in CFL and subsequent agencies before retiring from government service in 1993.
Bernie then went on to work within the timber and plantations industries from 1993 to 2004.