Victoria's Forestry Heritage

A History of Management

David Parnaby

David graduated from the VSF in 1940 and was first appointed to the Assessment Branch.  He was then given District postings in Heathcote, Powelltown, Dandenongs, Bruthen and Beechworth.  Promoted to District Forester in 1951, he was moved to Cann River, then Heathcote (1955), Castlemaine (1958) and Daylesford (1971).  Following a period with Forest Protection in Melbourne he retired in 1980.

 David was an accomplished cartoonist who provided commentary on the ‘Forester’s condition’ through the Victorian Forester’s Newsletter. David also carved two ‘totem poles’ supporting fire warning signs that stood for many years outside the Forests Office at first Noorinbee and then CannRiver.


David’s large sketch of East Gippsland sleeper-cutters remains a classic

Click on it to see it in all its glory.


Following advocacy through the Victorian State Foresters' Association, the FCV agreed in 1970 to supply shirts, ties and shoulder slides to staff to permit ready identification of officers on fire control operations and in situations involving contact with the public. The absence of trousers provided an ideal subject for David’s cartoons.

The sixth frame – an officer wearing trousers – reflects the granting of uniform trousers in 1972 to wardens of recreational areas.

The Commission’s work on recreation areas prompted David’s reflection on the problem of the public’s trashing of the facilities provided.

And the consideration of the concept of ‘wilderness’ prompted more commentary:

A feature of field postings was the regular ‘shifting’ of Foresters around the State; reflected in David’s cartoon of the spouse’s reactions:

The day-to-day activities in a District and the perpetual problem of finances also provided fodder for comment.



Featured Publications

Circumspice '59
- Lawson, Smith & Fry

Leon Pederick - A Forester's Tale

The Eddy Papers

Brian Doolan's Papers

The Bjarne K Dahl Trust has given the FCRPA permission to provide a link to, and use extracts from, Bjarne K Dahl's Journey authored by Peter Evans.

Chapter 7 of Falvey L and Bardsley B (1997)  is entitled Forestry at Creswick and the University, 1910-1997. The chapter is made available with permission from the authors.