Brian F. Gibson A.M.

Forester and Senator for Tasmania
Mike Leonard (bio)

Brian commenced studies at the VSF in 1954, following both his father and an uncle as students at the school. Brian's father Kingsley (Ken) entered the VSF in 1929, subsequently being based at Bendigo, Forrest, Nathalia, Erica, Stawell, Daylesford (as DFO), Delatite, Mansfield (as DFO), Bairnsdale (as Asst. Div. For), and Traralgon (as Asst. Div. For.).  Brian’s Uncle, Colin, entered the VSF in 1931, and he died during WW2.

Following his VSF studies Brian worked with the Forests Commission until 1972, graduating with a BScFor from Melbourne University in 1961, and with a BA in 1967. His FCV postings included the Assessment Branch, Erica, Beechworth (in 1964), and Education and Research where he first worked as a Biometrician, and then as a Senior Research Scientist.

In 1972 he joined FAO where he worked as a Forest Economist. In 1973 he joined Australian Newsprint Mills Ltd, Tasmania as Manager - Forests and Wood Supply. He then held various senior positions, becoming Managing Director from 1983-89, and was subsequently a Director until 1993. He held the position of Chair of the Hydro-Electric Commission of Tasmania from 1989-93, and was President of the National Association of Forest Industries from 1987-91.

A member of the Liberal Party, Brian was elected to the Australian Senate in 1993 representing Tasmania (he was the first, and only, graduate of the VSF to be elected to Federal Parliament).

Brian subsequently served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, losing the portfolio in October 1996. He was re-elected in 1998 but resigned from Parliament in 2002.

Other roles Brian filled included that of Board member of Concept Systems, a payroll and human resource management company, Director of the Tasmanian Advisory Board of the AMP Society, Australian Government nominated director to the Board of the Australian Stem Cell Centre, and Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In June 1988 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, and he received the Centenary Medal in 2000.