Victoria's Forestry Heritage

A History of Management

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.

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James Hamlyn (Jim) Willis A.M.

Mike Leonard (bio)

Jim (born in 1910) graduated from the VSF in 1930 and gained his BSc from the University of Melbourne in 1940.

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Bill Meadows

The Man Who Named Lake Elizabeth

Peter Greig (bio)

(Penned on 7 December 2015)


Lake Elizabeth stretches languidly for a kilometre along the heavily forested valley of the East Barwon River, about seven kilometres east of the little township of Forrest, on the Otway Ranges’ northern slopes. It’s a popular attraction for campers, walkers, and canoeists, not least because you can spot platypus – in the early morning and at twilight – if you’re lucky.

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Reflections on 1960s Forest Management in the Heywood Area

Ken Morrison

(Introduction by David Williams)

Ken Morrison was appointed District Forest Officer of the Heywood District in 1960. Ken’s observations about management of hardwood forests in south-western Victoria and life as the District Forest Officer in the 1960s are captured in his recent reflections which are reproduced here.

The 1960s was a busy and successful decade for Victorian forestry. The 1960s could be described as a ‘glory decade’ for FCV and hardwood forestry in Victoria. Ken’s observations and experiences at Heywood typify much of forestry and a forester’s lot across the state at the time.

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“They don’t make them like they used to!”

Ian Hastings, 2018 (bio)

Many of us will have particular amusing (and perhaps not so amusing) memories and anecdotes about experiences and people we came across during our careers with the Forests Commission. My first posting after completing VSF studies was to the Yarram District in 1970. Ken Sheldon was the District Forester, with John Booth, Forester and Jack Clarke and John Blythman as Forest Overseers. I assisted John, Jack and John on a range of programs, the Strzelecki re-forestation program, the PX plantation program, timber harvesting supervision and the fuel reduction program.

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Featured Articles

Peter McHugh - a VSF Graduate of 1977 - writes here about his first year of work.


Have a look at this wonderful article by Arnis Heislers about Alpine Assessments in the 1960's.


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