Kester began work for the FCV as a member of the Connors Plain MSC in Dec 1968. He worked with that crew for four summers, finishing as senior leading hand in 1972.
Later that year, he began full-time work as an administrative officer, and unofficial technical assistant, in the Forest Environment and Recreation Branch. His last four years were as secretary of the Baw Baw Alpine Reserve Committee of Management, together with responsibilities for other FCV parks and reserves. During this time, he studied natural therapies, graduating in 1979, and on leaving the FCV in 1980 began practice as a naturopath. In 1989 he purchased a property at Bambra where he dabbles in agroforestry. Among other interests, he has been a member of the Otway Agroforestry Network, Geelong Field Naturalists and Angair for many years.