"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Did You Know?


  • That large Victorian forest firefighting tankers once looked like this, and in 2018 they look like this?

  • The details, history and photos of Victorian firetowers can be found here?

  • "Here it may be permitted to express keen gratification and pride that the first Victoria Cross gained by an Australian soldier was won by Albert Jacka, an employee of the Department."
    Source: State Forest Department, Annual Report, 1914/15

    He won his VC at Gallipoli, and there is a very strong school of thought that he did more than enough to earn a second VC during later fighting in France and Belgium.

  • Jim Willis and Jim McKinty both have species of eucalypts named after them? - Eucalyptus willisii and Eucalyptus mackintii (Blue-crowned Stringybark).
  • That by the time the Government corporatised management of the State's plantations, the total plantation area was about 113 000ha.?
  • That, from 1928, two Norwegian foresters (Kristian Drangsholt and Bjarne Dahl) were critical in getting rigourous timber resource assessments into place?
  • That the Toorongo Plateau looked in very ordinary shape in 1942?

  • That prior to December 1937 the FCV had no person occupying a positon like Fire Protection Officer with the responsibility to coordinate Statewide fire activities. The first officer to occupy such a position was RE Torbet?

  • That as early as 1930 the FCV worked with the RAAF to conduct fire detection flights with Westland Wapiti aircraft. These patrols became a regular fire season operation. The first flight with a single engine 2 seater Wapiti was on 18 Feb 1930? Testimony from the 1939 Stretton Royal Commission provides information about these early  aerial fire patrols

  • That over the period 1941-42 to 1952-53, a total of 1,915,286 tons measure of firewood was produced by the FCV through the Emergency Firewood project?

  • That someone fitted the pitot tube back-to-front on the fixed-wing aircraft being used to trial the CSIRO-built aerial ignition machine over Western Port Bay? Imagine Conrad Holmes Wood flinging his arms about, at the bar of course, as he describes how he plucked injected capsules from the air inside the cockpit and flung them into the bay. Now for the real story - water from a charged soda water siphon extinguished the burning capsules. Nowhere near as exciting

  • That during WW2 a Forestry Company (see Peter McHugh's article) was raised within the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers? Victorian forestry personnel were actively involved.

  • The number of aircraft crashes (see Peter McHugh's article) that have occurred on State Forest and National Parks?

  • That the FCV once owned a Paddle Steamer (see Peter McHugh's article), and Hero was its name?

  • That the first time in Australia that a Bush Fire Prevention Weekwas organized was by the Forests Commission for the 1929-30 fire season?