"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.

McHugh's Monographs

Peter McHugh (bio)

Throughout 2018-2019 Peter McHugh posted a series of monographs onto the internal ‘Facebook’ system of the Department of Environment Lands Water and Planning (DELWP).

The series was initiated to mark the centenary since the creation of the Forests Commission. Titled ‘Forest Fortnight’, the series describes activities and personalities associated with forestry in Victoria, mainly over the 65 years that the Commission was operational. Each monograph was timed to mark a calendar event or to reflect the seasonal activities of forest management. Over time Peter expanded the subject matter to include other items of interest, and has continued to add to this collection such as the ANZAC Day series 2020.

The monographs are essentially brief and aimed at capturing attention, and as such do not necessarily reflect the terminology employed in the main body of the website nor the views of the FCRPA.  Peter and the Association would welcome any corrections or additional information.

They outline the multi-faceted operations of the FCV in the community and its relationships with individuals and other organisations, and provide  good background material enabling later expansion if possible.

In introducing the ‘Forest Fortnight’ series, Peter noted that the family ancestry of DELWP, Parks Victoria, VicForests, Hancock Victorian Plantations and even the Country Fire Authority can all be traced back to the Forests Commission’s era.  The Commission also left a strong legacy of tradition, camaraderie and innovation which remains embedded in the DNA of these modern organisations.

A selection of these are reproduced below as downloadable PDFs, starting from the most recent posts.


Branding Hammers

Bilston Tree

Goodwood Mill - Mullungdung

Paddle Steamer Hero

Jackie Lewis - MMBW Ranger

Climax Engine

Harman Engine

Anglesea Pines

Cosstick Weir

Cloud Seeding

Charles Isaac Demby

Wattle Day

Cowombat Flat

Under Southern Skies (1954)


Strike a Light

Tall Tales - 1888

State Sawmill at Erica

State Seasoning Works - Newport

Mt Baw Baw Village - 1976

Creswick Forest Nursery

Fire Towers and Lookouts

Wastelands of the Crown

You Yangs Timber Reserve

Murtoa Stick Shed

Barmah Muster

Trouble in the Otways

Valonia Oak - See also the article by John Taylor on Cork Oak Trials in Victoria

ANZAC Day #6 - On the Somme

ANZAC Day #5 - Bill Flentje and the Biltson tree

ANZAC Day #4 - Woodpeckers

ANZAC Day #3 - Lumber Jills & War Brides

ANZAC Day #2 - LumberJacks

ANZAC Day #1 - Albert Jacka VC

Wood Distillation

Eucalyptus Oil

Growth Rings

My Last Post

Pride of Place

School on the Hill

The Working Forest

As if for a thousand years - (aka Formation of the LCC)

Head for the Hills

Restoring the Lands

The Balts

Poppy Day


Heartbreak Hills

Moscow Villa and Bill Ah Chow

Willy Wildfire

Kyeema – Lost then Found

Buying back the farm

Firebombing Folklore, Fantasy & Fairytales

Fire & Rain - (aka Aerial Ignition and Cloud Seeding)




Boneshakers, Rattletraps and Jalopys

Blitz Trucks, Armoured Cars, Fire Boats and Pigs - (aka Firefighting equipment post WW2)

Hot Shots - (aka Mobile Support Crews)

Surround and drown - (aka Firefighting pumps and equipment)

Fire Chiefs

Boys Camp - Rubicon

Boys Camp - Noojee

Lake Elizabeth

Pons asinorum - (aka East Gippsland wooden carvings)

Keep the home fires burning - (aka Emergency firewood supplies)

Box of Wonders - (aka Archie and Edna Hair)

Blue Wiggles - (aka Fire logistics officers)

On the piste - (aka FCV and ski rsort management)

Grand Design - (aka Forest industry planning)

The forest assessors

Get Lost - (aka Forest mapping)

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