Our Team

Our Team

Forest and Wood Products Australia has a mix of full time and part time staff who ensure that the goals and responsibilities of the organisation are met through its efficient day-to-day operation.  Our experienced team are committed to the success of our initiatives and are skilled in management, communications, research and development, and administration.


Organisation Chart

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Andrew Leighton, Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Leighton

Chief Executive Officer


Andrew Leighton brings a wealth of technical, management and leadership experience relevant to the role of CEO at FWPA.

His senior executive roles have included seven years as Managing Director of Norske Skog Australasia and time as Vice-Chair of the Australian Forest Products Association.

Andrew is excited to lead FWPA, and sees huge potential for increasing the applications for, and use of, forest and wood products as the world adapts to a carbon-constrained economy.


E. Andrew.Leighton@fwpa.com.au
M. 0419 512 087


Chris Lafferty,  Research and Development Manager

Chris Lafferty

Research and Development Manager

Chris joined FWPA in March 2002. As Research and Development Manager, Dr. Lafferty is responsible for implementing FWPA’s policy of supporting R&D projects across the entire forest and wood products value chain.

Professionally qualified as a chemist, Chris was awarded a Master's degree in Applied Chemistry from RMIT and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Before joining FWPA he was a senior research scientist with the CRC for Clean Power from Lignite. Prior to that, Chris was a senior research scientist at the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky.

E. chris.lafferty@fwpa.com.au
M. 0422 373 399

Jason See, Business Manager (Senior Leadership Team)

Jason See

Business Manager (Senior Leadership Team)

Jason joined FWPA in November 1999. He is responsible for the business and financial functions of the Corporation.

Jason has an accounting qualification and is a fellow of CPA Australia. He has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, including an Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB) for building and construction, a business council, and the Wool Corporation. Previously, he worked in the private sector in manufacturing, banking, an audit firm, and retailing.

E. jason.see@fwpa.com.au
M. 0422 129 728

Eileen Newbury, Head of Marketing and Communications, Head of WoodSolutions Program (Senior Leadership Team)

Eileen Newbury

Head of Marketing and Communications, Head of WoodSolutions Program (Senior Leadership Team)

Eileen is an accomplished businesswoman who takes a common-sense approach to marketing and communications that is equal parts practical, engaging and effective. An experienced marketer responsible for managing FWPA's marketing, comms and event programs.

Eileen also manages the WoodSolutions program, designed for design and build specifiers and The Ultimate Renewable™ brand for consumers and industry. Her responsibilities include management of brands, relationships, education, sponsorships and contract negotiations.

She's a graduate and alumni of Leadership Victoria's prestigious Williamson Community Leadership Program and a mentor to program participants of Leadership Victoria.

Eileen has over 25 years of related business experience in communications, marketing, event and program management prior to joining FWPA and was the founder and CEO of a successful marketing events company. Her event experience has seen her manage many of Australia's major events. 

Throughout her career, she has sat on a number of advisory committees and has presided as President and Chair of many.

Her greatest strengths are her creativity, drive and leadership. She thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand her reach.

E. eileen.newbury@fwpa.com.au
M. 0419 313 163

Jodie Mason, Forest Research Manager

Jodie Mason

Forest Research Manager

Jodie manages RD&E projects and programs of interest to forest growers, including FWPA’s Program 4 – Growing resources and reducing risk.

Jodie holds a Bachelor of Forest Science and a Master of Business Administration. She has over twenty years’ experience in forest management, with focus on operations, certification, forest carbon and environmental auditing. She has worked in both native forest and plantation management and provided consulting services to the sectors for fifteen years, across Australia and internationally.

E. jodie.mason@fwpa.com.au
M. 0427 357 867

Jarrod Gooden, RD&E Projects Coordinator

Jarrod Gooden

RD&E Projects Coordinator

Jarrod joined FWPA in March 2012. As R&D Projects Officer, Jarrod assists the Executive Director and the R&D Manager with the management of FWPA’s portfolio and R&D activities.

Jarrod completed a Bachelor in Biological Sciences at La Trobe University, majoring in zoology, and microbiology with a minor in botany.

Before joining FWPA, he worked at the Department of Primary Industries for five years in various roles including Project Officer in PIRVic Plant Genetics & Genomics and also at Fisheries Victoria’s Fisheries Co-management Council.

E. jarrod.gooden@fwpa.com.au
M. 0499 988 819

Boris Iskra, National Codes and Standards Manager

Boris Iskra

National Codes and Standards Manager

Boris is responsible for managing FWPA’s activities in building codes and material standards.

Boris has had more than 24 years of direct involvement in the Australian forest and wood products sector and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Structural) degree and a Graduate Diploma in Building Fire Safety and Risk Engineering.

He has represented the timber industry on a number of Standards Australia’s Technical Committees including TM-002 Timber Framing and TM-006 Timber Preservation and Durability.  He is actively involved in the drafting of technical guides, informing designers, specifiers and regulators in relation to timber engineering and bushfire compliant solutions, and is a member of Standards Australia’s Timber Standards Coordination Group.

E. boris.iskra@fwpa.com.au
M. 0407 874 901

David Kearsley, Codes and Standards Technical Manager

David Kearsley

Codes and Standards Technical Manager

David is the Codes and Standards Technical Manager at FWPA. David has in excess of 25 years of experience in the building and engineering industries including the Victorian State Government and in the private sector. He holds a Diploma of Engineering (Mechanical), Bachelor’s Degree in Building Surveying, and Graduate Diploma in Fire and Risk Engineering.

Prior to joining FWPA David worked for the Victorian Fire Services (both FRV and CFA) including 10 years as Fire Safety Program Leader, providing the technical leadership for CFA’s Structural Fire Safety and Fire Engineering programs including timber construction and bushfire. David has actively been involved in writing building regulations, technical guides, and practice notes for the building and fire industries. David has been a member of various technical groups and committees including the Cladding Taskforce (following the Lacrosse Fire in 2014) representing CFA and a number of technical committees for Australasian Fire Authorities Council, including the Fire Engineering Network and also represented a number of bodies on the Australian Standard technical committees.

E.  david.kearsley@fwpa.com.au
M.  0421 841 400



Beth Welden, ForestLearning Program Manager

Beth Welden

ForestLearning Program Manager

Beth manages the ForestLearning Education program, www.forestlearning.edu.au, aiming to serve educators, children, and the public with information on Australian forests and forest-based products, and provision and access to forestry teaching resources. The program is further supported by links to key government, industry organisations and educational service providers. 

Before joining FWPA, Beth spent the previous 13 years involved in the formation and management of peak school to industry partnership programs with AgForce Queensland and the Gateway Schools to Agribusiness South region.  Beth has held roles in communications, teaching, science research, science curriculum extension, curriculum development, and strategy within schools, peak agricultural industry associations, the Plant Biosecurity CRC and various government agencies including CSIRO, DAFQ and DNR&M. Beth served as a non-Executive Director for the first Primary Industries Education Foundation Board and was a participant in Australia 2020 and the DAFF Rural Leaders Course.  She holds a Grad Dip Ed (Science), 1st class Hons Science (Entomology), Bachelor of Applied Science, CERT IV Training and Assessment and Cert IV TESOL. 

E. beth@forestlearning.edu.au
M. 0490 857 058

Alastair Woodard, National Residential Construction and Fit-out Program Manager

Alastair Woodard

National Residential Construction and Fit-out Program Manager

Alastair is the Program Manager for the new FWPA National Residential Construction and Fit-out program, established to address issues and opportunities to support the use of wood-based products in the national residential (Class 1) market.

Alastair is a structural engineer who spent ten years with the Timber Promotion Council as General Manager and Executive Director prior to its closure in 2005. Prior to this, he worked as a consulting structural engineer in Melbourne specialising in refurbishment of historic buildings and with the Monash Timber Engineering Centre undertaking timber focussed R&D and teaching whilst doing his PhD in timber engineering. Since 2005 Alastair has been a Director of TPC Solutions (Aust) Pty Ltd, a consultancy specialising in advice on the use and impact of building and construction materials.

Alastair also manages the WoodSolutions Victorian program and the Tertiary Education program.  

E.  alastair.woodard@fwpa.com.au
M.  0417 364 008



Kevin Peachey, Statistics & Economics Manager

Kevin Peachey

Statistics & Economics Manager

Kevin manages FWPA’s Statistics and Economics Program to provide improved coordination and better systems for data collection and analysis of industry production and trade activity.

Kevin has an extensive background in the forestry industry. He studied forestry at Australia National University and has worked in policy advocacy for increased R&D funding for the forest industry and also as chamber manager for pulp, paper, and bioproducts sector members. He was also an executive officer for Timber Towns Victoria and the National Timber Councils Association.

E. kevin.peachey@fwpa.com.au
M. 0411 060 186

Kelly Goh, Accounting Manager

Kelly Goh

Accounting Manager

Kelly joined FWPA in March 2006. She assists the business manager with the business and financial functions of the organisation.

Kelly completed a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting at the University of Tasmania. She is currently studying towards her CPA qualification.

E. accounts@fwpa.com.au
M. 0412 511 455

Jennifer Cunich, Lead Program Development Manager, Mid-rise Construction

Jennifer Cunich

Lead Program Development Manager, Mid-rise Construction

Jennifer has more than 25 years of experience in the property industry. She is currently a serving Board Member of the Victorian Planning Authority, Australian Housing Urban Research Institute, and is a committee member on Monash University’s Estates Committee.

Jennifer was an Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia for 20 years and the former CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects.

E. jennifer.cunich@woodsolutions.com.au
M. 0411 118 099

Ivy Wang

Assistant Accountant

Ivy supports the business and finance function of FWPA.  Ivy completed a Bachelor of Business Accounting from Monash University and is currently an enrolled Associate Membership of CPA Australia.

She has 5 years of experience within the Construction and Hospitality industries including real estate, property management, and venue management. She's completed a Certificate IV in business and is endorsed as a NATTI Certified Translator in 2015.

Driven by high levels of commitment, she proactively brings innovative value-adds to the finance team.

E.  ivy.wang@fwpa.com.au
M.  0423 586 789



Sarah Downey, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager

Sarah Downey

Senior Marketing and Communications Manager

Sarah is a talented marketing and communications manager with over nine years of proven experience developing integrated marketing and communication strategies in the education and construction industries.

As an integral part of FWPA’s marketing and communications team, she manages the development and creation of key marketing and communication initiatives while making a difference by focusing on sustainability and the built environment.

Driven by team success, Sarah actively contributes to a positive work culture by developing positive relationships with all stakeholders.

E. sarah.downey@fwpa.com.au
M. 0438 704 591


Rhiana Archie, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Rhiana Archie

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Rhiana obtained an Associate in Arts degree from Valencia College in 2014. She then went on to study Marketing & Management at the University of Central Florida before moving to Melbourne in 2017. Rhiana worked in hospitality management for more than 10 years. She is also a freelance writer.

At FWPA Rhiana is part of the Marketing & Communications team. She assists with events, digital content, social media mangement, EDM, digital analytics and copywriting and editing. Rhiana also manages the webinar program. 

E. rhiana.archie@fwpa.com.au
M. 0452 194 146

Kurt Cunningham, Administration Assistant

Kurt Cunningham

Administration Assistant

Kurt joined in FWPA, in March 2022, as an Administration Assistant and our office all-rounder. He is responsible for general administrative tasks such as managing the office, deliveries, room bookings, travel and maintaining our databases. He has obtained a Certificate III in Business Administration and has experience in working for regional Law and Accounting practices before moving to Melbourne, in early 2022.


Kurt is working towards a Bachelor of Business with a specialisation in marketing. Working closely with the FWPA Marketing and Communications team, Kurt enjoys assisting in any way possible while learning from our experienced team.


E. Kurt.Cunningham@fwpa.com.au
M. 0490 920 605

Andreea Spoiala, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Andreea Spoiala

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Andreea joined FWPA in 2016 as a Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator, providing marketing, communications, and event coordination support to the Marketing Manager.

She has considerable experience in B2B and B2C markets within organizations, across diverse industries and sectors.  Her ability to adapt to changing environments resulted in her being placed in busy marketing roles which allowed her to gain specific experience in corporate marketing, marketing communications, email marketing, and event and project management.

Andreea brings to FWPA her strong ability to provide support and devise effective marketing strategies and initiatives with a focus on relationship building, delivering new concepts to stakeholders, and producing positive results.

E. andreea.spioala@fwpa.com.au

Gerry Neylan, Mid-rise Construction Advisor

Gerry Neylan

Mid-rise Construction Advisor

As the former leader of FWPA's Mid-Rise Advisory Program team (MAP) with more than 38 years of experience in major Melbourne construction, architecture, and planning projects, Gerry is well known in the market within which the MAP program engages.

His experience also includes managing and directing highly regarded architectural firms, senior roles in advisory and management companies, and as General Manager Property, at Melbourne Airport. Gerry has acted as a Government Advisor on a number of important civic projects such as Southern Cross Station, Melbourne Docklands, and the Exhibition Centre.

Over the last 2 years, the MAP team has engaged extensively across the market utilising Gerry’s extensive contact network at a high level. He brings a wealth of practical experience to every project the MAP team provides input on, and also in managing the MAP team.

E. gerard.neylan@woodsolutions.com.au
M. 0411 591 691 

Jim Houghton, Industry Consultant

Jim Houghton

Industry Consultant

Jim has a background in economics and statistical analysis and 15 years’ experience as a senior manager in the industry.  He holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and has worked in various roles within the forest and wood products industry, including as CEO of Alpine MDF and as a director of Vicforests.

E. jim.houghton@fwpa.com.au
M. 0412 812 272

Paolo Lavisci, Mid-Rise Construction Advisor

Paolo Lavisci

Mid-Rise Construction Advisor

Paolo’s extensive experience with Engineered Wood Products encompasses both hands-on and advisory roles in the design and construction of timber structures, project management, research and product development, teaching and training.

With a Forestry degree in Florence (Italy) and a PhD in Industrial Technologies, Wood at ENSTIB/Université de Nancy (France), Paolo worked in the industry for 7 years before starting an independent timber consulting and engineering practice. Among the many projects with which he has been involved are the design and specification of multi-storey timber buildings (5, 7, 9 and 12 storeys), developing new models for prefabricated homes and transportable units and the design for cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing plants. He also authored a widely-used book on the design of timber structures and funded the development of specific structural engineering software.

As part of the WoodSolutions team, Paolo succeeded in “changing mindsets in the mid-rise construction market and helping those with a little pioneering spirit to take advantage of the demonstrated efficiencies and cost savings provided by timber structures.”

E. paolo.lavisci@woodsolutions.com.au
M. 0435 759 766