Our Staff

Our Staff

Forest and Wood Products Australia has a full-time staff of 16 who ensure that the goals and responsibilities of the organisation are met through its efficient day-to-day operation. Our friendly staff are committed to the success of our initiatives and are skilled in management, communications, research and development, and administration.

Ric Sinclair

Managing Director

Before joining FWPA, Mr Sinclair spent seven years in the grocery and food industry where he worked in operations, corporate finance and strategy roles. Mr Sinclair has held operations, marketing and strategy roles at Origin Energy, KH Foods, Chiquita Brands and Amcor/PaperlinX. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) and a Master of Business Administration. Mr Sinclair was appointed to the role of Managing Director on 2 June 2008.

E. ric.sinclair@fwpa.com.au
T. (03) 9927 3205

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
T. (03) 9927 3220

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
T. (03) 9927 3200

Jason See

Business Manager

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 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 was in the private sector in manufacturing, banking, an audit firm and retailing.

E. jason.see@fwpa.com.au
T. (03) 9927 3250

Eileen Newbury

National Marketing and Communications Manager

An accomplished businesswoman who takes a common-sense approach to marketing and communications that is equal parts practical, engaging and effective. An experienced National Marketing and Communications Manager responsible for managing FWPA's marketing and event programs including the WoodSolutions brand for specifiers of design and build and the Wood. Naturally Better brand for consumers. Her responsibilities include brand management, relationships, sponsorships and contract negotiations. 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 and event management prior to joining FWPA and was the founder and CEO of a successful company. Throughout her career she has sat on a number of advisory committees and has presided as President and Chairman of many. Her event experience has seen her manage many of Australia's major events.  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
T. (03) 9927 3212

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
T. (03) 9927 3240

Jim Houghton

Statistics and Economics Manager

Jim 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.

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
T. (03) 9927 3260

Kelly Goh

Assistant Accountant

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
T. (03) 9927 3251

Jarrod Gooden

RD&E Projects Co-ordinator

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 bachelors’ in biological sciences at La Trobe University, he majored in zoology, 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
T. (03) 9927 3221

Andreea Spoiala

Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator

Andreea was appointed to the role of Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator in February, 2016. Her role is to provide marketing, communications and event coordination support to the Marketing Manager.

Andreea has considerable experience in B2B and B2C markets, within organisations 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.spoiala@fwpa.com.au  
P. (03) 9927 3222

Grace Davies

Administration and Marketing Communications Assistant

Grace joined FWPA in August 2010.  Grace completed her Certificate III in Business Administration at Victoria University.

Grace is involved in managing administrative processes, general enquiries and distribution of our newsletters, as well as providing marketing and communications support, assisting with events, websites and other communications. 

E. grace.davies@fwpa.com.au 
T. (03) 9927 3211

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 communications, teaching, science research, science curriculum extension, curriculum development, and strategy roles 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
P. 0490 857 058

Gerry Neylan

Lead Program Development Manager Mid-Rise Construction

Gerry leads the Mid-Rise Advisory Program team (MAP) and with more than 38 year’s experience in major Melbourne construction, architecture and planning projects is well known in the market within which the MAP program engages.

His experience includes managing and directing highly regarded architectural firms, senior roles in advisory and management companies, and as General Manger,Property, at Melbourne Airport. Gerry has acted as Government Advisor on a number or 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 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
P. 0411 591 691 

Paolo Lavisci

Program Development Manager Mid-Rise Construction

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
P. 0435 795 766

Stefan Gerber

Program Development Manager Mid-Rise Construction

With 20 years’ experience in the timber and related supply industries, Stefan Gerber is a key contact for building professionals to assist them with the design and construction of mid-rise timber buildings.

Combining undergraduate and post graduate qualifications in timber engineering and management and with roles in technology management, sales and engineering for international building supplies companies, Stefan has a comprehensive view of the global timber supply and construction industry.

Beginning his career in the European tradition, with an apprenticeship in joinery, Stefan discovered a passion for timber that took him from Switzerland to Australia to work as a research scientist before he branched out into the commercial sector.

E. stefan.gerber@woodsolutions.com.au 

P. 0431 463 119

Laurence Ritchie

Cost and Program Estimator Mid-Rise Construction

A recent graduate in Construction Cost Management, with over a decade of experience in the property sector, Laurence provides the WoodSolutions team with program and construction cost estimation expertise. Drawing on knowledge gained working in tier one construction, Laurence uses his detailed knowledge of site processes and construction methods to assess the potential time and cost implications of new projects.

Laurence is passionate about engineered timber and is excited to see its potential uses realised in Australian projects and around the world.

E. laurence.ritchie@woodsolutions.com.au
P. 0406 000 598

FWPA Newsletters

FWPA publishes the industry newsletters, R&DWorks and ForWood. In addition, we have the WoodSolutions newsletter addressing design and build specifiers – architects, building designers, engineers and others involved in specifying the choice of building materials, as well as the Wood.Naturally Better. ™ Partner Update. ForestLearning is FWPA’s quarterly newsletter that provides information on Australian forests and forest-based products to teachers and educators, school children and the public.


R&D Works


Wood. Naturally Better. ™