Boosting acceptance of wood amongst future construction and design leaders

Boosting acceptance of wood amongst future construction and design leaders

Networking events hosted by WoodSolutions have provided opportunities for early career practitioners in the construction and design industries to develop useful contacts, while enhancing their knowledge of timber and the forestry industry. The Young Professionals Network aims to ensure a future workforce that is fully engaged and familiar with the benefits of timber.

Held in Melbourne and Sydney, the regular WoodSolutions Young Professionals Network meetings focus on hot topics concerning timber construction, while providing early career graduates with a convenient opportunity to increase their skills and network amongst peers in a friendly environment.

The network is open to all young professionals aged below 35 and employed in the property design or construction industries. Those unable to attend events in person can stay updated by joining the associated Facebook group, which functions as a forum and news source for the latest developments in timber construction.

Having previously enjoyed success in Melbourne, the network expanded its reach to Sydney in 2019.

The first interstate event featured a special guest presentation from Knut Menden, Senior Associate at BVN Architecture, who discussed the recently completed works at Our Lady of Assumption Primary School. This project involved a significant renovation and three-storey extension using mass-engineered timber.

Laurence Ritchie, WoodSolutions Cost and Program Estimator, Mid-Rise Construction, said it was wonderful to see such a diverse group of young professionals come together to learn more about how timber can be used to benefit their projects.

“It’s always great to witness the passion of young people in their chosen industries, and with the Young Professionals Network we hope to foster that passion and create strong, connected and highly-skilled design and construction workforces for the future, familiar with the many benefits of working with wood,” Mr Ritchie said.

Marshall Day Acoustics’ Travis Hancock, a member of the network in Melbourne, said the meetings have provided him and his organisation with a wealth of important opportunities.

"Marshall Day has been involved in several timber construction projects in Australia, and has worked closely with WoodSolutions to help provide acoustic design tools for the industry,” Mr Hancock said.

“The Young Professionals Network has given us unique insights into how other disciplines are dealing with the various challenges of constructing with timber, and has provided a forum for us to contribute our piece of the puzzle.

“The laid back atmosphere the WoodSolutions team has created with this group is unique amongst networking groups, and I look forward to future catchups!”

Over the past 12 months, WoodSolutions has hosted three events in both Melbourne and Sydney, with another event planned in each city before the end of the year.

For more information contact Laurence Ritchie of WoodSolutions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our acknowledgment

In the spirit of reconciliation, Forest & Wood Products Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia, and we acknowledge their connection to the land and their custodianship of Country and forests. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Our acknowledgment