On-site and virtual options give students first-hand insights into forestry
School students were given engaging and informative overviews of the many and varied careers available across the forestry and wood products industry supply chain.
Ag Inspirations North Coast collaborated with FWPA’s ForestLearning initiative, HQPlantations and AKD Softwoods, to host an event for three teachers and 28 Year 10 and 11 students — from Caboolture and Dakabin State High Schools, as well as Glasshouse Christian College. It provided an opportunity for the students to learn more about potential careers in forestry as they make crucial decisions about their post-high-school futures.
HQPlantations introduced students to forestry careers by hosting a site tour at its Beerburrum plantation estate. Students heard from foresters and staff about the cycle of forestry and forest management, and particularly the processes involved in harvesting pine for the production of renewable resources. They also participated in engaging practical exercises, including using ForestLearning’s ‘carbon storage tape measure’ to calculate the amount of carbon stored in pine wood on-site.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the AKD Caboolture sawmill, which provided insights into the next step in the renewable forestry and wood products supply chain story, beyond harvest. The students discovered what happens to logs once they arrive from HQPlantations, and were given an overview of the state-of-the-art technologies and innovations used at this modern timber processing facility.
Attendees were then taken on a guided tour, and got to see high-tech scanners, saws and grading facilities first-hand, as well as the various wood fibre by-products resulting from the sawmilling process, which are recovered and onsold to minimise waste. More than 10 cadets and apprentices also spoke to the students, focusing on their own experiences and what they love about working in the sector.
Over and above the education of students and their accompanying teachers, this initiative helped equip and empower both HQPlantations and AKD Softwoods to conduct future tours themselves, as well as establishing a network amongst forestry stakeholders and the education community to support potential future traineeship and job opportunities.
Forester Time links classrooms with foresters around the country
More than 1,700 primary and secondary students from all states and territories registered to be a part of live and online Forester Time webinars for National Ag Day 2020, in a joint initiative of ForestLearning and the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA).
Forester Time allows students to see, hear and interact live with a forester via Zoom video conferencing online from their classrooms or home learning spaces. By participating, students get to learn more about the daily work of foresters, the diversity of career opportunities available in the sector, and the renewable and sustainable cycle of forestry.
Students had plenty of questions during the 2020 sessions, including: "What's the best thing about being a forester?”; "How many trees do you plant every year?"; and “Have you ever ridden in one of those million dollar harvesting machines?"
Kathryn Cresswell from Forico, Gavin Livingston from VicForests and Sarah Maddison from HVP Plantations each presented a 30-minute session.
For secondary school cohorts, Gavin presented ‘Forestry 101 — managing today's forests for tomorrow's generations’. Meanwhile, Sarah presented on her work with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones as part of her presentation ‘Seeing the wood for the trees — technologies used in forest management’.
For the primary school cohort, Kathryn’s presentation — ‘Where does wood come from?’ — included a live game show element.
On her involvement Kathryn Cresswell said, “I really hope the students get a better understanding of what forestry is, and an understanding of the fact that although we chop down trees to make sustainable timber products, we also re-plant and grow them again.”
One teacher from Our Lady of Mercy College said, "I found the session invaluable and am looking forward to sharing these resources with my Materials Design Technology – Wood students.”
Forester Time 2021 — get involved!
ForestLearning will host more Forester Time sessions in 2021! If you’re a forester and would like the opportunity to engage with young people and promote the advantages of a career in the sector, simply sign up to become one of our Forest Industry Education Champions!