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Aust Forest & Wood Innovations institute has a new board

Bob Gordon will chair the new AFWI board.

The board for the establishment and management of the $100 million Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI) research institute has been appointed. Source: Timberbiz

To be chaired by former Forestry Australia president Bob Gordon, the board will comprise Diana Gibbs, Christine Briggs, Heidi Dungey, Brian Farmer, Michael O’Connor, Rachael Cavanagh, Andrew Leighton, Julianne O’Reilly-Wapstra and Andrew Wilson.

The board will also be supported by a Research Advisory Committee which is expected to be established shortly.

The AFWI is a collaboration between the Australian Government and the University of Tasmania, committed to advancing research and innovation to support Australia’s forest and wood product industries.

It will undertake an annual call for research projects into efforts to: increase domestic timber and wood fibre supply, maximise use and value from our exiting resource and learn more about enhancing sustainable forest management as a means to increase understanding and action on how the forest products sector can play a stronger role in being part of the solution to climate change.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the appointment of the board is the next step in establishing AFWI.

“The appointment of the Board will allow the strategic direction and research priorities of AFWI to be finalised, which means AFWI funded research will shortly begin,” Minister Watt said.

“This research will help to support our Australian forest and wood product industries, as well as our journey to generate greater value from our sustainable forestry industries, forests are fantastic carbon stores, after all.

“The investment in AFWI will support innovation and research that will change the way we use wood to benefit our community into the future.

“The establishment of the Board will help turbocharge this innovation.”

Acting Australian Forest Products Association CEO Richard Hyett congratulated the newly appointed board.

“It’s terrific to see AFWI’s continued progress, particularly given AFPA’s key role in securing Commonwealth funding for the Institute ahead of the 2022 Federal Election,” he said.

“I congratulate Minister Watt on marshalling this excellent board of forestry sector professionals.

“We welcome the inclusion of Michael O’Connor with his incredible depth of knowledge and former AFPA chair and current director, Diana Gibbs,” he said.

“AFPA played an important role in the genesis of the AFWI, so it’s particularly satisfying to witness the progress.

“AFPA, through our own membership and expertise will work with the AFWI to ensure well-formed research priorities and projects,” Mr Hyett said.

“Forest products sector innovation will be greatly spurred by the AFWI, the market possibilities it could help drive are truly exciting and it will help Australia’s competitiveness in our sector.”

The AFWI board will be chaired by Mr Bob Gordon who will be joined by fellow board members:

  • Ms Diana Gibbs
  • Ms Christine Briggs
  • Dr Heidi Dungey
  • Mr Brian Farmer
  • Mr Michael O’Connor
  • Ms Rachael Cavanagh
  • Mr Andrew Leighton
  • Dr Julianne O’Reilly-Wapstra
  • Mr Andrew Wilson