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Tasmanian Timber Awards benefit industry and staff

This year the Tasmanian Timber Awards will again recognise excellence in the forest and forest products industries at its gala dinner event in September at Launceston’s Albert Hall. As well as the 13 award categories featured in 2019, it will this year include a new award category, which will focus on recognising excellence in design and use of Tasmanian timber. Source: Timberbiz

In the lead up to the 2021 awards MechLog CEO Jillian Aylett-Brown spoke to the Tasmanian Forests & Forest Products Network about the benefits and opportunities entering the Awards provided the business and its staff.

MechLog, which has grown from a small five-person operation 27 years ago, into a national endeavour employing 40 people across nine crews, operating 34 harvesting machines, won awards in all four categories in 2019.

Ms Brown said the awards were as much about highlighting the industry as they were about showcasing individuals and organisations.

“Most people never see the forestry industry in practice because we work in forests, which are disconnected from the cities and towns,” she said.

“The awards offer an opportunity to express our pride as a stakeholder and operator, elevate the profile of the industry, and promote the economic and social benefits of the most renewable and environmentally responsible industry in Australia.”

MechLog entered four categories in 2019 – Harvesting Excellence, Skill Development & Training Excellence, Workplace Health & Safety Excellence, and Trainee of the Year – and won awards in all four.

Ms Brown said the process of submitting an entry to the Tasmanian Timber Awards was “easy and cathartic”

“As we completed the MechLog entries, we discovered a new sense of pride in what we are doing as an organisation and an even higher level of respect for our employees, who were the inspiration for nominating in four of the awards categories,” she said.

“It is easy to overlook our achievements when we are living them every day, but the Tasmanian Timber Awards allow us to focus on what we are doing and reinvigorate a sense of pride in MechLog’s achievements and milestones.”

Ms Brown said MechLog’s industry profile had been heightened, which has resulted in more media interest in MechLog as an environmentally responsible forestry company.

“As a result of having a higher industry and media profile, MechLog has been offered more opportunities to present our thoughts, perspective, and vision for our sector to industry groups, government, and the community.

“As a result, the MechLog team has developed an even greater sense of pride in their work, the company, and the forestry industry,” she said.

Ms Brown said the awards were critical to the success of the Timber industry.

“If we as a sector do not take pride in the forestry industry, how can we expect the community to be proud of our contribution to the economy, to training and employment, and best environmental practices for a renewable resource?

“If we as a sector do not promote and expect excellence in forestry practices, how can we expect the industry to improve and grow?

If we as a sector do not take steps to showcase and educate people about the modern forestry industry, how can we expect the community and governments to understand that the forestry industry of today is light years ahead of the forestry industry of old?”