Bryan Hayes 50-Year Contribution Honoured at Tas Timber Awards

More than 400 of Tasmania's best and brightest forestry and forest-based stakeholders attended the Tasmanian Timber Industry Awards on Friday.

Mon 18 Sep 23


Bryan Hayes has been celebrated for his outstanding contribution to the Tasmanian Timber Industry.

The announcement came as part of the Tasmanian Timber Awards, where 420 of the State’s best and brightest figures gathered at the Tailrace Centre on Friday night in Launceston.

Now in its third year, the event saw awards handed out across 12 categories – with multiple winners named amid a field of highly competitive nominees.

The awards were by the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network, which, according to a statement:

 “Celebrate excellence and best practice in harvesting, forest growing and management, distribution and logistics, innovation, environmental management, design use of Tasmanian timber, workplace health and safety and tree farming.”

Mr Hayes, the former CEO of Forico, is the current Chair of the Tasmanian Forest Products Association and is Deputy Chair of the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network.

Since stepping down as CEO last year, he has continued to support Forico with advocacy and special projects.

Reflecting on his 50 years in the industry, which began in 1972, Mr Hayes was proud of the development of the State’s industry.

“My vision for the forest industry has always been for a united, focused and collaborative sector that is respected for creating and sharing value in the communities in which it operates.”

Recognised as a trailblazer, Forico CEO Mr Hayes was instrumental in launching the industry’s first Reconciliation Action Plan and the Natural Capital Report – which has attracted global recognition.

Footage courtesy of @foricoptylimited1950.

According to Nick Steel, the CEO of the Tasmanian Forest Products Association, Mr Hayes “has always been kind enough to share his deep understanding of and experience in forestry by mentoring others.”

In a media statement published yesterday Tasmanian Minister for Resources Felix Ellis, the success of this year’s awards underpins the importance of the industry for the Tasmanian economy.

 “Tasmania’s forestry sector is world-class, supplying around $1.2 billion annually to the State’s economy while providing 5700 direct and indirect jobs, many of these in regional communities,” Minister Ellis said.

“Forestry is renewable, sustainable, delivers Tasmanian jobs and the timber needed to build our homes and fibre for a plastic-free future.”

In addition to Mr Hayes, notable winners included Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s Emily Gee and Emily Skromanis— both recognised as Trainees of the Year.

Dr Nathan Kotlarewski from the University of Tasmania said, “it was an absolute honour to be awarded the title, ‘Emerging Leader in the Tasmanian Timber Industry.’ (Photo Credit: Supplied from LinkedIn).

Dr Nathan Kotlarewski, from the University of Tasmania, was awarded Emerging Leader in the Tasmanian Timber Industry.

Incoming Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network Convenor Sue Grau said the calibre of entries was a true reflection and testament to the hard work of those in the sector.

“The TFFPN’s Tasmanian Timber Awards recognises and celebrates excellence and best practice within our industry and acknowledges those who are leaders in their fields.”

The TFFPN is a centralised hub for the Tasmanian forest products industry, “representing the shared views, aspirations and expectations of all those who have a stake in the future of sustainable Tasmanian forests, fine timber and the wood fibre industry.”

It has delivered the forest industry’s first-ever Diversity Action Plan, which, as Wood Central reported last week, was supported by $300,000 from the Tasmanian Government.

“Friday’s event showcased our industry in the best possible way. It truly was a celebration of industry, by industry,” Ms Grau said.

Ms Grau has replaced Therese Taylor, who was recognised during the awards.

Reflecting on her time as convenor, Ms Taylor said it was a privilege to have the opportunity to work with so many great people in the forest industry. 

Ms Taylor was proud of her work in “establishing and nurturing an umbrella organisation enabling members to work collaboratively on priority issues in the forest industry.”

2023 Tasmanian Timber Award winners:
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Tasmanian Timber Industry – Bryan Hayes
  • Excellence in Distribution and Logistics – Orana Enterprises
  • Emerging Leader in the Tasmanian Timber Industry – Dr Nathan Kotlarewski (UTAS)
  • Excellence in Design and/or use of Tasmanian Timber – Benjamin P Nitschke Architect
  • Excellence in Environmental Management Practices – Dr Amy Koch (Forest Practices Authority)
  • Forest Growing and Management Excellence – Hills Transplant Nursery
  • Harvesting Excellence – MechLog – ‘Forestry with Care’
  • Innovation Award – Indicium Dynamics


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    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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