David Rowlinson to Leave Planet Ark’s ‘Make It Wood’ Campaign

Tue 27 Jun 23


Wood Central can report that ‘Make It Wood’ Campaign Manager David Rowlinson will leave Planet Ark at the end of this week.

Wood Central understands that the move coincides with a change to the funding arrangement for the ‘Make It Wood’ campaign, with a revised ‘Make It Wood’ campaign believed to have a solid social-media focus.

This will be unveiled in the new financial year.

The ‘Make It Wood‘ campaign has been supported by Forest and Wood Products Australia and Planet Ark – Australia’s most recognised and trusted environmental organisation – since 2012.

The campaign promotes responsibly sourced wood as a building material and the many advantages of building with wood, including the health and well-being associated with biophilic design.

The partnership has not been without controversy.

In 2012, former Planet Ark co-founders Jon Dee and Pat Cash cut ties with Planet Ark over its association with the timber industry.

“The Planet Ark board and management team should be held accountable for this decision to work with the forest industry… and Planet Ark needs to return to the values that once made it such a great organisation,” Dee and Cash told ABC News in 2012.

In May 2023, Wood Central exclusively reported that Jon Dee was appointed FSC chair for Australia and New Zealand for a 12-month period.

In 2012 Planet Ark co-founders Pat Cash and Jon Dee withdraw their memberships from the organisation following the decision to partner with the FWPA. (Photo credit:
In 2012 Planet Ark co-founders Pat Cash and Jon Dee withdraw their memberships from the organisation following the decision to partner with the FWPA. (Photo credit:

Sarah Rees, a current FSC director, has also been critical of the relationship.

“This is a very confusing message for consumers given Planet Ark has such an important role to play in advising people on best brands and ‘good wood’,” Rees told ABC News in the same interview.

A highly effective campaign manager

David Rowlinson has been in the role for more than seven years and has been a tireless advocate for the environmental credentials of responsibly sourced wood.

Since taking on the role in 2016, he has fronted hundreds of podcasts, radio interviews and presentations.

David Rawlinson in the ABC Radio studio – in conversation with Myf Warhurst on ABC Radio. Listen to the full interview here.

From National Tree Day, bushfire recovery workshops and community grant projects, he has connected with thousands of people in the forest products industry.

Footage courtesy of @planetarktv

With a deep passion for forest ecology and conservation.

David Rowlinson at the launch of Cowarra State Forest Tourism Precinct and Koala Breeding and Rehabilitation Masterplan in Port Macquarie in 2021.

And with a background in architecture, he has relished being a judge of the Australian Timber Design Awards.

David Rowlinson has been a long-time judge of the Australian Timber Design Awards. In 2018 he presented the Sustainability Award to the team from Jackson Teece – Simon Xiberras Georgios Anagnostou Jane Armstrong Kevin Berry Shane Strong Adam Strong.

Witnessing first-hand the emergence of low-carbon timbers in residential, mid-rise, and high-rise construction.

David Rowlinson at ABC Radio National talking to Anthony Funnell about tall timber buildings in 2018.

Among Rowlinson’s most significant achievements are the growing number of Australian governments at all levels committing to Wood Encouragement Policies (WEP).

Footage courtesy of @planetarktv

WEPs require responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all new-build and refurbishment government projects.

To date, the Western Australian and Tasmanian governments have adopted a state-wide WEP, with two local government authorities (LGAs) and 18 local councils also adopting the policies.

Wood Central understands that Rowlinson will continue to support the industry where he can.

On behalf of Wood Central and its readers, David, thank you for your service.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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