After almost 40 years in the forest industry, Dr Jim O’Hehir was named a ‘Timber Legend’ on Friday.
The presentation was made to Dr O’Hehir by South Australian Primary Industry Minister Clare Scriven and Premier Peter Malinauskas at the Barn Palais during the Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards night.
Considered the engineroom of Australia’s forest products industry, the Green Triangle is the country’s largest productive forest area – with 160,000 hectares of mature softwood plantations and 110,000 hectares of hardwood plantations.
It produces 1.7 million cubic metres of sawlogs and 1.0 million cubic metres of pulpwood every year – and on Friday, more than 500 celebrated Dr O’Hehir’s elevation to legend status.
The award recognises the contribution of Dr O’Hehir to the industry, which dates back to the 1980s, where he has worked for the Department of Primary Industries and Forestry SA since 1985.
His special interest area is plantation growth and yield management, including long-term sustainability, growth, yield, modelling and plantation water use.
A prolific publisher, he has authored more than 15 papers, including
“Recent Advances in Precision Forestry in South Australia” and has facilitated several national research projects.
In addition, he has worked on developing various modelling projects for predicting pine thinning and fertiliser growth and yield responses.
He has also been instrumental in establishing the Mount Gambier Centre for the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, considered one of Australia’s most successful research centres for forest products.
In total, ten awards were presented during the night, with the awards hosted by TV and radio celebrity David Thornton.
Award winners included:
- Operations – Harvesting and In-Field Chipping Excellence Jamie Marlow – Merrett Logging
- Operations – Silviculture and Timber Support Services Excellence Jason Whyte Berry & Whyte Surveyors
- Highly Commended – Josh Paolini from Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub
- Logistics Excellence – Port Operations, Marshalling and Timber Haulage Adam Merrett – Merrett Logging
- Sawmilling and Processing Excellence Award Andrew Burston – OneFortyOne
- Safety Excellence Award – Individual Achievement
- Ryan Cassar – Tabeel Trading Nominees
- Deb Kuhl – Timberlink Australia & New Zealand
- Trainee Award Grace Tse – Timberlands Pacific
- Highly Commended – Amelia Harris – Van Schaik’s BioGro
- Environment & Sustainability Award Wendy Fennell – Fennell Forestry
- Highly Commended – Levi Bateman – HVP Plantations
- Safety Excellence – Less than 30 Staff Glenara Transport
- Safety Excellence – More than 30 staff Merrett Logging
- Timber Legend Award Dr Jim O’Hehir