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Dr Pietrzykowski Appointed New CEO of Private Forests Tasmania

Forest Health Scientist to take key post from September 14, 2023, on three-year term.


Mon 07 Aug 23

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Dr Elizabeth Pietrzykowski has been appointed as the new CEO of Private Forests Tasmania for three years from September 14.

As a renowned forest health scientist, Dr Pietrzykowski said she was “excited and enthusiastic” about the new opportunity and looked forward to working with the Private Forests Tasmania Board and team to “guide, inform, represent and advocate for the Tasmanian Private Forest Industry.”

Dr Pietrzykowski replaces the outgoing CEO, Penny Wells, retiring after 5 years as CEO of Private Forests Tasmania and 30 years working in the industry. (Photo Credit: Supplied by Private Forests Tasmania.)

Before her appointment, Dr Pietrzykowski held the position of Tasmanian Operations Lead for Greening Australia. 

She also has a PhD. in Environmental Health Science from the University of Tasmania.

Dr Elizabeth Pietrzykowski has been instrumental in leading Greening Australia’s Tasmanian Operations. (Photo Credit: Greening Australia.)

Private Forests Tasmania plays a crucial role in the region’s forestry sector. 

The organisation provides authoritative policy advice to the Tasmanian Government on all private forestry issues. 

It also exercises statutory responsibilities under the Private Forests Act 1994.

As reported in May, Private Forests Tasmania is working with the Tasmanian Forestry Hub to deliver the Carbon Farm Forestry Tool. 

World First: Landowners in Tasmania can now assess their carbon impact and explore tree offset opportunities with the ground-breaking Farm Forestry Carbon Tool.

This world-first tool allows farms to assess carbon impact and explore tree offset opportunities.

Reflecting on Dr Pietrzykowski appointment, Felix Ellis, the Tasmanian Minister for Resources, praised her diverse expertise. 

“Dr Pietrzykowski has 20 years’ experience as a commercial and business manager in tertiary (research and academic), forestry, agriculture, agroforestry, landscape restoration mining, oil and gas sectors.”

Tasmanian Resources Minister Felix Ellis (pictured centre in the Sustainable Timber Tasmania helmet) has been a strong supporter of Tasmania's native forest industry. (Photo Credit: Supplied, Felix Ellis Office)
Tasmanian Resources Minister Felix Ellis (pictured centre in the Sustainable Timber Tasmania helmet) has strongly supported the appointment with private forests playing an important role in the Tasmanian economy. (Photo Credit: Supplied, Felix Ellis Office)
Private Forests in Tasmania

Tasmania’s forests cover about 50% of the total area of the State, with private forests making up about 33% of the forest area – the highest proportion of any state in Australia. 

Private forests cover more than 1.09 million hectares, approximately 16% of the State’s landmass.

Chair of the Board of Private Forests Tasmania, Evan Rolley, believes Dr Pietrzykowski will be a significant asset to the organisation. 

“Elizabeth brings a deeply science-based experience to leadership for developing sustainably farmed landscapes. Her strong personal communication approach and leadership skills will complement the forestry expertise within the small Private Forestry Tasmania team,” Mr Rolley said.

Evan Rolley is the Chair of Private Forests Tasmania. (Photo Credit: Supplied by Private Forests Tasmania).

There are over 5,000 private forest owners in Tasmania – with private forests providing various benefits, from supplying wood products, assisting farm productivity, providing habitat for native species, and improving aesthetics.

Private forests contributed 73.6% of Tasmania’s forest production by wood volume in 2021-22, with plantations accounting for 94% of the total Tasmanian private forest harvest in 2021-22.

Her experience in delivering integrated tree establishment programs, according to Mr Rolley, will be vital to the success of the Private Forestry Tree Alliance Program.”

Footage courtesy of @treealliance7424.
The Private Forestry Tree Alliance Program

The alliance is a program run by Private Forests Tasmania in partnership with the following stakeholders:

  • Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association
  • SFM Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd
  • WeAct
  • Tasmanian Forests & Forest Products Network
  • Tasmanian Timber
  • Tasmanian Land Conservancy
  • Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group
  • Natural Resource Management (NRM) South
  • Forest Education Foundation
  • CSIRO
  • CSAW
  • Climate Friendly
  • NRM North
  • Healthy Country Services and Consulting

The program aims to raise awareness of farm forestry and the benefits of trees on farms and to encourage and facilitate farmers to plant commercially viable trees in the agricultural landscape.

Footage courtesy of @treealliance7424.

Dr Pietrzykowski replaces Penny Wells, who announced her retirement after five years as CEO of Private Forests Tasmania in April.

In a media statement on Friday, the Tasmanian Government “acknowledged the outstanding work of outgoing CEO Ms Penny Wells, including more than 30 years of working within and around the industry.”

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  • Wood Central

    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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