Michelle Freeman leads a diverse team as new president of Forestry Australia

‘Heartening to see appointment on eve International Women’s Day’

Tue 07 Mar 23


Dr Michelle Freeman is the new President of Forestry Australia.

On the eve of International Woman’s Day March 8, Dr Michelle Freeman has been elected president of Forestry Australia to lead a diverse leadership team as part of a transition and renewal process for the peak organisation of forest scientists, professionals, managers and growers.

Jim Wilson, plantation operations and services manager at Forico, Tasmania, has been elected new vice-president.

Retiring president Bob Gordon applauded the move saying his is delighted to see Michelle and Jim join with the organisation’s CEO Jacquie Martin.

“It is heartening to see Michelle accept the nomination to take the leadership of the team, particularly on the eve of International Women’s Day,” Mr Gordon said. “Michelle has been on the board for a number of years and has already made a very significant contribution to Forestry Australia and I look forward to her leadership,” he said.

Michelle is a forester with a passion for native forest management and has a double degree in Forestry and Science (Ecology), and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD was in partnership with CSIRO Darwin looking at savanna fire and tree dynamics of northern Australia, as part of the Tiwi Carbon Study.

Michelle is a registered forestry professional and has worked in timber harvesting operations, planning and regulation and is currently principal consultant and director of Hollow-wood Enterprises. She was on the board of the IFA from 2012 to 2014 and chaired the Future Foresters Initiative from 2015-17.

From 2014 to 2017 she was an independent council member on the federal government’s Forest Industry Advisory Council, a past board member of FSC Australia/NZ, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jim Wilson has been appointed as Vice President of Forestry Australia.

Jim Wilson has a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) Australian National University 2003 and is a registered forestry professional and graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Outgoing Forestry Australia President Bob Gordon

Jim’s career has been focused in the private sector and he has invested his recent years working with Forico, as well as providing significant service at sector level in advocacy and leadership. He is also an active farm forester with both plantation and native forest in Tasmania.

Bob Gordon will remain on the board during this transition period.

  • Extracts from a Forestry Australia media release.

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