Forestry Dynamo John Halkett Remembered at 2023 FWPA AGM

Forest and Wood Products Australia celebrate a year of great achievement.

Tue 31 Oct 23


John Halkett has been honoured by the Forest and Wood Products Association during the FWPA AGM last Thursday.

The death of the industry dynamo has sent ripples of shock and sadness through the global forest industry, with FWPA Chair Craig Taylor recognising the contribution of Mr Halkett, the long-time General Manager of the Australian Timber Importers Association.

The FWPA also recognised the contribution of outgoing FWPA Board Member Christine Briggs, who served her final three-year term on the board.

“We certainly appreciate her valuable contributions and support over her nine years of service and wish her well,” the FWPA Board said in a statement.

As reported on Friday, Christine Briggs has now been appointed to the Responsible Wood board – which manages the Australian Forestry Standard and endorsed by PEFC International.

Mr Taylor reappointed as Chair at a board meeting directly following the AGM, led a board including Stephen Dadd, Katie Fowden, Nick Roberts, Yvonne Pengilly, Tony Arnel and FWPA CEO Andrew Leighton. 

The full FWPA board and key management team with representatives from the Tiwi Plantation Corporation amid the 30,000 hectares of Tiwi Island plantation estate last week. (Photo Credit: Supplied)
The FWPA board and key management team with representatives from the Tiwi Plantation Corporation, amid the 30,000 hectares of Tiwi Island plantation estate last week. (Photo Credit: Supplied)

Addressing the AGM, Mr Taylor reflected on a new constitution, “which resulted in changes to Director selection and renewal processes,” and a new strategic plan, which was finalised in May 2023. 

The plan led to a restructuring of the organisation and the creation of three distinct programs driving future activities:

• Research, Development and Extension, now headed by Dr Chris Lafferty.

• Forest Research and Learning, now headed by Jodie Mason.

• Built Environment & WoodSolutions Programs, now headed by Kevin Peachy.

Supporting the programs is a rebooted Marketing and Communication team headed by Sarah Downey and John Campigli, the new Head of Finance.

“It has been encouraging to witness our CEO Andrew Leighton lead the organisation towards its new era with a clear vision, informed by his commitment to building and maintaining strong relationships with industry stakeholders,” Mr Taylor said.

Among this year’s highlights, the FWPA committed $11.2 million to new grower-focused projects recommended by the Grower Research Advisory Committee (GRAC).

“We also worked with the Australian Forest Contractors Associating to identify best practice methods to deploy the Forest Fit training package to the industry,” the FWPA said.

Footage courtesy of @TheUltimateRenewableTM

Following the success of the 2022 Ultimate Renewable Campaign, the FWPA also launched its new campaign in July 2023, a $1.8m blitz across free-to-air television, streaming video, radio and social media

“The results of these campaigns will inform future investments in consumer advertising and promotion,” the FWPA said.

“We renewed our commitment to fund the National Timber Durability Centre and initiated the search for the next Director, which resulted in the appointment of Professor Tripti Singh in August 2023.” 

“We also launched a new resilient timber homes project.”

“By any measure, 2022/23 was a busy and successful year for FWPA,” Mr Taylor said. 

For more information about the FWPA and its activities, download the 2022/23 FWPA Annual Report, which includes current program activities, achievements and finances.


  • 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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