STAR industry communicator Ross Hampton, who stepped down as CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association earlier this year, has settled well into his new role as Counsellor, International Affairs, for AFPA, based in London.
The part-time role will assist Mr Hampton to contribute even more as chair of the FAO Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-Based Industries, headquartered in Rome.
In London, Ross will continue to prosecute the case for a better understanding of the vital role of sustainable, commercial forestry (and the downstream uses of tree fibre) in battling the global climate challenge. He reports solid progress towards creating a World Forestry Council, supported by AFPA.
Chair Diana Gibbs said the AFPA board was very aware that global developments strongly influenced decisions which affected Australia’s forest industry.
“In 2021, the Morrison Coalition government, for example, signed us up to the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use,” Ms Gibbs said.
“Likewise, the Albanese government signed the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership at COP27 in Egypt.”
She added: “What is very apparent, however, is that mere mentions of sustainable forestry need to be moved to centre stage. Growing sustainable, ‘climate-smart’ forestry is absolutely critical to achieving broader climate and deforestation goals.
“This is the sort of forestry we do in Australia. This is not a discussion we can have just among ourselves in Australia.
“For this reason, we are pleased that Ross adds our voice to the global conversations from his new base in London.
As AFPA CEO for the last 10 years, Mr Hampton, 57, has provided strategic leadership from the beginning of the organisation. He was instrumental in helping create mutually beneficial ties between agriculture and forestry and continues to promote forestry’s capacity in the fight against climate change, enhancing the industry’s positive impact.
The writer recalls getting the first interview with Ross in Canberra in May 2013 on his appointment as the new AFPA CEO.
He joined AFPA from the position as a senior manager of global networking giant Cisco Systems. He was general manager of the company’s Australian and New Zealand public sector business development, a role he held for six years.
Before joining Cisco Systems, Ross was chief of staff to the federal Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage. In that role, he was one of the lead advisers in the Australian government’s response to climate change at United Nations meetings in New York, London, Buenos Aires and Zurich.
Editor’s note: Ross Hampton’s residency in London might well be a return to his ancestral beginnings. Of all Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Hampton is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family which lived in the village of Hampton in the dioceses of Worcester, Hereford, London, Exeter and Lichfield.
Also, he might take a 19 km swing upstream of central London on the River Thames for an English breakfast tea at Hampton Court Palace, the favoured residence of Henry VIII.
Either way, we know Ross will deliver a clear, splendid and honest message for Australia’s forest industries throughout the UK and beyond and we wish him and wife Linda safe settlement, for a time, in the Old Dart.
They are taking daughter and high school student Esther, 18, along and the appointment in London will bring Ross and Linda closer to their eldest daughter Elizabeth, 20, who is a teacher in Spain.
As an Aussie in London, Ross was among the throng that gathered for The coronation of King Charlies lll.
Watch for Ross Hampton’s ‘London Calling’ column in Wood Central.