East Gippsland Field Days
VicForests sponsored the woodchop at this year's East Gippsland Field Days and was one of 350 exhibitors at the two day Bairnsdale event on 29-30 April.
The timber industry in East Gippsland produces around 25 per cent of Victoria’s hardwood output. The region also home to Australia’s largest fishing fleet, as well as expanding tourism, manufacturing and retail sectors.
The East Gippsland Field days is an annual event that showcases the agriculture, local produce and rural services that contribute to the region.
This year's event was a success as it attracted around 9,000 visitors over the two days.
VicForests sponsored an event for Australia’s most skilled woodchoppers this year at AusTimber.
The event has already attracted many state, nation-wide and international woodchopping champions including Laurence O’Toole, the world champion in Underhand and Standing divisions.
Mr O’Toole has won over 350 Victorian and Australian Championships over the last 15 years and competes in up to 20 shows a year both nationally and internationally.
Liz Langford, VicForests’ Regional Engagement Manager, said that woodchopping events always draw a big crowd and the community really get involved in the spirit of the event.
“Woodchopping is a uniquely Australian sport and VicForests recognises the important role it plays in many rural communities throughout Victoria and Australia.
“Laurence is a third generation woodchopper. He is also a Victorian local which gives rural communities a real sense of pride.
“The skill and speed with which he operates during a competition is truly remarkable,” she said.
The competition features a range of disciplines including Standing block, where the axeman swings at the log in a baseball fashion, Underhand, where the axeman stands on the block and chops it from above and a chainsaw racing competition using production hot saws.
There will also be Double handed cross saw cutting which requires one person on each end of the saw and a Tree felling championship competition.
“The tree felling completion is a truly spectacular event that requires great skill and stamina.
“The competitors are required to climb up the tree pole and then chop it while balancing on a board being held up by the tree,” Ms Langford said. Almost 40 axeman have signed up for the competition so far bringing with them a vast range of skills experience.
“The double handed cross cut saw contestants will be competing for Victoria’s state title.
“We are looking forward to watching some of Australia’s top woodchoppers and Victoria’s top tree climber and fellers compete,” Ms Langford said. VicForests is proud to support woodchop events in Victoria and provide the high quality wood required to hold such competitions.
The AusTimber and VicForests woodchop will be held on Saturday 16 April at 10am at the Traralgon Showgrounds. Media Release AusTimber is held every four years and is the largest event in the Australian timber industry.
Teaching Children the value of sustainably managed forests
VicForests provided each student at Gladysdale primary school with a seedling in celebration of International Day of Forests and to teach them about sustainable forest management.
The United Nation’s International Day of Forests is held on 21 March every year and is a chance to show the positive nature of forestry and the benefits forests provide to communities across the world.
VicForests Regional Engagement Manager, Liz Langford said that VicForests is an active member of many local communities where its staff, contractors and customers, work and live. “Forestry is a vibrant and important component to local economies in regional Victoria.
There is a great sense of pride among timber communities and many industry workers are fifth or sixth generation in their family.
“Many of the children at this school have family or family friends who work in the industry and it is really positive for them to learn about sustainable forestry practices.
“We gave each child a seedling of their own to nurture and grow to teach them about the forestry cycle of harvesting, regrowing and selling timber products.”
Principal of Gladysdale primary school, John Shackleton said "It's wonderful to see VicForests so committed to the local community. The students really appreciated the seedlings they were given and it was a great way to get the students engaged when talking about the important role that sustainable forestry plays in our community."
Forestry plays an integral part in the lives of at least 1.6 billion people around the world, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and daily subsistence needs.
Ms Langford said that VicForests regrows all forests that it harvests, planting thousands of trees each year.
“VicForests has a store of around three billion seeds and our staff collect around 1,500 kilos of seeds every year so we are able to regrow all the same species of plants.”
“In addition to the environmental benefits of sustainable forests, they also produce beautiful, useful and recyclable materials we all use or appreciate in our daily lives,” she said.
VicForests is certified to the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AFS) which provides customers with a guarantee they are purchasing locally sourced and sustainable timber products.
VicForests is also proudly supporting the upcoming Gladysdale Apple and Wine Festival in May 2016 and regularly supports and assists local communities with grants, donations and ongoing partnerships with local groups and services.
130 years Tolmie Sports Day
VicForests had a successful display at the 130th Tolmie Sports Day.
The weather was perfect and the event attracted over 2,000 people . It was an excellent day that attracted a huge crowd watching the woodchop and included a range of interesting events from 'Guess the weight of the Goat' to the 'Cooked Chook Race'.
VicForests take Mansfield students on field trip
VicForests’ Peter Scales, Liz Langford and Andrea Wandek accompanied two groups of Year nine Humanities Mansfield College students on field trips this March.
They took the students to visit Charles coupe as part of their investigations into forest uses and gave an overview of VicForests operations and sustainable forestry and specifics around the Charles coupe.
It was a great opportunity to talk about the history of timber in the area and to highlight the crucial regeneration process that occurs in every harvested area.
Upper Yarra Crank Up
VicForests attended the Upper Yarra Crank Up event on April 2 and 3 at the Upper Yarra Museum in Warburton. We supported this event with a display stand to engage the community.
It was a successful event attracting many timber industry enthusiasts including Tony Smith MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives who visited VicForests’ stand.
VicForests grant supports Marysville Primary School
VicForests has provided funding to Marysville Primary School for music equipment for young children through its annual Community Support Program.
Marysville Primary School in conjunction with the Marysville District Kinder Association and District Youth Group sought funding for students to broaden their musical experiences and express themselves.
Principal Leigh Woods said the music equipment is of great benefit to all early childhood and primary students, Triangle youth and the broader community.
“Thanks to the VicForests grant the equipment including tambourines, rhythm sticks and a speaker set will serve all members of the community well into the future,” he said. Mr Woods said Marysville Primary School will be performing in its own version of the Jazz and Blues festival coming up in October.
He said the new music equipment will also be used for special events and community experiences that volunteer groups provide. VicForests’ annual Community Support Program helps regional community groups and services, who are positively contributing to their local area.
The VicForests initiative, now in its sixth year, has provided over $300,000 to communities as well as a number of in-kind donations and ongoing support to other groups and services across the State.
Liz Langford, Regional Engagement Manager with VicForests, said the grants are supporting the important work of community organisations.
“Many of our staff live and work in regional Victoria and VicForests is proud to support these communities.
“Each year we have a great response from organisations applying for a grant and we’re happy to be able to reach out and help many different groups and projects,” Ms Langford said.
VicForests’ Community Support Program assists organisations that contribute to the wellbeing of local communities by providing grants of up to $2,000 to charity, sporting, educational and community groups in regional Victoria.
In addition to the annual Community Support Program and a number of ongoing partnerships, VicForests regularly makes ad hoc timber or financial donations to community projects and initiatives. Below are examples of our recent donations
VicForests’ grant helps Alexandra Primary School achieve their Mountains to Rivers Garden Project
VicForests has provided funding to Alexandra Primary School for a large garden project through its annual Community Support Program.
The Mountains to Rivers garden project has been a labour of love with input from students and parents of the school.
Alexandra Primary School Principal, David Pelosi, said: “The grant provided by VicForests has greatly assisted with our Mountains to Rivers Garden Project, contributing much needed funds to purchase native plants.
“I am extremely pleased with the strong support provided by VicForests, who also generously provided logs for our garden to be carved into seating arrangements.
“Not only have VicForests been very supportive, I have found them to be highly passionate and committed towards making a difference in the community, for the community,” said Mr Pelosi.
VicForests’ Regional Engagement Manager, Liz Langford, said the grants have enabled groups and services to do what they do best and that is enriching the communities around them.
“Schools play such an important role in the community, especially in regional areas like Alexandra. We are delighted that we are able to contribute to this wonderful garden project that we hope the children will enjoy immensely.
“In addition to the Community Support Program we also have a number of ongoing sponsorships and we continue to provide funding for annual community events such as the Alexandra Truck and Ute Show,” said Ms Langford.
Ms Langford said that VicForests is encouraged by the success the program has experienced since its inception.
“We have had another overwhelming response from local groups and services this year. It’s become a really popular initiative and we’re very happy that we’re able to reach out and help many different groups and projects.”
Other local initiatives that have received VicForests assistance this year include a number of schools and health care services across the state as well as providing funding for training programs with a number of indigenous groups.
VicForests helps young gymnasts somersault forward with training
VicForests has provided funding to Healesville Splitz and Flipz gymnastics group through its annual Community Support Program grant allocation.
Liz Langford, Regional Engagement Manager with VicForests who runs the Community Support Program, said the grant has enabled the purchase of much needed training equipment,
“We visited a pre-tournament training session of the gymnasts and they were absolutely fantastic,” Ms Langford said.
“We were just blown away by the talent and delighted we could help these young children and teenagers train to the best of their ability.”
The Community Support Program has been designed by VicForests to assist regional community groups and services who are working to positively contribute to their local area.
Ms Langford said that VicForests is encouraged by the success the program has experienced since its inception.
“We have had another overwhelming response from local groups and services this year. It’s become a really popular initiative and we’re delighted that we’re able to reach out and help many different groups and projects.”
The VicForests’ Community Support Program, now in its fifth year, has provided over $260,000 to a wide range of groups and across the respective regions as well as a number of in-kind donations.
Other local initiatives that have received VicForests assistance this year include Badger Creek Men’s Shed and a number of schools across Alexandra and Marysville.
“In addition to the Community Support Program we also have a number of ongoing sponsorships such as the Healesville Junior Football Club and we continue to provide funding for annual community events.
“Our support program is very important to regional communities and to us. Our staff live and work in regional Victoria and contributing to local community groups and services is just part of what we do,” said Ms Langford.
The Community Support Program assists organisations that contribute to the wellbeing of local communities by providing grants of up to $2000 to charity groups, sporting groups, educational and community groups located across the Central Highlands, Gippsland and East Gippsland.
The Victorian forestry industry plays a key role in building and supporting rural and regional communities through its business activities and by sponsoring local community events and activities.
VicForests donates $25,000 of timber to Bairnsdale's All Abilities Playground
VicForests visited the site of Bairnsdale’s future All Abilities Playground in July 2013. The playground has been designed as a recreation space for children of all abilities and ages.
East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Richard Ellis said, “VicForests have contributed significantly to the project in the form of donating sawn timber and timber poles. The supplied timber is all sourced from East Gippsland. The value of the VicForests donation is approximately $25,000.
Bairnsdale’s All Abilities Playground is planned to be a themed play space that reflects the East Gippsland landscape and major regional activities.
The play space will include “mountains” with play structures based on an old sawmill. A “riverbed” connects the mountains to the “sea” with a large shipwreck-themed play space. The playground also includes play equipment designed for use by all ages and all ability levels, and sheltered picnic and BBQ facilities.
VicForests is very proud to have been able to assist a project that is aimed at providing a safe recreation space for all children to enjoy together, regardless of their abilities
We at VicForests are members of many local communities. Our staff, contractors and customers, work and live across the state and are committed to contributing to these regional communities.
The playground is due for completion this October (weather permitting) and Liz Riseley, a member of the All Abilities Playground Committee tells us that her son Harry is patiently waiting for a chance to make sull use of the facilities. It should be in full operation well before Harry’s 10th Birthday next 1st April.