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Hi member,
The Queensland WFTN network has been very active recently, holding two events this quarter – the first to mark International Women’s Day and the second to draw attention to workplace flexibility. The SA network also held a regional dinner where Clare Scriven, SA State Manager of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), was the key note speaker. Read on for full details of each event!

Recently, the National WFTN Advisory Group has confirmed their commitment to the network and ForestWorks will continue to provide secretariat support.

Please feel free to let us know about any upcoming events or other news that may be of interest to women in our industry, so we can continue to share this information amongst the network. Please also feel free to forward this newsletter to other women in our industry.

Kind regards,

Michelle Ingley-Smith
WFTN Coordinator, ForestWorks

Membership to the network is free and registration forms available at


Talking Flexibility

Lack of flexibility in a workplace is a major barrier to women's participation in the workforce.  Last week, the Queensland WFTN network hosted a Flexible Workplaces  breakfast at the recent Doing Timber Business in Queensland Conference to discuss the benefits offered to workplaces that introduce flexible working arrangements.

More than 30 people registered to attend the event and it was excellent to see a good proportion of men in attendance, as workplace flexibility is not just a women’s issue. 

Graham Leddy, CEO of Versace Timbers, gave a presentation on the benefits of workplace flexibility and what it has delivered for his rapidly growing business that has exceptionally low staff turnover.

Meet and Greet in QLD

Members of the Queensland WFTN also held a Meet and Greet in Brisbane recently, to mark International Women’s Day and celebrate the contributions women make to Queensland’s Forest and Timber Industry.  
With many women in the industry often working in isolation, the take home message of the meeting was that talking and networking opens doors – who knows where you could end up with your WFTN contacts. 
Stories were shared of new jobs and mentoring experiences developed from WFTN connections.

SA Network Regional Dinner

The WFTN was fortunate to have Clare Scriven, SA State Manager of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), as the key note speaker at our recent SA Regional Dinner in Mount Gambier.  Clare spoke about the potential for the industry to secure its regional presence, viability and influence within the state.
Joining Clare was Jane Millar, Communications and Economic Development Support, from Regional Development Australia (RDA Limestone Coast).  Jane spoke about the various projects she has been involved in, including most recently a key initiative embracing innovation and collaboration within the potato industry. 

As an unexpected surprise we were fortunate to have an impromptu visit from Leesa Vlahos, South Australian Minister for Disabilities. Leesa gave an update on the purpose and intent of her portfolio regional visit, and some of the issues that had been raised from the community through her consultations. The network members were extremely thankful and appreciative for the update, recognising the Minister's very busy schedule.

 Meet Natalie Kimber

What has been the greatest benefit of joining the WFTN? Making new connections and friends. It’s a fact that we are in a male dominated industry, and it can be hard to forget that having strong female friends, role models and connections in your professional life is really important. The WFTN provides all this!
What advice would you give to women that are new to the industry? Don’t listen to the haters – you are in an industry filled with smart, passionate people who care about what they do, they care about the environment and want to see a sustainable future. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for advice, everyone is so willing to help and see others succeed.

What has been your career highlight to date? At VAFI – Holding a successful VAFI Annual Dinner and the release of the Industry Review. Overall – Getting to work at Gallipoli on Anzac Day.
Read the full interview

We want to hear from you!

Promoting women is important to raising our profile and visibility in the industry so we have introduced this profiling section to do just that. And we want to hear from you! We know that self-promotion doesn’t come easy to everyone and we want to change that.  We want to highlight and promote women from our sectors across all levels who make valuable contributions and a difference everyday so we have listed a few easy questions for you to answer and we will do the rest. 

 Be involved

Women in Global Business
Applications are open to join the Women in Global Business network. The aim of the network is to support Australian business women to engage in international business through the facilitation of relationships with mentors who are already successfully trading internationally. Membership is free.
Find out more

 Contact us

If you would like more information, or you are interested in joining the Women in Forests and Timber Network, please contact: 

Michelle Ingley-Smith
WFTN Coordinator, ForestWorks 
  1800 177 001

Thank you to our network host ForestWorks and our sponsor Healthcare Insurance.


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