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Hi member,

What a start to the new year, with ForestWorks hosting a national women's forum in Canberra on 24 March 2015, as part of the 7th Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovation in Action.

Forty-five people travelled from all around Australia to attend the 'Innovation in Leadership Forum - The Role of Women'. Attendees included forest growers, processors, training providers, consultants and research providers. The forum was facilitated by Kersten Gentle, Executive Officer of FTMA, and opened by Julie George, Chair of ForestWorks and the WFTN.

Key speaker, Cathy McGowan, Member for Indi, spoke about her experiences in mentoring, sharing the following insights with us:
  • Focus on what is being said
  • Discipline in speaking is important to ensure when you speak you are listened to â€“ i.e if you talk all the time people won't hear your message
  • Society has rules and if you use them it is easier to get your message across â€“ i.e. use manners, etiquette and appearance
  • Knowledge can be gained by asking – people are often willing to share knowledge and experiences if asked
  • There is a need for more women to enter politics to ensure their views are heard and women are represented.
 Other keynote speakers included:
  • Jane Calvert, National President of the CFMEU and ForestWorks Deputy Chair, who spoke about mentoring, social media and the visibility of women.
  • Philip Dohnt, Managing Director of LV Dohnts, who spoke about supporting staff development through workplace culture, personal and professional learning and giving it a go by 'putting your hand up to be seen'.
  • Julie George, Chair of ForestWorks, who reiterated the importance of mentoring and the skills she believes are necessary to be a good and effective mentor.
Key messages and outtakes from the forum were:
  • Issues should be part of a wider industry discussion
  • Identified need for formal succession planning
  • Employers/Managers need to recognise the efforts of staff
  • Successful mentoring must be supported with workplace culture and training
  • Everyone to balance comfort in the workplace by stretching capabilities
  • Industry has awards and scholarships, for example the Gottstein Trust, and we must take the opportunity to access them
  • Industry mentors should be identified for the mentoring of young female trainees
All speakers provided a personal perspective that engaged and challenged attendees. The National Advisory Group will meet next month to discuss and progress the outcomes and ideas of the forum.

Kind regards,

Michelle Ingley-Smith
WFTN Coordinator

 A show of support at the highest level!

Candice Fennell, WFTN member and WA Regional Manager at L.V. Dohnt and Company, seised the opportunity during her visit to Canberra for the 7th Annual Industry Development Conference and national women's forum to meet Minister Julie Bishop.

Her meeting with Minister Bishop demonstrates the approach of 'knowledge gained by asking' and 'putting your hand up to be seen' - two key messages from speakers at the women's forum.

In my role at L. V. Dohnt and Company some weeks are very trying, complex, busy and challenging - some more than others. Amongst all this during March, in the back of my mind I was thinking about ForestWorks Annual Industry Development Conference and the opportunity Phillip Dohnt had given me to travel to Canberra to be involved.

I wasn't going to let the week I was experiencing come in the way of such a worthy experience to meet new people, see colleagues and friends again and learn from the speakers sharing their expertise and information on our industry. Along with this and with the discipline I know I have during one of these challenging weeks, I also took the time to write an email to the office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, who is a person I respect and admire, asking for even just a brief moment of time to meet her...


Thursday, 28 May 2015
WFTN Meeting, Mount Gambier SA
6.00pm to 8.00pm
Visit the event webpage for details

 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 
  1800 177 001

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


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