Hi member,

What a great year 2013 has been for the network!
We welcomed many new women members from across Australia and held 13 events nationally, with achievements ranging from WA women actively participating for the first time this year and QLD holding the largest WFTN charity fundraising event since our establishment. It is a pleasure to hear that members are spreading the word, networking and supporting each other while enhancing and strengthening the foundations of the network.

On behalf of the WFTN Advisory Group and support team, we wish you and your family, friends and communities all the best for the festive season and a happy New Year. 
Enjoy your end-of-year break, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at a local event in 2014.
Kind regards,

Michelle Ingley-Smith

WFTN Coordinator


An inspirational Vic Luncheon

WFTN held a fantastic luncheon at the Victorian Parliament House on 12 December with 55 people attending.

The luncheon, supported by HealthCare Insurance, was MCed by Kersten Gentle and hosted by Cindy McLeish, State Member for Seymour, and Jo Duncan, State Member for Macedon. Guest speaker, the Hon Heidi Victoria, Minister for Women’s Affairs, gave an inspirational presentation that focussed on the impressive role women play in our industry. A short video of the event will be available in the new year and a few photos of the gathering are below.




A great Bunbury breakfast

In early October, 14 women from regional Bunbury gathered together for a fantastic WFTN breakfast, with thanks to Health Care Insurance, FFTITC and the Forest Products Commission for sponsoring the event. 

Guest speaker, Danielle England, the 2013 WA Rural Woman’s Award winner, discussed the use of her $10,000 award bursary in a project that will look at the role research and development in the New Zealand agriculture industry and how to keep that industry innovative and competitive internationally. She outlined the strong link between private consultants and industry development projects in NZ which appears weaker in WA. Danielle also spoke of her research and exploration of this project initiative and how industry can work better together, encouraging and increasing industry research for a more profitable, sustainable and resilient agriculture industry. We thank Danielle for her open, honest and warm encouragement for other women to put themselves out there and nominate for the 2014 Rural Women’s Award.

Wendy Giles, Associate Dean at Edith Cowan University Sth West, also spoke at the event. It was great to hear about her amazing achievements and work over her long and successful career in higher education and training. Of the many interesting and challenging environments she may have found herself, one of her most proud moments was her involvement in indigenous education.  We thank Wendy for sharing her stories and permitting us to include one of them in this newsletter, below.

A word from Wendy Giles
These graduates completed their Charles Darwin University teacher education studies in situ in their remote community of Wadeye. The very successful program was supported by the Catholic Education Office and the Commonwealth government.

It was not possible for them to relocate to a large town to participate in higher education in the usual way, so we went to them instead. It was very rewarding to work with these women, who see that education is a key for the future of their children and the community. 

Left to right: Sheila, Martina and Millie

Language, literacy and numeracy focus in SA
Mount Gambier hosted its fourth WFTN dinner recently with two keynote speakers sharing their insight and knowledge of vocational education and training with particular focus on language, literacy and numeracy.
Our first speaker was Sharyn Chilcott who has worked in the Vocational Education and Training sector for 15 years; She joined ForestWorks in 2009 as the Skills Advisory Manager for the Victorian Furnishing ITAB and now manages the National LLN strategic program.  She outlined the project and invited women to describe their experiences and knowledge of LLN and its impact in their workplaces.
Our second speaker Jenni Oldfield is a recognised expert in language, literacy and numeracy in the VET sector, and brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the meeting. She currently works at Precision Consultancy and has contributed to the development of numerous training and assessment resources, research, training package development, and professional development for trainers and assessors across a range of industry areas and training and assessment contexts.
Both speakers engaged and interacted with the women during the meeting and sought their views, feedback and experiences. The information shared during the evening was valuable and will be continuing the focus at a further meeting in 2014. 

Survey reminder

We are currently investigating a series of web-based seminars or webinars. This new platform will help us bring together network members and new participants from across all sectors of the industry across Australia, in real time.The webinars will be free for all members and will include key speakers, presentations and discussions on a variety of topics that may be of interest and use to all of us. We will also have the capacity to record the sessions for those unable to attend.

To ensure this is effective and useful for members, we would really appreciate your input to a brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NFGGTRD (this will only take two minutes of your time). 

 Be involved

3-5 March 2013
The 6th Industry Development Conference and Industry Gala Dinner hosted by AFPA and ForestWorks ISC
The flagship event of 2014 for the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry, featuring an “Innovation in Leadership Forum – the Role for Women.”
More information

 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

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


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