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The females of forestry

8 March 2017

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Forest Products Commission (FPC) Foresters, Melanie Dybala and Jenieka Crombie-Wilson, and Operations Officer, Jodi Wildy gave an insight into their jobs and why they love working in forestry.

How did you get into forestry?

MD: I attended a field trip to the FPC’s Manjimup office while studying Silviculture at university. I loved that they did what the bush needed – there was no blanket prescription. A couple of years later I won an Assistant Operation Officer role with the FPC working in karri thinning operations near Manjimup.

JC-W: I grew up in Manjimup and spent a lot of time in the bush as a kid. My father spent 30 years as a tree feller for Bunnings and I was interested in how forestry had changed since Dad started his career.

JW: I am new to forestry. I have a botanical background but have always been interested in forestry and wood products.

What is the best part about your job?

MD: Working outdoors, in the forest, particularly preparing a coupe for harvest activity. This involves demarcation of reserves, taping in new roads, treemarking and checking for other environmental and cultural sensitivities. You develop a sense of ownership and get to know that patch of bush very well.

JC-W: I love that my job varies so much from day-to-day, it is constantly evolving. Forestry has shaped many towns and communities in the South West and it’s great to be part of that history. 

JW: Working out in the bush with people who are passionate about forestry, it’s history and the future of our forests.

What would you say to other women thinking about a career in forestry?

MD: Do it. If you love being outside and enjoy our natural environment, give it a go. Of course it can be hard in extreme weather conditions, but there is nothing better than sitting in the middle of the forest having a cuppa or sandwich. It’s the best office in the world.

JC-W: Definitely get involved in an ever-changing, challenging opportunity to manage the land and have a positive contribution to its future.

JW: In modern day forestry, use of the chainsaw is not mandatory. The job is a great combination of mostly field work and some office work. Give it a go!