Save the date!

Please save Friday 15 - Sunday 17 September in your calendar for the 'What's Next?' Dialogue!
The third Gippsland Forest Dialogue will look to provide a venue for discussion on the future of Gippsland’s forests and forest dependent communities. In particular, the Dialogue will seek to explore ways to support the aspirations of Traditional Owners, and other Aboriginal people of the region, to manage and care for Country.
Tickets are available here, with more details to come!
Friday Sep 15 9am Sunday Sep 17, 2023 12:30pm (Eastern Australia Time - Melbourne)
Forestech, The Living Resources Ctr Princes Hwy, Kalimna West VIC 3909, Australia

Our dialogues

The 'What's next?' advisory task group will be heading out and about to
Bung Yarnda/Lake Tyers. If you know of any places of note get in touch with the task group.

The 'Plantations in the landscape' Dialogue is now tentatively scheduled for the second week of November. The Task Group is meeting monthly and actively seeking co-chairs to help make this Dialogue a winner - get in touch if you'd like to get involved.

Video completed!

Thanks so much to Isaac Carne for filming the Orbost dialogue and bringing together the footage from our first two dialogues.

This video will be used to help showcase GFD and our unique dialogue process so watch this space for our new feature!

GFD at Gippsyarn

Wendy Wright spoke at the recent DEECA conference about the GFD. Welcome to our new readers who have signed up off the back of Wendy's wonderful presentation.

Getting to know...

Wendy Wright

Wendy grew up in the bayside suburbs of Melbourne and after completing university studies at home and in the UK, took up an Associate Lecturer position at Monash Uni's Churchill Campus in 1994. She's worked there ever since, shifting her research focus to wildlife conservation and human-wildlife conflict - and has also played a key role in forming Gippsland's own forest dialogue. We spoke to her about some of the things she's learned along the way...

Can you tell us about your work in Gippsland's forests?
As an academic, the forests of Gippsland have been both research sites and important classroom locations for undergraduate teaching. The forests support a huge diversity of wildlife and, working collaboratively with students and colleagues, my work has contributed to a better understanding of various species, and their dependence on forests. We’ve shown the importance of even small forest patches in maintaining bird diversity; we’ve learnt that a population of koalas, with distinct and highly diverse genetics, resides in Gippsland’s forests; we’ve documented the problems caused by invasive deer species, and we are currently investigating the effect of forest fragmentation on greater glider genetics. We have even demonstrated the importance of trees on farms in supporting beneficial invertebrates.

Why did you get involved with the GFD, and why you think other people should get involved?
I was drawn to the GFD as it represents a new approach to considering a way forward for our forests. I hope that respectful and informed conversations can break through long-held biases and lead to positive change. I truly believe that people who are local to, and connected with, natural areas are best placed to make decisions about their management – and I felt that GFD may facilitate this. Why should others get involved? The process will work better if there are more voices, and more diverse voices.

There are many people in Gippsland whose lives and livelihoods have been intertwined with forests and who know our forests from the inside out. It’s time for us to listen to our forests; to support them to recover from past damage and to help them become more resilient so that they can better face the threats of the future.

How do you think the GFD process is going and where you think it can go from here?
Since the GFD began in 2021, there has been a growth phase. More people have joined the small group who originally proposed the idea, and these people have developed trust and friendships. To date, two dialogues have been held, one in Rawson, and one in Orbost – and two more are planned. The fact that the different dialogues take place in various locations around Gippsland is a huge positive as it allows for a range of perspectives. I can see the clear possibility that, in time, so many Gippslanders are involved in so many dialogues, that decision-makers will start to ask “What is this GFD”? In fact, it is starting to happen already!

And what's your favourite patch of forest?
That’s really difficult! I don’t think I can say I have one favourite patch! As a young graduate I worked in the forests of the Strzelecki Ranges, driving regularly along the Grand Ridge Road adjacent to Tarra Bulga National Park looking out for lyrebirds; and I still love this area. But the tall Mountain Ash forests that transition into Alpine Ash and then Snowgums in the Baw Baws are pretty fantastic too – and the forests of East Gippsland are phenomenal.


Upcoming events

2 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
3 Steering Committee
4 Yarram Advisory Task Group
9 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
16 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
17 Strategic and Admin sub-committee
23 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
24 Comms and engagement sub-committee

Past events

JULY 2023
5 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
6 Steering committee
7 Yarram Advisory Task Group
12 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
18 GFD catch up with TFD
19 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
20 Strategic and admin sub-committee (postponed)
26 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group
27 Comms and engagement sub-committee (postponed)
28 'What's Next' Advisory Task Group site visits

Dialogue resources...

'What's next?' Dialogue
More info coming soon...
'Plantations in the landscape' Dialogue
More info coming soon...
Orbost 'Healthy Forests' Dialogue
Scoping paper
Co-chairs' report
Rawson 'Scoping' Dialogue
Scoping paper
Co-chairs' report
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