GFD's Admin and Operations Support superstar Aly Nichol grew up in Greta on a dairy farm before studying Applied Science at university and spending a year volunteering at Mittagundi Outdoor Education Centre near Omeo—which is where she first fell in love with Gippsland and its forests. She has lived, worked, volunteered and recreated in Gippsland's environment ever since, and now lives in Bruthen with her family.


Can you tell us about your work with the GFD?

I am the administration and operations support for the GFD. I support GFD members in preparing and summarising meetings and growing and developing GFD's processes and membership group. Currently we have a steering committee, three sub-committees and a dialogue task group that are meeting monthly, and we meet bi-monthly with The Forests Dialogue.

Why did you get involved with the GFD?

I really appreciate that we need all kinds of people in the world to keep our natural environment functioning and I feel that the GFD is a perfect space to bring people together to find common ground for the benefit of Gippsland's forests and communities.

And finally, what’s your favourite patch of forest?

I guess my longest relationship with a forest is the area surrounding Mittagundi. I love being able to look out at snow-capped Mount Wills in winter and watch the water drip from the leaves and then explore the diversity of plants as spring emerges in such a unique and spectacular part of Australia.

To be honest, I think we were all a bit nervous heading into our first dialogue last year. But our first night laid really solid Foundations and we have a strong cohort of passionate, experienced members who have taken the process on board and crafted a safe space for people to talk, listen and plan for the future.