Interview with Dianne Pollock

Silvicultural Forester

Dianne Pollock

Case Study

Name: Dianne Pollock
Position: Silvicultural Forester
Company: Australian Bluegum Plantations
Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science - Forestry
Age: 24

What are your responsibilities as a silvicultural forester?
I run the research program in WA and I also get involved in operations such as managing tree plantations on the ground.
The working days are quite varied, we do a lot of contract management and data analysis. We’ve also got a lot of trials that we examine to determine what is the best practice for tree plantations.
How have you found relocating states?
Moving from Mt. Gambier to Western Australia, there’s been a big difference in what I do - my previous job was working within the pine industry so I’ve come over here and completely changed species.
Blue gum being harvested in its first rotation is a relatively new industry. There are plenty of questions about coppicing (regrowth after trees have been harvested just above ground level) and not too many answers at the moment, which makes running a research program very exciting!
What do you most enjoy about forestry?
I enjoy the environmental aspect of forestry, it is a sustainable industry and there are a lot of benefits to growing trees that people aren’t familiar with. The forestry industry is generally not well perceived by environmentalists, but actually Australian Bluegum Plantations has Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation, so the wood we sell is sustainably managed from a sustainable plantation. To get that accreditation, there’s a lot of factors we have to take into account, such as what chemicals we use and don’t use, and being true to what we say we do and don’t do.
Do you feel your job makes a difference?
I feel like this job is worthwhile and that I am making a difference, especially in the blue gum industry as it is so young and there’s a lot of scope for improvement.
Being a relatively new graduate I feel like there’s still a lot to be learned, but it’s been really great to apply what I learnt a university and feel part of a team. I haven’t had any issues that made me feel I wasn’t up to the job.

We spoke to Dianne about her career and what she does day to day. We hope you find this useful and interesting – but please remember, that all jobs are not exactly the same and other roles with the same title may be different in many respects. Confirm all the details of a particular job with the organisation offering it.