Interview with Charlie Saykao

Harvesting Manager

Charlie Saykao

Case Study

Name: Charlie Saykao
Position: Harvesting Manager
Company: Australian Bluegum Plantations
Qualifications: Bachelor of Science - Forestry
Age: 35

As a harvesting manager, what do you do?
I look after all of the harvesting operations, liaising with our contractors, managing our wood utilisation and ensuring we are complying with regulatory bodies. I examine our environmental considerations, health and safety issues as well making sure we’re fulfilling our harvest plans and that we’re within budget.

How long have you been in this role – and what did you do before?
I’ve been in this job for 7 years. Before that I worked as a plantation development supervisor, growing seedlings and preparing land before planting trees. I’ve been in the industry now for 10 years in total. 

Why did you choose forestry?
I chose forestry because it has a lot to do with the outdoors. I like how forestry provides a good mix of office work and being out in the field. It’s also been an opportunity to get out into the more rural parts of Australia, which I enjoy as well.
I also like to travel, and through work I’ve been all over Australia, to Europe and the United States looking at operations and machinery that are used in forestry internationally. So from a travel perspective, forestry has definitely delivered!
Do you find your job rewarding?
There are huge rewards when working in an industry like this. I personally believe this is one of the more renewable resources that are available and, when managed well, it’s sustainable and has great benefits to society and the environment. 

What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is being able to choose whether I want to stay in the office on a rainy day or head out into the field on a really nice day! 
The other major drawcard for forestry is the people.I’ve met so many great people and made a lot of great friends, it’s been an amazing career and opportunity. 

Do you have any advice for students thinking about forestry?
My advice to young students who are looking at forestry, or wanting to switch into forestry, is that it’s a great career. If you want to make a difference from a wood utilisation perspective, as well as an environmental management side of things, it’s the only career that offers so much.
We spoke to Charlie about his career and what he 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.