Prue Younger commences her role as FICA’s new Chief Executive from April 1, 2018. Here we get to know her a little better with a Q & A.
Tell us how you first got involved in with forestry
I was involved in the first forestry awards programme, designing the concept and setting up the model for the East Coast under my event management business – Public Impressions Limited
What was your first impression of visiting a skid site?
It was a wet day, cold and bleak and the boys were eating a boil up in their container smoko room – I thought ‘goodness me they are crazy to be out here’ but they all seemed pretty content considering they started work at 4am that morning!
What has surprised you most about working in the industry?
That people love what they are doing, the general public think that forestry is hard work but I take my hat off to everyone in it – they enjoy the lifestyle and challenges that go with it.
What do you find most challenging about the industry?
Trying to convince the public that it is benefiting the economy, supporting environmental sustainability and providing income for families that may otherwise be unemployed. They need to get out on a wet day on the skid site to see how courageous the industry is.
What’s the best thing to happen since you started working?
That I have not looked back, loving every minute of being in this industry. I came from a long background in the wine industry but I have to say foresters are genuinely hard working great people!
If you could change one thing about forestry, what would it be?
The hard wrap they get over fatalities from the media, as agriculture has a significantly higher incidence than forestry – it makes it hard to turn around and recruit in our industry.
What do you wish other people knew about the industry?
How skilled the work force is, how resilient they are and how much they love their jobs.
Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry
Funnily enough it has been a couple of outstanding young women who have decided they want to pursue careers in forestry and they are doing it hands down and have gained total respect with their male peers.
Tell us about someone who has influenced your decision to work with forestry
I would have to say the members sitting around the Eastland Wood Council – they have been outstanding to work with and have been supportive of me being a female in a predominantly male industry.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
That I am a mother of three young adults, wife and housekeeper, I sit on several governance boards, manage an event management company, I’m a keen sports person getting up at 5am every morning to work out and exercise and I survive on 6 hours sleep a day!
The interest in forestry seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?
Shane Jones and his billion trees!
What would you tell someone who is thinking about working in forestry?
Go for it – there are over 40 types of jobs in the industry and plenty of opportunity to grow a fabulous career.
What do you think will change about FICA over the next five years?
Members will be proud to be part of it.
How do people describe you?
Full of life and hard to keep up with – ‘don’t you ever stop/’. My response is ‘why would you want to, you only live once!’
What do you do when you aren’t working?
Spending time with my family, travelling, playing sport or out in the garden but more likely enjoying a craft beer and socialising with friends and my new 12 week old puppy close at hand!