The Trustees

Up to eight Trustees govern and administer the Trust Fund.

All of these people either hold or have held senior positions in the Australian forest products industry. They donate their time and expertise to support the Trust to achieve its objectives.

Suzette Weeding

A Gottstein trustee since 2015, Suzette is General Manager, Conservation and Land Management for Sustainable Timber Tasmania.  A graduate of the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Science, Suzette has 20 years’ experience in senior roles directly responsible for environmental management of forests.

She is a director of the international Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), a leading alliance of national forest certification systems which includes Responsible Wood in Australia. She is also a director of the Forest Education Foundation. She is a steering committee member of the Launceston National Institute of Forest Products Innovation and her extensive involvement with industry groups includes membership of the Tasmanian State Fire Management Council and the Forest Practices Advisory Council.

Suzette is a mother of two teenagers and lives just outside of Hobart on a small acreage. In her spare time Suzette enjoys gardening, horse riding, and netball.

“I am proud to be the Chair of the Gottstein Trust, a long standing Trust that creates opportunities for individuals to grow and acquire knowledge in a broad range of forestry and wood-products areas. One of the great strengths of the trust is the process of bringing those learnings back and sharing them with the Australian forest and wood products industries.”

John Simon
immediate past Chair

“Having been involved in the international timber industry for over 40 years, I am delighted to be able to contribute to the activities of the Gottstein Trust”.

Since arriving in Australia in 1986, John Simon has held a number of senior executive positions in the local timber industry. These include being the CEO of Simmonds Lumber; Pine Solutions; and Hudson Building Supplies.

John has also participated actively in industry organisations as Chairman of Forest and Wood Products Australia; Chairman of the Timber Development Association; and a member of the Housing Industry Association’s manufacturers’ and suppliers’ Council.

John is the immediate past Chair of the Gottstein Trust.

Brian Farmer

"I have a substantial background in forest and business management.

An imperative for me has been to ensure that those working with me have the best opportunity to learn more and develop their skills.

The Gottstein Trust has given me a great privilege in helping the broader industry participates with the opportunity to grow and share their learning experiences."

Nils Gunnersen

Throughout a career spanning 35 years I have been the beneficiary of great mentors; diverse learning opportunities; programmes; and institutions that have put lifelong learning and personal development at the core of who I am. The opportunity to support this ideal across an industry that has provided me my career path is irresistible – it’s compelling to see others grow, and doors open to them in their own development, with Gottstein the vehicle for this. The responsibility and honour to serve as a Gottstein Trustee, and see its great leverage of industry energy and goodwill towards a brighter future, together, is immeasurably rewarding.

Beyond acting as a Trustee for the Gottstein Trust, Nils works as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Midway Ltd, chairing its Safety and Sustainability Committee. He is also a director/ Company Secretary on the BoD of Chebmont Pty Ltd, trustee for the Gunnersen (Family) Investment Trust, and sits on that BoD’s investment sub-committee. Nils has worked across the forest and wood products industry in Australia and overseas, from: resource establishment; harvest and haul; sawmilling; wood processing; lumber and panels; softwood and hardwood; sales and marketing; wholesale distribution; treasury; IT; business development; COO and CEO leadership; as well as on various industry representative bodies.

Nils has been a Gottstein Trustee since 2011, and served as Trust Chair from 2017 to 2019.

James Malone

James is CEO of Wesbeam and has been a trustee since 2015.

Cara Pearson

“Throughout my career in the forest and wood products industry I have been provided with endless opportunity and supported in obtaining an education. Being a trustee of the Gottstein Trust means I am able to play a role in giving back to the industry by providing opportunity to others.”

Cara Pearson is Head of Legal at OneFortyOne. OneFortyOne is a Trans-Tasman business employing over 500 people that manages approximately 160,000 ha of softwood plantations and operates two sawmills in the Green Triangle region of Australia and Nelson/Marlborough region of New Zealand. Cara is a senior leader who has over 25 years of varied experience within people leadership, commercial law, property law, stakeholder engagement, governance and administration.

Carlie Porteous

"The Gottstein Trust allows the industry to get absolute exposure to the innovations in the wood fibre and forestry sector, which seem to be limitless".

Carlie is currently an integral part of the Visy fibre team and fibre supply chain, with expertise in FSC and PEFC systems. Carlie has successfully managed the largest FSC Chain of Custody certificate within Australia whilst also been invited to participate in a number of industry groups, as a Trustee on the board of the Gottstein Trust and a director of FSC Australia and New Zealand.

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