2020 Course moved to 2021

The trustees of the JW Gottstein Memorial Trust Fund have decided to move the Understanding Wood Science course to March 2021 in light of the COVID19 pandemic.

Participants and the wonderful line-up of guest presenters and field trip venues will  be contacted by the Gottstein team this week to inform them of the change.

 “We assure those people looking forward to the course – that their bookings are able to transfer across to 2021 and their places are assured,”  said John Simon, chair of Trustees.

“The Trustees sincerely appreciate the support of Gottstein patron donors like Sustainable Timber Tasmania, HVP, Timberlink, Wespine and Forico who all have staff booked in. A stand-out is the great support for young people – with sponsored places provided by the Steve Stevenson Memorial Trust Fund, the Institute of Foresters’ of Australia and Midway.  All of the sponsored places will be transferred to 2021, although it is possible some individuals may not be able to take their places. 

The Trust’s management team, Kurrumbene Projects & Advocacy, will prioritise working through these changes with all involved in the coming days. Any queries can be made to Helen Murray on 0419-991-424.

“The delivery of a Gottstein course is a truly collective effort. Amid the present uncertainty and gloom we especially wish to publicly thank all the speakers and the operations who were very kindly hosting the course for field trips visits; and Professor Peter Kanowski, Associate Professor Cris Brack and Senior Lecturer Dr Matt Brookhouse for all they have done in our course delivery partnership with the ANU Fenner School.”

John Simon also advised the resignation of Jason Wilson as Trustee, “on behalf of all the Trustees I thank Jason for his commitment to the Trust over the last few years and wish him every success in his new role in New Zealand”. At present the Trustees are John Simon, Suzette Weeding, Nils Gunnersen, Brian Farmer, James Malone and Carlie Porteous.

Book now for next course

Tribute to Glenn Britton

Vale Glenn Britton

The Trustees of the J.W. Gottstein Trust would like to acknowledge the significant contribution which Glenn Britton made, not only to the Tasmanian timber industry, but also in providing personal growth and development opportunities to many industry participants through his involvement in the Gottstein Trust.
On behalf of the trustee board, the current chair of the Gottstein Trust, John Simon, has paid tribute to Glenn following his recent death. “Glenn was a highly respected trustee of the organisation for many years. His wise guidance and passion for improving our industry and people added significant value to the Gottstein Trust’s activities”.

Condolences are extended to the Britton family from all at the Gottstein Trust.

September 2019

Further information contact:gottsteinsecretary@gmail.com 

New round of award applications open

2019 Forest Science Course opportunity

                                                                                        6th February 2019 



The 2019 Forest Science ‘crash course’ still has room for bookings but people need to move fast.

There is some room left and the next chance is in 2021. If anyone is thinking about it – they are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity now, according to Kurrumbene Projects & Advocacy which now manages the Gottstein Trust secretariat.

The Trust is very appreciative of the support of experts in their fields who willingly give their time to come and talk about the myriad of interesting aspects of forest science and also economic and market insights. 

The influence of new technology and what that means for managing forests will also be apparent. The participants can look forward to covering a wide canvas of topics in the course. Many experts will be presenting including Professor Peter Kanowski and Associate Professor Cris Bracks from the ANU Fenner School, Rob de Fegely – Chair of the Forest Industries Advisory Council, the chief executives of the Australian Forest Products Association, Responsible Wood and FSC Australia, Dr Angus Carnegie from NSW DPI and Gottstein Trustee Suzette Weeding, a senior executive with Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

A one-day field trip to Bombala in the south/east NSW Monaro region features a site inspection over Dongwha Timbers’ softwood mill which opened in 2013 and touring out with the regional ForestCorp team to inspect a working forest harvest site.

It promises to be a happy evening at the final night course dinner. Gottstein Trustees John Simon (Chair) and Suzette Weeding will join the group along with some Gottstein Fellowship alumni and a newly minted Fellow who soon embarks on his overseas study tour. “This is a chance to hear first-hand about the impact that the Fellowships have in building professional knowledge and the positive impacts carried into our wonderful, renewable industry.”

Bookings can still be made online until 14thFebruary unless booked out sooner at

www.forestry.org.au/events    Email enquiries gottsteinsecretary@gmail.comor phone Jocelyn Carpenter 0407-006-101 or follow links at www.gottsteintrust.org

The Gottstein Trust thanks the Institute of Foresters of Australia for access to its event booking site during the management transition and the ANU Fenner School of Environmental & Society for hosting the course venue.

2019 Gottstein Fellowships, Scholarships and Award applications

Are you part of the Australian forest and wood products industry?

Every year the Gottstein Trust invites applications for its fellowships, scholarships and industry awards which focus on the acquisiton of knowledge and skills, in order to benefit individuals, their employers and the forest and wood industry as a whole.

Applications for the 2019 Gottstein Fellowships, Industry Awards and Gottstein Scholarships, close next month on the 21st of September 2018.

Proposals are welcome from any area of the forest industries, including forestry, manufacturing, sales, marketing and IT among others. Candidates are selected on the value of the project for the community or industry as well as their ability to carry out the desired project and disseminate the information as required. Candidates for the Scholarship are selected on their commitment to the industry as well as on their academic performance.

For further information about the fellowships, please visit: https://gottsteintrust.org/fellowships/gottsten-fellowship/
For information about the industry awards, please visit: https://gottsteintrust.org/fellowships/awards/
For information about the Scholarships: https://gottsteintrust.org/fe…/forest-industry-scholarships/
Any further queries can be addressed to the #GottsteinTrust secretary: gottsteinsecretary@gmail.com

Meet the winner of TQ’s Smart Forests 18

The winner of Timber Queensland inaugural Smart Forests 18 Award, sponsored by the Gottstein Trust awas announce in late April.

Benjamin Francis is a Phd Candidatefrom  the University of Queensland and was named Queensland Smart Forests18 Ambassator. His submission was entitled: Financial economic performance of private native forest and hardwood plantation management in subtropical Australia.

Benjamin  Francis with Mick Stephens (CEO Timber Queensland)

Timber Queensland launches awards program to drive student and industry engagement

20 February 2018


Timber Queensland launches awards program to drive student and industry engagement

While the cash prizes will be appealing, providing students with opportunities to engage with potential employers is the key benefit and driver behind Timber Queensland’s inaugural student awards programs SmartForests18 and SmartTimber18.


Clarissa Brandt, Communications Manager Timber Queensland said SmartForests18 is designed to enhance student awareness of issues and challenges related specifically to Queensland’s forest and timber industry.


“The winner of the Award, who will act as the Queensland SmartForests18 Ambassador will be announced at Timber Queensland’s state conference Doing Timber Business in Queensland: Room to Grow on 19 April 2018,” said Clarissa Brandt.

“Stimulating new ideas to solve industry challenges and increasing exposure to new timber technologies are benefits of the competition,” said Clarissa.

“But the real advantage will be the connections and conversations between students and potential future employers and suppliers,” she said.

SmartTimber18 is a program to introduce students to mass timber and glulam and to educate students regarding the design considerations required to use these building materials.

“Both awards require students to submit an abstract and poster to communicate their submission. The posters will be on display at our state conference Doing Timber Business in Queensland: Room to Grow and there will be a dedicated session for conference delegates to talk and mingle with the poster authors,” said Clarissa.

Support from award sponsors The Gottstein Trust and Hyne Timber will provide complimentary attendance at the conference for 10 students and Timber Queensland is offering a heavily subsidised student ticket price.

“Mark Brown and his colleagues at the Forest Industries Research Centre at USC have been tremendously helpful in the organisation of the awards and are also providing assistance to ensure forestry students can fully participate in the conference.”

Information about the awards program and entry requirements is available at www.doingtimberbusinessinqld.com/studentawards


For further information contact:

Clarissa Brandt, Communications Manager, Timber Queensland: 07 3358 7906 / 0416 350 328


Nils follows family tradition as chair of Gottstein Trust

A LONG family association with the J.W. Gottstein Memorial Trust Fund continues with election of Nils Gunnersen as chair of the educational institution.

Gunnersen, established in 1879, has always been an Australian-owned company, and is still led by the Gunnersen family.

“For me, the appointment comes with a great deal of affection and respect for the trust as my father Thorry was one of the first Gottstein fellows more than 30 years ago, and his brother Peter was a long-standing chairman of the trust,” Nils Gunnersen said.

Mr Gunnersen succeeds retiring chair Brian Farmer, CEO of HQPlantations, who will remain as a trustee.

“Brian has done a tremendous job on the trust and he was happy to report at our last meeting that trust had awarded more than $500,000 in Gottstein fellowships and scholarships over the last 10 years,” Mr Gunnersen said.

“To me, the Gottstein Trust is a very important as a new chair I am really pleased to be involved in service to the trust.”

J.W. (Bill) Gottstein was a forest products research scientist with CSIRO, who was tragically killed in 1971 while photographing a tree-felling operation in New Guinea.

The non-profit Gottstein trust has since assisted in the funding of more than 130 fellows, among them some of the most prominent executives in the industry today.

Nils Gunnersen said the trust envisaged the further development of the forest products industry through constant improvement and the pursuit of excellence in people, processes and products.

“The trust provides financial assistance for successful applicants in many areas across the forest products industry and helps them advance in their professional fields,” he said. .

At the recent meeting, Ric Sinclair, managing director of FWPA, and Glenn Britton, chairman of Britton Timbers, retired as trustees.

“They will be missed,” Mr Gunnersen said, “based on their long tenure as trustees and probably more so because of the particular knowledge, experience and perspective they each bought to Gottstein.”

Trustees re-appointed are John Simon, chairman, FWPA, Suzette Weeding, general manager, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Jason Wilson, general manager, Auswest Timbers, and James Malone, CEO, Wesbeam.

Discussions at the meeting centred on the 2018 Gottstein Wood Science Course in Canberra in February and the announcement soon of 2018 Gottstein fellowships.

— by:  Jim Bowden


Trust’s move a cause célèbre among Bill Gottstein admirers

One of the early plywood training courses for industry … CSIRO plywood section staff identified are back row far left Peter Moglia, sixth from left Bill Gottstein, far right Andy Stashevski, front row far left Ken Hirst.


“AUSTRALIA’S plywood science pioneers were an amazingly resourceful and inventive group of men; it was an honour and an educational privilege to be part of this fascinating era.”

Kevin Lyngcoln, a former CEO of the Plywood Association of Australasia, was recalling his days at the CSIRO Division of Forest Products in south Melbourne, which he joined in 1961 as “junior technical assistant Grade 1” working alongside two giants of plywood technology Bill Gottstein and Peter Moglia.

The transfer this month of the J.W. Gottstein Memorial Trust secretariat to the Institute of Foresters of Australia in Canberra became a cause célèbre among the admirers of this forest products research scientist who was tragically killed in 1971 while photographing a tree-felling operation in New Guinea.

“As an engineering recruit, I worked directly under Peter Moglia, and then Ken Hirst in gluing research and Andy Stashevski, who became my future father-in-law,” Kevin said.

“But all of us, every one of us, worked under Bill Gottstein’s umbrella. And I’m probably the last survivor of those who worked with Bill.”

Speaking with Kevin Lyngcoln, Lis Moglia and Doug Howick – appointed in 1961 to the wood preservation section of the CSIRO DFP and a former secretary of the Gottstein Trust – I gleaned some fascinating insights into the early days of plywood research and development.

After RAAF service in World War 2, Peter Moglia studied mechanical engineering, graduating in 1954.

In 1955, he was employed as an experimental officer with the CSIRO Division of Forest Products and in 1956 joined Bill Gottstein’s newly-formed plywood investigation section.

For the next 15 years these scientists worked together to elucidate those principles that underlie the manufacture of plywood today. They were a resourceful group; where existing equipment could not meet new standards, and new machinery was too expensive, cheap machines were devised to do the job.

Five-speed gearboxes from World War 2 tanks became stepped-speed systems that were a cheap alternative to a true variable-speed drive. One of the best reeling systems in the world was produced by ‘fiddling’ a car’s differential.

Before the restructuring in 1971, the forest products division was regarded as the only laboratory in the world where you could get answers to every question on utilisation, end use, growth, manufacturing, wood chemistry, wood structure, glues, veneers, plywood, particleboard, drying, and preservation.

One of the recollections about Bill Gottstein’s plywood investigation group was the efforts to decide exactly how to set up a lathe.

A veneer lathe was ‘driven’ – an unfortunate expression, but some of the operators literally drove their lathe with car steering wheels on some of the controls.

A recollection by Peter Moglia: “We got the setting of a lathe to a matter of precision, of measurable quantities. We worked out the exact knife-wedge angle, the position of the nose-bar in relation to the knife edge, and a few parameters like the knife angle, and the height of the knife in relation to the log.

“We were accused of wasting the lathe operator’s time, which turned into an opportunity to demonstrate the new techniques.

“I turned their language back on them. I said (among other things), ‘I’ll bet you I can set this lathe up in 20 minutes and peel better veneer than you’ve peeled all day. So it was on, and they all came and stood round – and I did it in 20 minutes.

“I put a new knife in and set it to the nose-bar, doing all the measurements with my instruments. The first veneer wasn’t too good, and they started laughing, but I said, ‘wait a bit’ and after some adjustments they admitted it was the best veneer they’d ever seen.”

He had done it ‘blind’, by measurements, on a lathe he had seen only the day before.

“So we all went to the pub for further discussion,” Peter said at the time.

Kevin Lyncgoln said no report on those years should go without mentioning the contribution by Barry McCombe to “the real science”.

“Barry, who died last year, developed the science behind the veneer peeling. He gave so much to the industry in terms of visiting every factory and teaching people how to do it.” Kevin said.

Doug Howick remembers that in the early years, DFP provided for young people in the industry who were up-and-coming managers or, more often, were sons or nephews of larger timber company owners and managing directors. They worked in the division on projects alongside divisional staff.

“One such person was Denis Cullity from WESFI who spent several months or maybe a year at the south Melbourne site. As a result, Denis always had a high opinion of the work at DFP.

“When the plywood investigations section was formed under Bill Gottstein, the Plywood Association of Australasia agreed to finance several projects.

“As Denis worked his way to the top of WESFI, the company got closer to DFP, so it was not surprising that Denis put so much into the Gottstein Trust for so many years.”

The Gottstein Trust was set up in 1971 on the suggestion by the timber conversion section of CSIRO Division of Forest Products. The sub-committee included P.J. Moglia (convenor), W.M. McKenzie, M.W. Page, and G.S. Campbell.

The first meeting of the trust on June 7 that year elected the first trustees – D.M. Cullity, R.W. Page, D.A. Wilkinson, W.C. Kauman (convenor) with W.T. Knight appointed later.

Three founders were invited to donate $100 each, a legal requirement. They were E.A. Alstergren, T. Cullity, and R.W.R. Muncey, then chief of the CSIRO Division of Forest Products.

Bill Gottstein would quote a favourite scientific writer: “Some of the explanations may not be scientifically correct, but the author believes that it is more important to be nearly right, and understandable, than to be academically accurate, and incomprehensible”.