Every year, the Gottstein Trust organises week-long courses in Understanding Forest Science and Understanding Wood Science for those people new to the forest products industry, including executives and non-executive directors. Every year the Course theme alternates between the two topics.

Forest Science was held in 2019 and bookings open on 15th November 2019 for the 2020 course on Wood Science. Find out how to register at Bookings open 2020 Wood Science Course.  

Understanding Wood Science

The Gottstein Trust organises week-long courses in Wood Science for people wanting to brush up on their knowledge and for people new to the forest products industry. This includes staff across a wide range of areas from administration, to operations, company executives and non-executive directors.

The  course provides a deeper understanding of wood and the properties that affect its processing and end uses. As the industry evolves the course is refreshed to cover new elements alongside the core knowledge base. The presenters provide a comprehensive coverage of the scientific aspects of wood utilisation, from the biological structure of a tree to the latest trends in processes and uses.

Since 1978 Wood Science Courses have been run almost every two years, with over 600 senior executives, potential managers, policy people and others attending in that time. The Wood Science courses typically took place in Melbourne every second year in February, at CSIRO, Clayton, and the University of Melbourne, Parkville. In 2018 the Wood Science course was staged for the first time in Canberra when management of the Gottstein’s secretariat transferred to a Canberra based team.

Next up is 2020 Wood Science Course

The next course will run from Sunday evening 16th to Friday afternoon 21st February 2020, inclusive. The preliminary 2020 program is available.

The first two days of this newly redeveloped program are based at Albury, NSW. This is an attractive regional city on the famous inland Murray River which marks the NSW/Victorian border. From Albury we will visit some leading wood products manufacturing sites in northern Victoria then enjoy some guest speaker sessions and networking opportunities at Albury.

After that, we will whisk the group by luxury coach up the Hume Highway on to Canberra, the national capital city of Australia, which is affectionately know as the ‘bush capital’.  Base camp from Tuesday evening until the end of the course will be the Australian National University (ANU),  with a diverse range of guest lecture sessions hosted in rooms at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. A special course dinner is to be held at a tranquil setting in University House.

View the 2020 Wood Science Course Further Information

The prior Wood Science course in 2018 saw 27 participants gather from across Australia for a packed week of learning sessions and a big field trip. Participants enjoyed a barbeque at the National Arboretum Canberra with an outdoor lecture from Associate Professor Cris Brack (ANU). Besides lectures from renowned presenters, participants also had a chance to visit the Visy paper plant in Tumut NSW and  Hyne Timbers sawmill in Tumbarumba NSW. Both mills are significant operations within the Australian industry. Much as we’d love to take you through those interesting mills, the 2020 field trips are to different sites.

Understanding Forest Science

This course provides a deeper understanding of Australian forest management, the economics of wood production and other forest services. The course covers both plantation and natural forests and provides an appreciation of environmental issues and international strategic trends in the forestry industry.

Courses are generally held in mid-February and include a combination of lectures and practical learning activities. Each course also features a one-day field trip to forestry facilities and social functions in which participants get the chance to get to know other people from the industry, as well as Gottstein Fellowship Alumni members.

View the Forest Science Course General Information

2019 Forest Science Course

The course was a great success with participants coming from a broad range of backgrounds. The Gottstein Trust was delighted to again collaborate with the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment & Society which hosted the venue and supported us on the program.  ANU’s history with forestry dates back to 1965, when it first incorporated the Australian Forestry School (AFS). Many industry leaders are forestry graduates of the ANU.

Follow this link to see the Course Program 2019-Gottstein_forest-science-course-program-email. 100% of 2019 participants rated the course as Good or Excellent.

The next Forest Science Course is scheduled to be held in 2021, as the Trust stages Wood Science and Forest Science courses on alternate years.

The 2019 Course was held from Monday 18th February to Friday 22nd February 2019 inclusive. It attracted participants from all over Australia,  California and Singapore. The program included a full day field trip to a working harvest site in a ForestCorp radiata pine plantation near Bombala, NSW plus the Dongwha softwood mill at Bombala.

Opportunities to network on an informal basis were provided across the week. The course dinner on the final night was a happy occasion when the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck joined the group as well as four Gottstein Fellows, who spoke highly of the benefits obtained from being a Fellow.

Registration Fee

The fee is set each year and changes in line with delivery costs. The 2020 course fee is $2,950 (inclusive of GST) which covers a substantial new two-day field trip element that promises to be interesting.

The registration fee covers the presentation sessions, access to speaker presentations, field trips, morning and afternoon teas, lunches each day and group networking dinners on one or two evenings in line with the particular program. The 2020 course fee includes two nights accommodation in Albury, NSW and luxury coach transport between Albury and Canberra.

A discount of 20% applies to Gottstein Trust patrons (discount capped at 2 attendees per course for Australian based staff). A 10% discount applies to Gottstein Trust sponsor supporters who donate $1,000 (discount capped at 2 attendees per course for Australian based staff).


In 2020 accommodation and meals for the Albury leg of the course (the field trips) are included in the registration fee.

For the Canberra leg of the course, participants are required to book and pay for their own accommodation and any meals which are not part of the course program, it is entirely their choice where they choose to stay.  However the Gottstein Trust is able to negotiate a bed and breakfast group discount rate at University House. Most participants like to stay at University House (ANU), which is very convenient and is a short walk through the campus to the Fenner School (about 10 minutes) where all lectures are held. 


Please email your inquiry to the Gottstein Secretariat Management Team on   We look forward to welcoming you.