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.

The next course to be held in early 2020 will be about Wood Science

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.

Wood Science

The Gottstein Trust organises week-long courses in Wood Science for those people new to the forest products industry, including 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.

View the Wood Science Course General Information

2020 Wood Science Course

The 2020 short-course is tentatively set to run across the week of 17th – 21st February 2020, at the Fenner School of Environment and Society,  Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.  Further details will be released in the timber industry media and through industry associations later in 2019.

The last such course was held in 2018 and 27 participants gathered 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.

Registration Fee

The fee is set each year and changes in line with delivery costs. The 2019 course was $2,530 (inclusive of GST). This will be reviewed for 2020.

The registration fee covers the presentation sessions, access to speaker presentations, field trip, morning and afternoon teas, lunches each day and group networking dinners on one or two evenings in line with the particular program. Accommodation is not included.

A discount of 20% is offered for Gottstein Trust patrons (discount capped at 2 attendees per course for Australian based staff). A 10% discount also applies for up to two Australian based course attendees for those Gottstein Trust supporters donating $1,000.


For the Canberra courses most participants like to stay on campus at the University House (ANU), which is very  convenient. University House is  just a short walk through the campus to the Fenner School (about 10 minutes).All field trips begin and end at University House and there are no other pick up or set down options.

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 group discount rate at University House.


Please email your inquiry to the Gottstein Secretariat Management Team on