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