Robert John Leslie Kerr.

Robert Kerr was born in 1885 as the eldest son of Robert Kerr (senior), the assistant head teacher at the Prince of Wales State School in Northcote. Kerr later gained both First and Second Certificates from the Teacher Training College and was appointed junior teacher at Victoria Park in Collingwood, later becoming assistant at Armadale.Continue reading “Robert John Leslie Kerr.”

Russell Grimwade Prize for Forestry.

Wilfrid Russell Grimwade was born in 1879, knighted in 1950 and died in 1955. He led a remarkable and diverse life by any measure. He was a chemist, botanist, industrialist and philanthropist. He also had a passion for science, appreciation of art and sense of obligation to the community. An early motoring enthusiast he wasContinue reading “Russell Grimwade Prize for Forestry.”

Lost Children’s Tree.

On Sunday morning, 30 June 1867, a group of young children from Connells Gully near Daylesford wandered into the bush past familiar shallow gold diggings to look for wild goats. William Graham, aged 6½, his brother Thomas, 4 years 3 months, and Alfred Burman aged 5, crossed Wombat Creek and headed towards Muskvale. But whenContinue reading “Lost Children’s Tree.”

A. W. Howitt.

Alfred William Howitt (1830-1908) had an impressive and many faceted résumé  as expert bushman, explorer, natural scientist, geologist, botanist, public servant and pioneer authority on Aboriginal culture and social organisation. Like thousands of others, Howitt arrived in 1852 to make his fortune in the Victorian gold fields, with modest success. But it was here thatContinue reading “A. W. Howitt.”

Brian Gibson – Senator

Brian Gibson was the first, and only, graduate of the Victorian School of Forestry to be elected to Federal Parliament. Brian commenced at VSF in 1954, following in the footsteps of both his father Kingsley (Ken) and an uncle, Colin, as students at the school. After graduation in 1956 Brian worked for the Forests CommissionContinue reading “Brian Gibson – Senator”

Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack.

Ben Benallack entered the Victorian School of Forestry at Creswick in 1920. His classmates included Alf Lawrence, who later became Chairman of the Forests Commission from 1956 to 1969. Ben held the diplomas at both Creswick and the Australian Forestry School at Canberra. During his early years he worked as assistant forester and later officer-in-chargeContinue reading “Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack.”

Otways Redwoods & The Balts.

The first batch of “Balts” destined for the Otway forests arrived in Colac on 8 April 1949, after having travelled by train from their processing centre at Bathurst in New South Wales. Others had been assigned to nation-building projects like the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Many of these post-war immigrants and refugees came from Lithuania, Latvia,Continue reading “Otways Redwoods & The Balts.”

Moscow Villa & Bill Ah Chow.

Moscow Villa has miraculously survived bushfires and vandalism, along with the ravages of time and weather, to become an iconic visitor destination in the remote State forests of East Gippsland. But few people know the remarkable story about the man who built it, Thomas William (Bill) Ah Chow. Bill was Chinese, ANZAC, farmer, roustabout, horseman,Continue reading “Moscow Villa & Bill Ah Chow.”