FWPA announces Board changes and new Chair

Craig Taylor has been elected as Chair of the FWPA Board, following the retirement of incumbent Chair John Simon.

Under the FWPA Constitution, the Chair is elected by fellow Directors at the first Board meeting following the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place on Thursday 22 October.

Speaking on his appointment, Mr Taylor said he was delighted and humbled to be elected.

“I had the good fortune to serve on the FWPA Board under the leadership of previous Chairs Ron Adams and John Simon, and plan to use that experience to help continue the important work of FWPA,” said Taylor.

“I look forward to working with my fellow Directors and industry stakeholders on the upcoming independent performance review, and the review of our strategic plan, so that we can continue to provide relevant and effective services to the industry and the Government.”

Mr Taylor has more than 30 years of management and consulting experience across primary industries, sustainable resource management, supply chain management, and sales and marketing, mostly in the plantation forestry sector.

As Director and Principal of The Fifth Estate Consultancy, Mr Taylor provides strategy, business development and investment advice to businesses in the resources and primary production sectors.

In addition, Mr Taylor has provided strategy development and investment advice to some of Australia and New Zealand’s largest forest and wood products companies. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Foresters of Australia.

“Craig is a long-time supporter of FWPA and advocate for the forestry industry. His passion and enthusiasm for the sector are admirable, and we are excited for Craig to lead the Board through FWPA’s next chapter, as we undertake a major refresh of our strategic direction,” said FWPA Managing Director, Ric Sinclair.

Mr Taylor’s appointment comes following the retirement of John Simon, following five years in the role and eight more as Director.

Mr Simon said that next year FWPA would undertake a major refresh of its strategic direction, and that, in his view, it was important for the next Chair to lead this activity.

“It has been a privilege and honour to lead the FWPA Board,” said Simon.

“The many successes and achievements have only been possible with the dedicated work of our wonderful staff, ably led by Ric Sinclair. I would also like to thank the Directors of the company who have provided wise guidance and ensured that we have maintained high levels of corporate governance.”

Also departing the Board following the 2020 AGM are Jim Henneberry, Chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee, and Brian Farmer, Chair of the Growers Research Advisory Committee.

“I would like to acknowledge John, Jim and Brian for their longstanding commitment to FWPA and their contributions to the sector more broadly,” Sinclair said.  

“Each has played an instrumental role in helping to drive countless FWPA successes and achievements. Their work has made a lasting, tangible and hugely positive impact on the forest and wood products industry, and we thank them for it.”

During the AGM proceedings, members re-elected Christine Briggs to the Board, and Nick Roberts was elected having previously been an FWPA Director from 2009 to 2012.

“We are delighted to welcome Nick back to the Board, and congratulate Christine on her re-election,” said Sinclair.

“Both bring invaluable skills and knowledge to the table, which will support our ongoing mission of growing the market for forest and wood products, increasing productivity, and ensuring positive environmental and social outcomes.”

FWPA’s first ever virtual AGM was a great success, and was attended by members and industry representatives from across the forest and wood products supply chain.