Industry Advisory Groups – FWPA encouraging participation

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is restructuring its industry engagement, with greater opportunities to participate, both for members and for non-member stakeholders such as researchers and suppliers.

The Chairman of FWPA, John Simon, said the two new types of group being introduced – Industry Advisory Groups and Interest Groups – were inclusive, and designed to provide opportunities to all interested people in the industry.

“We encourage you to contribute to the future of our industry by joining these groups which hopefully will help improve communication, identify valuable investment opportunities and identify issues or gaps we could help address with funding, contacts or other assistance,” he said.

“FWPA values the input of people ‘on the ground’, who have valuable experience and expertise when it comes to how we can best grow the market, innovate through research and promote the unique attractions of forest and wood products.”

Industry Advisory Groups will be open to directors and employees of any FWPA voting members, with a group to support each of FWPA’s outcome-driven programs, namely:

  • Promoting the advantages of wood products
  • Aligning products to market needs
  • Assisting value chain optimisation
  • Increasing resource availability and reducing risk
  • Impacting decision making and industry capability

Each new Industry Advisory Group will be chaired by an FWPA board member and meet at least once a year to help rank and prioritise activities, offer direction regarding investments and provide member input. The first Industry Advisory Group meetings will be held in Melbourne on 16 June.

However, both members and non-member industry stakeholders who identify a common issue – whether region, species or product-specific – will be entitled to join new Interest Groups, with secretariat support provided by FWPA.

The Interest Groups will be encouraged to develop investment proposals to help advance industry, whether by expanding markets, doing new research or other promotional activity.

To start an Interest Group, all you need to do is:

  • Identify an issue of concern that is consistent with FWPA’s vision and mission
  • Have at least five FWPA voting member companies participating and
  • Be willing to open the group to all members and other stakeholders, including non-members.

As part of the transition to this new structure, FWPA’s current Industry Advisory Groups and Reference Groups will transition to the new Interest Groups effective from 31st March, 2017.

To find out more on how Industry Advisory Groups and/or Interest Groups can help your business and the working arrangements, please contact FWPA Managing Director Ric Sinclair on