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The Log - Issue five- Profile: Rick Mitchell - Research Technician

image of Rick Mitchell Rick Mitchell went to Agriculture College in Denmark, Western Australia, where he first experienced the big trees, forests and rural life that surrounded the town. This led Rick to start a career in forestry by doing a cadetship with the Western Australian Forests Department in 1980.

Following graduation, Rick took a placement with the Forests Department in Walpole, WA, as a Forest Guard, working mainly in native forests in logging and burning-related activities. He transferred to inventory and planning in Kelmscott where he developed skills in native forest and plantation measurement. Transferring to Kirup for four years, he worked in softwood plantation management, as well as silvicultural work in the jarrah forest. He then transferred back to Walpole where he worked as the district fire coordinator. During this time, the blue gum plantation industry was emerging, and Rick wanted to be involved. He gained the position of area coordinator with South Coast Sharefarms (a newly formed business unit within the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management, CALM).

For the past eleven years, Rick has worked for Timbercorp (now Australian Bluegum Plantations) and has had several roles including WA Forestry Manager (managing the establishment and maintenance of the WA estate), New Project Development Manager (coordinating project development, PDS production and carbon accounting), and more recently Haulage and Client Services Manager (which included management of haulage contractors, roading, chip quality, port liaison and ship scheduling). His interest in harvesting research was sparked through being the CRC liaison for Timbercorp and through his involvement in several research studies.
Rick has recently been accepted to undertake his Masters in forestry, through which he will be able to formalise his wide knowledge of the industry.