Visiting Big River Timber Group in Grafton… from left, Moana Masau (SPC Fiji), Elaine Galore (MSc candidate from PNG), Kesa Tabua (Fiji Ministry of Forestry); middle row from left, Sefa Tawake (SPC Fiji), Jason Blanch (Big River Group), Dr Rob McGavin (Queensland DAF Salisbury research centre), Idowu Adegoke (Fiji National University), Iliesa Koroi (Fiji Ministry of Forestry), Divi Swamy (MSc candidate Fiji National University), Maika Tabukovu (PhD candidate Fiji National University); back row, Benoit Gilbert (Queensland DAF).

THE innovative forest product team based at the Salisbury Research Facility hosted an international delegation of researchers from Fiji, Laos and PNG at the recent Society of Wood Science and Technology’s international convention in Kingscliff, NSW.

The delegates also enjoyed a two-week tour of research and development centres and visited forestry and sawmilling operations in northern NSW.

The group, sponsored by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), delivered three presentations at the convention after which they visited The Big River Group in Grafton, Robertson Bros sawmill in Gympie, Eco Cottages at Cooroy, Austral Plywood in Brisbane, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, and the DAF Salisbury Research Facility in Brisbane.

Host Dr Robbie McGavin, research facility and project manager at the Salisbury research complex, said the post-convention tour aimed to strengthen relationships between research agencies, along with providing new knowledge and understanding of engineered wood products manufacture from a range of different wood resources that were suitable for high value markets.

The international participants are part of project teams working alongside DAF Forest Product researchers on collaborative projects supported by ACIAR that are current occurring in the Pacific and southeast Asia.

“These projects all have the general theme of working on the shared opportunity to improve the utilisation of under-valued forest resources through the manufacture of high-value engineered wood products,” Dr McGavin said.


MAIN PIC: Inspecting Austral Plywoods operations in Brisbane… host Colleen Swifte (front) with, back from left, Sefa Tawake (SPC Fiji), Idowu Adegoke (Fiji National University), Divi Swamy (MSc candidate Fiji National University), Iliesa Koroi (Fiji Ministry of Forestry), Moana Masau (SPC Fiji), Khonethong Soukphaxay (National University of Laos), Elaine Galore (MSc candidate from PNG), Maika Tabukovu (PhD candidate from Fiji National University).