‘I drifted into this line of work; I wouldn’t say I ever targeted it, but I always knew I had to do something related to outside.’
Martin has been in the food and fibre industry for around twenty-three years. He started out driving heavy machinery and gradually made his way up into the position he is in today. Martin is an operations manager for a bluegum plantation that expands over 50,000 hectares within the region. They produce the fibre for the world’s paper, packaging and clothing markets.
Even though his current role is an office-based managerial position, he still manages to get out a couple of days a week going around to the different work sites.
‘One day, I could be on a ship talking to a ship’s captain on exporting logs, and the next time I’m out there, I could be talking to a tree planter.’
People often see forestry as a negative industry, damaging our environment, but Martin points out that much of the industry works on a sustainable cycle—growing, harvesting and replanting.
‘It’s quite a sustainable and renewable resource now. We plant trees, we harvest trees, and we plant those trees back in, and that cycle is constantly going, so we’re always absorbing carbon and helping with water quality.’
Martin says it is an excellent place for young people to start a career, ‘It is a great industry for the younger guys because it’s outside, you can be set up with vehicles and get paid a good salary’. He says, ‘don’t be afraid to talk to people and make contacts with people in the industry.’