Farm to forest

09 January 2015

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Want to study at Crawford School? Find out more about study options here. Applications are open now to study in 2015.

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From a sheep and cattle farm in rural New South Wales to the forests of Guyana, South America and now all the way to southern China - Crawford graduate Dale Garner is seeing it all.

It’s only been a matter of weeks since the former Master of Environmental Management and Development student graduated from Crawford School, but he is already on track to effecting real change towards sustainable forest management around the world.

“My goal is to work towards achieving the responsible, efficient and ethical use of forest resources around the world and Crawford has provided me with a wealth of analytical and conceptual tools to achieve this in the field,” said Garner.

The former Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry employee embarked on his Master degree at Crawford School in July 2013 in pursuit of a greater understanding of the economic rationality employed in the management of natural resources.

Just 18 months later, he is heading off to an exciting new position in China where he will put his learned skills into practice.

“In a few days, I’m off to China to take up a position in Guanghzhou with The Forest Trust (TFT) as a Forester. I’ll be providing technical assistance to the TFT team on exciting projects such as their Asia Pulp and Paper China program. It’s a fantastic opportunity that will hopefully see definitive systems in place to implement their recent Forest Conservation Policy,” said Garner.

Garner – Crawford School’s Tiri Tiri Prize winner - believes he gained a wealth of knowledge from the exceptional quality of teaching at Crawford School.

“You can’t go past being taught by experts in the field. I felt that the quality of teaching and exposure to leading edge research made my time at Crawford invaluable, above and beyond any other institution where I could have studied. Also, the exposure to new ideas, issues and friends from the diversity of students around the world was a fantastic experience,” said Garner.

Life before studying at Crawford School was varied for the country boy who grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Adjungbilly, rural New South Wales. After his undergraduate degree at The Australian National University, Garner worked for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In pursuit of hands on experience he travelled to Guyana and Suriname in South America to work as a Project Officer for The Forest Trust.

“I was responsible for implementing two forestry projects there to achieve independent third party verification of legality for domestic timber companies.

“At the completion of the project, two timber companies were certified by the Rainforest Alliance in Guyana and a third in Suriname. The first in Guyana achieved the Verification of Legal Origin standard and bringing 1.63 million hectares into responsible forest management”.

“To this day it’s something I’m very proud to have been part of,” said Garner.

Despite changing hemispheres, Garner is keen to stay connected with past and present students, friends and peers from Crawford School through the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society.

“The students studying at Crawford, both international and domestic, are already or will soon be some of the best in their field. The opportunity to network with these future global leaders is incredibly interesting and provides great exposure,” said Garner.

Garner’s advice to current and future students was simple.

“We are graduating at a time of unprecedented opportunity and international demand for professionals to work through the demands and issues facing the world at this time. I strongly believe that we should all follow our passion and interests with integrity, commitment and respect,” said Garner.

Want to study a Master of Environmental Management and Development? Find out more about it here: - applications are open now to study in 2015.

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