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Forestry graduate branches out into major role

A woman standing in a plantation forest

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Published
30 March 2023

Like a seedling flourishing into a towering tree, forestry science graduate Leisa Overs’ career continues to grow. Leisa was recently appointed Nursery Manager at HQPlantations, the largest plantation forest grower in Queensland.

As Nursery Manager, Leisa oversees the propagation of up to 10 million seedlings per year for plantation establishment in Queensland.

“Plantation forestry is a renewable, sustainable industry that is really making a difference to climate change and supports local communities and regional economies,” Leisa said.

“Every tree we harvest gets replanted for the cycle of carbon absorption to begin again, while the wood products after harvest continue to store carbon for the duration of their lifespan.”

Through her role, Leisa travelled to Vietnam to provide advice and guidance for newly established forestry nurseries as part of an Aus Aid program.

Leisa studied the Bachelor of Applied Science (Forestry) at Southern Cross University, now known as the Bachelor of Science, and said she gained the tools and knowledge needed to start her career.

“The subjects I studied were interesting and challenging. I felt that what I was being taught was relevant to my career,” Leisa said.

“I particularly enjoyed the lab and practical components of the degree as well as the field trips.

“The work placements provided the experience needed to understand the industry and helped me obtain employment. I started my final placement 20 years ago and have been with the company ever since.”

Leisa said working in the forestry industry offers continual growth and she enjoys being part of a sustainable industry.

“I’m always learning new things, thinking about innovative ways to improve what we do, conducting trials and developing new techniques to help improve safety and efficiency in the nursery,” she said.

“The trees that get their start here as seedlings supply almost all the structural timber to Queensland, building sustainable homes and communities, so it’s important they get a great start.”

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