From Classroom to Plantation: Clancy Quirk’s Experience with the Plantation Forest Industry

Clancy Quirk’s recent work experience stands as a resounding success story within the industry. Concurrent with his Year 12 studies at Lavalla College, Clancy engaged in a 20-week program with HVP that delved into various aspects of the business, focusing particularly on fire management and silviculture.

The initial connection between Gippsland Forestry Hub and Lavalla College occurred in March,
resulting in the placement of student Clancy Quirk within a local forestry organisation for hands-
on experience. The program was supported by GF Hub, which facilitated Clancy’s association
with HVP Plantations.

Clancy’s relationship with the forestry sector traces back generations, with a
family history steeped in timber harvesting. His grandparents, owners of S & CJ Logging in
Gippsland, provided him with a familial connection to harvesting.

Clancy Quirk and Lesia Goodwin

Clancy’s commitment to forests was evident early on, marked by his engagement as a junior
volunteer at the Morwell CFA in 2016. What began as a suggestion from his teacher in
Toongabbie, flourished into a senior volunteer role and communications officer at the Traralgon
CFA, a remarkable accomplishment for a high school student.

Clancy’s theoretical knowledge from the Certificate II in Conservation & Ecosystems at TAFE Gippsland translated into tangible skills during his time with HVP Plantations. Direct application of his coursework, such as unit-to-task matching like tree planting and observing spraying and pest management, provided
an invaluable real-world experience to his learning journey.

Throughout his 20-week program, Clancy was nurtured and guided by mentors. Reflecting on this experience, Clancy praises his mentors’ pivotal role in fostering a positive experience. Their support created an environment in which he thrived.

Mark Goodwin, Clancy Quirk and Celeste Faser

As Clancy ventured out with district foresters, he was granted firsthand insights into their daily operations. This interaction yielded a wealth of practical knowledge spanning fire management, forest management, silviculture, and pest control.

Clancy adds, “From the outset, the HVP staff embraced me as one of their own, readily answering
my questions and encouraging exploration across diverse areas of their business.”
HVP’s commitment to Zero Harm, where health and safety take precedence
over all business objectives, left a lasting impact on Clancy. He affirms that HVP Plantations is
dedicated in adhering to this principle, with his mentors consistently emphasising health and
safety as paramount.

With aspirations set on a future in forestry, either as a district forester or specialising in fire
management, Clancy envisions a career path that undoubtedly garners industry-wide support.

When asked to reflect on his experience, Clancy is enthusiastic in his praise. He expresses, “My
time at HVP Plantations was nothing short of fantastic. The entire staff welcomed me, and I am genuinely grateful for the chance to learn from forestry leaders.”

Clancy Quirk’s journey stands as a representation of successful mentorship, hands-on learning, and a dedicated commitment to a thriving forestry sector. His story demonstrates the potential for passionate students to develop a thriving career change within the industry.