Meet the Team Members behind Forest Fire Victoria

Meet the Forest Fire Victoria team for promoting independent, expert and science-based opinion on forest fire management.

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Dr Leon Bren

After completing a diploma and a degree in forestry, Leon was recruited to lead forest hydrology research including a paired-catchment research study. He completed a doctorate in the groundwater hydrology of the catchments and continued working in forest hydrology, harvesting, and roading. Leon now specialises in scientific writing on catchment hydrology. He is skilled in mathematical modelling and time-sequenced data. A current interest is the need for forest roading in remote locations to enable rapid suppression of fires when they are small, and the hydrological impacts of catchment burning.

N P (Phil) Cheney

PSM FIFA, BScFor, DipFor. Former senior principal research scientist, CSIRO. He was head of CSIRO’s bushfire research from 1975 to 2001. He has forty years of experience in research into bushfires including bushfire behaviour, prescribed burning, mass fires, fire ecology, aerial and ground suppression, firefighter physiology, firefighter safety, heat transfer, home protection and water catchment hydrology. He was the Special Consultant on fire control for the United Nations FAO forestry development projects In Zambia and Turkey, and a Member of the International Ad-Hoc Group of Experts for the United Nations to advise the Secretary General on disaster planning. He was awarded the CSIRO medal for outstanding research achievement in the application of fire science for safer firefighting and safer communities, and the International Association of Wildland Fire Ember Award for Excellence in Wildland fire Science.

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Barrie Dexter

Barrie Dexter. DipFor(Cres), BScFor(Melb), MScFor(Melb), FIFA; has over 60 years of experience in natural resource management including research and development in the silvics and silviculture of native and exotic forests, factors affecting bushfire behaviour, the planned use of fire, with experience that ranged from the fire-line to state level coordination and policy development and practice in management of state forests and national parks.
After retiring from the agency responsible for forest fire management on public land; he, with colleagues, continues to substantively report and recommend changes aimed at returning Victoria to its former status as a premier forest fire manager.

Rod Incoll

Rod is an independent bushfire risk consultant who provides opinions for legal actions about bushfire and forestry injuries. His recent work includes the East Kilmore and Murrindindi bushfire class actions, the Anglesea Mine Fire Inquiry, the Hazelwood Mine  Fire Inquiry, and the subsequent criminal prosecutions.

Rod’s background includes natural resource management, service management, and forest fire management and control. He developed fire management skills as a forester with the Forests Commission, Victoria, and controlled a number of large bushfires. From 1984 his role with the State Electricity Commission included strategies for the protection of electricity assets from bushfire. From 1990, he was Chief Fire Officer for public land in Victoria, a director of the CFA Board, and a director of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council.

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A D (Tony) Manderson

MEnvSci, DipFor(Cres) has 43 years experience in natural resource management including native forests, plantations and agricultural land. His fire experience covers all roles from front line fire-fighting to control and logistics at major forest fires over many years. He managed fire control training for the Forests Commission, was Resources Manager for the Victorian Plantations Corporation, and developed the Regulations that formed Industry Brigades within the CFA. He is currently a farmer and consultant on rural environmental issues.

Our Vision

Our work is towards forest fire management policies that address the social, economic and environmental values of natural ecosystems.

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