Meet the Executive behind Forest Fire Victoria

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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.

Leon is the Secretary of Forest Fire Victoria.

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.

Phil is Vice-President of Forest Fire Victoria.


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.

He is Treasurer and Webmaster of Forest Fire Victoria.

Rod is an Ambulance Victoria GoodSam Responder. Please join up. Saving a life is the ultimate community service.


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 consultant on rural environmental issues.

Tony is the President of Forest Fire Victoria.

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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