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Henry, John Lewis (Jack) (1920–2005)

by G. S. Lugton

Jack Henry, n.d.

Jack Henry, n.d.

John Lewis Henry, former NSW Commissioner for Forests and life member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, died on 6 September 2005 aged 85.

He was selected as a forestry trainee in 1939 and on completion of his science degree course enlisted (in 1942) in the RAAF. He trained as a navigator and flew operations over Germany. Eventually discharged he completed his forestry studies at the Australian Forestry School in the graduating class of 1947.

In 1948 Jack was appointed as a forester in the Forestry Commission of NSW, initially in the Division of Wood Technology but after a short time he was transferred to the Division of Forest Management where he set about the processes of organising management planning in north coast eucalypt forests. He remained there with a strong directing influence on management and silvicultural practices in indigenous forests over two decades. Among other collateral duties, Jack was also supervisor of the Commission’s forestry trainees, a duty he took seriously and which was appreciated by the students. He finally left the Division of Forest Management on appointment as Chief, Division of Economics and Marketing.

In 1971 he became Commissioner for Forests and was reappointed for a second term in 1978. He eventually retired in 1981 after 42 years of service. His time as Commissioner was marked by the rapid rise of the environment movement in NSW.

Jack Henry was widely respected in forestry circles in New South Wales and in Australia generally.

Original publication

  • Forester, vol 48, no 4, 2005, p 29

Citation details

G. S. Lugton, 'Henry, John Lewis (Jack) (1920–2005)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 August 2020.

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