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Peter Michael Bourke (1944–1996)

The forestry community of the Green Triangle region has been shocked by the premature and unexpected death of Peter Bourke on 10 February 1996 at Royal Adelaide Hospital. Peter’s death at the age of 52 followed a very short illness.

Peter started his forestry career working for the Forests Commission of Victoria in Bendigo, where he met his wife to be, Jezelle, who was visiting from the USA. Together they travelled back to the US where Peter attained his forestry degree at Oregon State. Peter was employed by Softwood Holdings Limited (now CSR Timber Products) in 1978 in Mount Gambier, where he has worked ever since.

Peter made significant contributions in a wide range of areas both within CSR and within the professional body of forestry in this region. In his early years with Softwoods he was responsible for the nursery and the establishment of plantations within South Australia, where he became the South Australian Plantations Manager. In 1989 he was appointed Plantation Operations Superintendent, having responsibility for the establishment, maintenance, improvement and protection of all CSR’s plantations within the Green Triangle. Peter’s management style was built around teamwork and cooperation and he worked well with people at all levels within CSR.

His absence will also dwell upon those who worked with him on a number of regional and inter-organisation bodies: the Southern Border Fire Coordination Committee, the Forest Owners Conference, the Mount Gambier CFS group, the Mount Gambier CFS Group Fire Protection Committee and the CSIRO Pine Forest Research Centre. He was also an active member of the IFA for 15 years.

The characteristics for which Peter will be remembered are his well-developed sense of honesty and honour, his helpful, gentle nature, his wry sense of humour, and the support he gave to others in times of need. Peter is survived by his wife, Jezelle, his son Adam and his daughter Sarah. He will be sorely missed by his family, his workmates and by the local community.

Original publication

Citation details

'Bourke, Peter Michael (1944–1996)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

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