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Kenneth Ross Hamwood (1941–2000)

by Keith Jennings

Ross [Kenneth Ross Hamwood] was born in Toowoomba in 1941 and educated at the Brisbane Grammar School from 1956 to 1959 (along with Keith Jennings and David Gough). On a State Government Scholarship, he enrolled in a forestry degree at the University of Queensland in 1960/61, followed by a field year in Queensland in 1962, and 2 years at the Australian Forestry School in Canberra in 1963/64.

Following graduation, Ross commenced work with the Queensland Department of Forestry in 1965 in a survey camp in the Ingham region, followed by a short stint in harvesting and marketing. He then transferred to Brisbane for a short period before commencing a long period of District administration work as Sub District Forester at Yarraman & Benarkin from 1967–76, Senior Forester at Maryborough from 1967 to 1979 and Senior Forester at Ingham from 1979 to 1983. During this ‘country service’ he was involved in all aspects of native forest and plantation (both native and exotic) management.

In August 1983, Ross transferred to Head Office as the Fire Protection Officer and retired as the longest serving (and last) FPO in January 2000. During this period he produced the Department’s detailed Fire Manual, went on an official trip to the USA and Canada with the Joint Fire Study Tour and to various states for meetings of the Standing Committee of Forestry’s Fire Control Officers Working Group. He was awarded an Australia Day Council Medal Award on 26 January 2000 for his services to the Rural Fire movement.

Ross married Frances North in November 1969 and they had 2 boys. Ross was a keen sportsman — football and rowing at school and in Canberra, and parachuting in Canberra and Queensland. Golf was probably his favoured sport from Uni days and he continued to play wherever he was stationed. In his later years he developed an interest in horse racing and, of course, a bet. Gregarious by nature, Ross loved meeting people and ensuring they enjoyed whatever they were doing, and he loved a party and a beer.

On retirement, he visited China and along with David Gough, formed a small company — aptly named GO-WOOD — to import sawn wood from PNG into Brisbane. Ross is survived by his wife Frances and his two sons, Warwick and Christopher, his stepmother Mabbs and his stepbrother Ian.

Original publication

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Citation details

Keith Jennings, 'Hamwood, Kenneth Ross (1941–2000)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 July 2024.

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