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Francis Sydney (Frank) Incoll (1904–1981)

Frank [Francis Sydney] Incoll, a former Divisional Forester in Victoria, died peacefully at The Entrance, N.S.W., on 5 September 1981.

Frank was born at Yea, Victoria, on 16 November 1904. After attending secondary school at Rutherglen he enrolled at the Victorian School of Forestry, Creswick, at the age of 14. He completed the three-year course in December 1921 and was appointed to the State Forests Department as a Forest Cadet. After eight years work at Dunolly, Bealiba, Forrest, Wensleydale, Upper Macedon and Nowa Nowa, he was selected to undertake further studies in Canberra where he obtained the Diploma of the Australian Forestry School in December 1931, occupying a high position in the final examination list and being awarded the Heath Essay Prize. District Forester postings followed, at Heathcote, Heywood, Orbost and Stawell.

He became a foundation member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia in December 1935.

During the period 1944–47 he was posted to Melbourne as Forest Economist. In 1947 he was promoted to Assistant Divisional Forester, South Western Division, based at Ballarat, and became the Divisional Forester of that Division in 1950. He continued in that office until his retirement on 9 June 1966, passing up opportunities of higher promotion for personal reasons. In its Annual Report of 1965/66 the Forests Commission recorded its appreciation of his outstanding service during 44 years with the Department.

His major contribution to forestry in Victoria was made during his service as Divisional Forester. He developed and fostered forest management practices which have proved to be very successful in the mixed species forests of the Division. His wide experience and training enabled him to guide the Department during a period when considerable change was taking place. He recognised the need to upgrade logging and roading practices to ensure that domestic water supplies from forested catchments were of high quality. He realised that increasing use would be made of forests for recreation purposes and planned accordingly.

At the same time he advocated increased establishment of pine plantations to meet future timber needs. He appreciated the importance to forestry of an informed public, and was personally responsible for the appearance of regular articles in provincial newspapers. During his years at Ballarat he was a good friend to the students of the Victorian School of Forestry, taking a keen interest in their forest excursions and field work in vacations.

Frank Incoll encouraged his staff to follow the high ideals of service and personal conduct which he set for himself. His firm leadership and kind advice are remembered with gratitude by many foresters in Victoria.

Original publication

Citation details

'Incoll, Francis Sydney (Frank) (1904–1981)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

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