Industry Reference Committee

The Industry Reference Committee (IRC) is made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge in the timber and wood processing industry industry, covering a breadth of experience from across relevant sectors.

The IRC acts as a conduit for industry to provide feedback to government about industry trends and skills needs, and has responsibility for overseeing the development of units of competency, skill sets and qualifications for the industry it services.

Skills Impact provides support services to a group of related IRCs so they can effectively connect and engage with industry about their skill needs. All IRCs are appointed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC). Nominees operate in the best interest of the industry sector.


Next Meeting Date

To be confirmed


Past Meetings

13 November 2019

7 March 2019

27 March 2018*

27 November 2017

5 April 2017

14 February 2017 – Induction and initial meeting


Note: the Forest and Wood Products Industry Reference Committee was previously responsible for overseeing the development of units of competency, skill sets and qualifications for the timber and wood processing sectors.


Committee Membership

Organisation Represented
Organisation Overview
Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA)Victor ViolantePeak national body representing all elements of the value chain from the sustainable harvesting of plantations and multiple use natural forest resource including forest establishment and management, harvesting and haulage, processing of timber resources and manufacture of pulp and paper.
Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) Manufacturing DivisionDenise Campbell-BurnsEmployee representative body for employees working in forest and furnishing products industry.
Forest Products Commission WASuzanne McCavanaghPromotes the sustainable management and development of Western Australia’s forest and wood products industry using native forest, plantation and sandalwood products on land owned or leased by the State.
Timber NSWMaree McCaskillRepresents companies involved in the sawmilling or further processing of timber and companies or individuals who provide services to the timber industry in New South Wales.
Timber QueenslandClarissa Brandt (Chair)Peak timber industry body in Queensland representing the interests of a diverse membership base consisting of timber businesses including saw millers.
Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI)Position vacantPeak body representing the Victorian forest and wood products industry which uses wood to create materials for new homes, buildings and furniture, paper and fuel for green energy. VAFI represents the wood processors, and associated businesses across both the native forest and plantations sectors.
Individual Industry Experts
Required Expertise
Position vacantExpertise in one or more of the following sub sectors of Timber Processing, including businesses producing:

  • Structural building products
  • Plywood products
Position vacantExpertise in one or more of the following sub sectors of Timber Processing, including businesses engaged in:

  • Finger jointing, mouldings and dressed timber
  • Hardwood products


Operating Framework for IRCs

IRCs provide the industry engagement mechanism at the centre of training package development (units of competency, skill sets and qualifications). They provide a conduit for industry feedback to government on industry trends and for promotion of VET. The primary purpose of the IRC is to provide advice to the AISC about the skills needs of their industry or sector, based on their experience and expertise.

IRCs perform the following functions, with support by Skills Impact:

  • Gather general intelligence for their industry sectors to inform advice on training package development and review
  • Oversight the development and review of training packages in accordance with the requirements of the AISC
  • Oversight the development of the IRC work plan by the SSO, advising who should be included in the consultation and the type of information to include
  • Provide sign off on the work plan, business cases, cases for endorsement and other submissions for consideration by the AISC
  • Report to the AISC on progress of its work
  • Promote the use of VET in the sectors they represent.

Full details of the Operating Framework for Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) can be viewed here.