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From the President

ATTA Members,

It has been some time since we last got together for our Annual ATTA Workshop. With the last three years taken up with the global pandemic, our association has suffered along with many other groups. To assist membership, we reduced and waived fees for a time, as there was little activity for you to participate. 2023 has heralded a new year for ATTA. A newly reformed executive committee dragged me out of semi-retirement and dusted me off, along with a few other old familiar faces, to try and get things back on track.

My role as ATTA President is to reinvigorate our association, and hopefully attract some new members with younger arms and legs, to carry our good association forward for the next generation of timber training. And what better way to get things moving than to attend (yes, it is on this year), our 2023 ATTA Workshop to be held over three days in Attwood Victoria, at Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre, 33 Ardlie Street, Attwood, very close to Melbourne Airport. A fourth (optional) day is being offered to get some valuable training with Stihl Technical Group.

We have a new ATTA website, thank you to Paul Stebbing for sprucing this up and giving us a new look going forward into the future. Check out the site and give us some feedback. As a new site we still have much to reload and it is still very much a work in progress. We are loading conference information up onto the website shortly, I just wanted to catch up with you as early as possible to keep the dates free.

Our conference sponsors again this year are our old friends STIHL as major sponsor, along with strong and close support again from Waratah, ForestWorks and Skills Insight (formerly Skills Impact) who are our new Jobs Skills Council. We will officially thank our sponsors more formally at the conference, but I do wish to state upfront that without their continued support, our association would not be here today.

Please come along and support your association. Our secretary Terri will be circulating more details for you than I have provided here, I just wanted to give you a heads-up on what is happening and seek your renewed support. One of our executive team will be contacting you, if they have not already done so, to encourage you to renew your membership if not already done, and to get an indication of whether you will be attending.

In the meantime, please put a place marker in your diary for the following dates:

Sunday 23 July – Arrive and check into your accommodation. Join us for evening drinks and canapes, meet up with new members and catch up with some longtime friends. Sponsored by ForestWorks.

Monday 24 July – Day 1 is our Conference opening. Some great guest speakers to bring us up to date with what is happening in industry, and also the rapidly changing VET training sector. At 6.30 pm we have dinner and refreshments sponsored by STIHL, concluding with our (bring your cash and an empty suitcase) ATTA Fundraising Auction.

Tuesday 25 July – Day 2 we have speakers in the morning before we head out for an afternoon field trip (bus to be provided), to visit our friends and conference sponsor Waratah at nearby Melton. Back to the convention center by 4.30 pm for some relaxation time or a chat with friends before dinner at 6.30 pm, sponsored by Waratah.

Wednesday 26 July – Day 3 will start with our AGM & General Meeting (for members), followed by more presentations and some professional development activities to add to your trainer/assessor matrix. The conference will officially wrap up and close at 3.00 pm to allow for those that need to get away to catch flights. If you are able to stay on for an extra day (Day 4) you are cordially invited to do so.

Thursday 27 July – (Optional Day 4) for those that wish to stay on and visit STIHL headquarters in Knoxfield, in Melbourne’s outer east (bus to be provided). This will be a training opportunity to see what new technology is available on their modern chainsaws and some tips on overall servicing and maintenance. This additional day is strictly a ‘members only’ day and will add a ‘niche’ item to your Trainer PD records for the year. We sincerely thank Andrew, David and the team at STIHL for providing us this unique and valuable opportunity.

NOTE: ATTA members who are unable to attend the three day conference are welcome to join the ATTA group in Knoxfield. This will be a full day event, more information to follow.  

With our AGM on Day 3 we will be opening with the election of new office bearers along with executive committee positions to be filled. I intend to run again for another term as president to assist in kick starting some more regular interaction and activity, but please feel free to throw your hat in the ring if you are able. We will make you most welcome to the executive group and guide you through the process if you are new to these roles and feeling unsure of your suitability.

We will be looking for a new secretary and treasurer as our dedicated, long term, hardworking and loyal Secretary /Treasurer Terri Towie not seeking reelection. I want to give due recognition to Terri and the work she does behind the scenes to maintain our association in good order and keep us all on track. Thank you Terri!


Looking forward to seeing you all in Attwood end of next month



Andy Cusack

ATTA President

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