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Hyne Timber’s 140 Years celebrated

30 July 2022

As a salute to Hyne Timber’s 140 years, long standing timber industry stakeholders recently came together for a grand luncheon at the Brisbane Tattersalls Club. Representing Hyne Timber and the Hyne family, Optimisation Lead Kelly Hyne was invited to give a short speech including thanking the organisers, Jim Bowden and Dr Gary Bacon. She proudly recognised the 140-year milestone, while sharing some of her fond memories as well as challenges over the years.

“Reaching this milestone of 140 years is incredible and something I am extremely proud to be a part of. This is a year for my family to reflect on our ancestry, the trials and tribulations through wars, floods, financial crisis, bushfires, and pandemics”.

“More importantly, 2022 is our year to celebrate 140 years of growth, innovation, and sustainability, all of which, could not have been done without the support and hard work of our team members, including those who have come before us, key stakeholders, and industry supporters.

“Personally, I have lived and breathed timber for as long as I can remember. As a young child, my father, Chris Hyne used to pilot my siblings and I in a small plane to visit our sawmills out west. My father was there for work, we were there to explore; sawmills quickly becoming our playground, getting lost in the intrigue and adventure”.

“We’d go on family walks through rain forests where my father would point out the various species, explain their identifying features, making a bit of a game of it, to entertain us along the way. We’d enjoy hearing many stories of old, such as how my grandfather, Lambert Hyne used to send his young son, Uncle Warren, down the railway line to spy on barges arriving at the then Wilson Hart sawmill”.

“To this day, sawmill banter often gets a workout around the dining table, to the point where my mother proclaims, ‘ok, enough sawdust, change of topic please. By the age of 17, I was working for Hyne doing relief work during school holidays at Head office in Maryborough, as mail clerk or laboratory assistant testing wood samples.

“At the age of 19, I experienced my first encounter of being a woman in what was then, a man’s world. I asked a supervisor to consider me for a job. He laughed, thinking that I was joking. I turned up anyway, ready for work! He agreed to give me a go stating “I’m not going to get into trouble here am I. Your father does know, and it is, ok?” My father had no idea! Was it ok? Why would it not be, ok?

“During this time, it wasn’t uncommon to be told I should just observe, as ‘this is not light work, not a job for a woman’. After 12 years I finally felt defeated unable to find my place, so I went off into the world. I recognise with hindsight, that I needed that time to grow as did Hyne. I undertook a chef apprenticeship and worked in various food production facilities before taking on a management role with the Parkside Group. However, all the while, I was watching Hyne from a distance with pride”.

“Just two years ago, I returned to Hyne where I believe I was always destined to end up. I currently work in a technical role as Optimisation Lead at the Tuan Mill where manufacturing is no longer a male dominated domain. I am the first Hyne female family member to work for the company and no doubt the start of more Hyne women to come”.

“I am proud that our 140-year journey is one of progression including embracing diversity with more and more women choosing great careers in manufacturing, some of these outstanding women I have the great privilege to work alongside and learn from.

Photo: Jim Bowden and Kelly Hyne at the Tattersalls Club, Brisbane

Source: Hyne Timber