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Harris, Allan Cuthbert (Bluey) (1904–1996)

Citation for N. W. Jolly Medal

The N. W. Jolly Medal for 1967 has been awarded to Mr. A. C. [Allan Cuthbert] Harris of the West Australian Division. In the N. W. Jolly Medal the Institute commemorates one of Australia's most distinguished foresters to whom foresters and forestry throughout Australia owe a great deal. In awarding the medal to Mr. Harris, Council has more than maintained the very high standard of outstanding service that it has set by previous awards.

Except for the first few years after his graduation from the University of Adelaide in 1923 Mr. Harris has served his whole career in Western Australia. Until 1946, he was with the Forests Department, leaving to join the Department of Industrial Development in connection with the Wundowie Steel project of which he became General Manager in 1948. Since 1953 he has been Conservator of Forests of Western Australia, and under his dynamic and far-sighted leadership forestry in that State has made very great advances.

On the basis of his experience with the management of the Jarrah forests, and his studies of the ecology and silviculture of the species he has provided Australian Forestry with some of its most stimulating papers. His recognition of the critical role of fire in the environment of the West Australian eucalypts has led that State into becoming a leader in the use of protective burning. The development that is still taking place in this field originates to a large degree from his active encouragement.

The West Australian success with Pinus pinaster in the coastal stands near Perth is widely known. But not so widely known is the extent to which the recent very important advances in the provenance selection, breeding and site classification have flowed from his enthusiasm and drive.

In the broader context of Australian forestry Mr. Harris' national and professional outlook have been long standing and outstanding. The Institute of Foresters owes a big debt to him for service on the Committee of the West Australia Division, as Chairman of the Division, and hence a member of Council, and as Assistant Editor of Australian Forestry particularly when the need was most urgent. From the earliest days of the Institute, Mr. Harris has not only supported but actively worked to help the Institute develop as a national body with a national outlook with a truly professional status and performance. The Institute has had few members whose support, and in recent years whose encouragement, have been so influential and timely.

The same sense of the urgency of the need for a national approach to the problems of Australian forestry has been apparent in his work with the Standing Committee of the Australian Forestry Council, and earlier a member of the old Board of Higher Forestry Education of the Australian Forestry School.

His active participation in community service in addition to his official duties, and the professional competence of his department have enabled him to gain increasing recognition and high regard for the profession. It is particularly fitting that he is again to be Chairman of the West Australian Division, for a term that will include the 5th General Conference of the Institute to be held in Perth in 1968.

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Citation details

'Harris, Allan Cuthbert (Bluey) (1904–1996)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/harris-allan-cuthbert-bluey-18448/text30094, accessed 28 July 2021.

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