I started the month by driving the 200 km from Melbourne to Ararat and visited RAL Homes, the fabulous business of Reiny and Lorraine Loeliger.

Since starting TimberTrader News, being able to spend time with innovators and dreamers is one of my personal pleasures – and Reiny is certainly both of those.

TTN’s associate editor, Megan Macdonald, has captured the essence of Reiny’s business in our cover profile and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story.

I also travelled to Brisbane and visited old business friends and made some new ones while I was there. Over the next couple of months you’ll be able to join me on that journey when we publish stories from the north.

Personally, I also attended a conference where the recently retired Victoria Police chief commissioner, Ken Lay, was a keynote speaker. His presentation was most thought provoking and put into words an area of great concern for our timber industry.

Mr Lay spoke about sexism and domestic violence as part of the Maternal and Child Health area of focus of the Rotary organisation.

It was of particular personal interest when he was talking about sexism and abuse in the workplace, and he commented that “The standard that you walk past is the standard that you condone”.

As the timber industry transitions from a “˜blokey’ culture to an inclusive career path for both women and men, it’s important that we point out, and call out, examples of sexism and misogynistic behaviour.

For example, it is not acceptable to make reference to, or comment on, the way a person (male or female) looks, just because they are the opposite sex.

We all have a responsibility to correct these misguided “˜old school’ attitudes and comments – whether they are made personally to us in conversation, over email, or in any other context.

Please make a stand on your own patch of turf and your example may just make it a little easier for women to feel rightfully included in our industry.

I received an email from Simmonds Lumber Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Simon recently that stated he was planning to retire at the end of July this year.

As well as being a leading business figure in the Australian timber industry, John has immersed himself in an ongoing volunteer capacity in numerous industry associations and national organisations.

I have known John for most of the time he has been in Australia and have been privileged to be able to call on him for advice and counsel for more than a quarter of a century.

I hope to be able to speak to John, for these pages, before he rides off on his golf endeavours to reduce his handicap.

Also had an email from Greg Seymour who mentioned that he has left Melbourne-based Bayswood Timber after almost 23 years and joined Jackaroo Timber.

He has a family background in timber and before Bayswood, he worked for the old Timbersales and Baltic Doors.

Greg is the new sales manager at Jackaroo and he can be contacted on mobile 0439 313 363 or via email at greg@jackarootimber.com.au

Happy reading.