2018 SWC Forest Products Scholarship

April 9, 2018
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University of Canterbury forestry student picks up major award

A University of Canterbury forestry student has just received top forest industry honours with a major scholarship being awarded. This year’s Southern Wood Council (SWC) Scholarship has been awarded to Rob Sheppard, a Bachelor of Forestry Science student, studying at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

Rob, a mature student, had worked extensively in agriculture and tourism since leaving school. As well as an outdoors background including guiding (canoeing, horse trekking and hiking), instructing and animal control he also has family interests in both sawmilling and farming. Rob was also employed by a SWC member company, Port Blakely for three months work experience over the 2017/2018 summer period.

The Scholarship is the seventh that has been awarded to students as part of an annual scholarship programme set up by the Council in 2011. The annual scholarship awarded by the SWC is one of the most prestigious and valuable awarded to forestry students in New Zealand. In any one year, the SWC has up to $13,500 committed to three student scholarships.

“The Annual Scholarship is an opportunity for forestry and wood products companies in the lower South Island to put back something into the industry and to support outstanding students studying towards either the Forestry Science or Forest Engineering courses at the School of Forestry” says SWC Chairman, Grant Dodson.

“The SWC is delighted to award this year’s scholarship to Rob and the industry is keen to continue to support the current scholarship recipients (Logan Robertson, 2017 Scholarship winner and Rhys Black, 2016 Scholarship winner), both in their study – and in their future employment” says Mr Dodson.

The University Scholarship is offered each year by the SWC in addition to running the largest gathering of its type for forestry contractors and those working within the local forestry, wood products and transport industries.

A major industry training and awards evening in May of each year is run with well over 350 attending. This year’s SWC Forest Products Training Awards is being run in conjunction with Competenz, local industry and key suppliers to the forestry industry in Dunedin on Friday 25 May 2018.