Vic is a first generation Australian, born of Lithuanian Australian parents. His mother was deported to a forced labour camp after Hitler’s invasion of Lithuania in 1941, and his father escaped Stalin’s invasion in 1944. After the war, they were each recruited by Australian immigration officials in occupied Germany, and eventually met and married in Sydney. Vytautas was employed on the Snowy Scheme, and Vic was born in Cooma in 1955. He lived his first few years at Eaglehawk Neck, in the construction camp for what is now known as Eucumbene Dam. He gained a Degree as Bachelor of Science (Forestry) from ANU and was awarded the (British) Commonwealth Forestry Book Prize for academic achievement.
After graduation, Vic worked for NSW Forestry Commission as a labourer in forestry camps at Jenolan and Sunny Corner before being appointed as a professional forester in 1978. He worked in all types of native forests and woodlands at Casino, Murwillimbah, Urbenville and Cobar and was an active member of bushfire brigades, before being transferred to Eden as Officer in Charge of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Research Centre, where he led a program of ecological research. The Centre covered all research activities in coastal and highlands forests south of Sydney. From 1997 until 2002, he was employed as the Forestry Commission’s Regional Planning Manager at Eden, before being appointed as Silviculturist for the Commission’s Native Forest Division, responsible for forest management across the State.
In 2004, Vic was awarded a Fellowship by the Joseph William Gottstein Memorial Trust, to investigate eucalypt decline across Australia. In 2006, he received an award from Australian Academy of Science, to extend these investigations more widely. He produced many reports and recommendations including a major review paper that has been widely cited in the international scientific literature. Vic has published many other papers in scientific journals, presented papers as a representative of NSW Forestry Commission at several international conferences in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, and co-authored papers to other international conferences. He has given independent evidence at three parliamentary inquiries into land and fire management. Since retiring from the Forestry Commission in 2012, Vic continues to publish scientific articles and present papers at international conferences.
His first book – Firesick Ecology was published in 2015 and received favorable reviews in two international scientific journals. There were no negative reviews because the academic purveyors of conventional wisdom prefer not to draw attention to Vic’s work. Vic is currently working on his second book – Siberia to Eden: a family world history. He is a member of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and the Royal Australian Historical Society. Vic has a passionate desire to reinstate pragmatic, scientific land management in Australia, combining traditional knowledge and modern science.
Here is a link to an interview on Radio National Breakfast with Fran Kelly