Dale Green – Hangs Up His Boots

37 years ago, on the 10th October 1979, Dale Green commenced his career with Hyne Timber. 

Prior to this, Dale was a Tasmanian, working in the timber industry since the age of 14 alongside most of his family. He saw an advertisement for a vacancy at Hyne Timber’s hardwood mill in Maryborough and with the full support of his wife, whose family are Queenslanders, they made the move north.

Dale recalls one of the first conversations of his first day; “being baled up by the union rep to get my union ticket before I was allowed to start work”.

Dale worked on the ‘Gibson bench’ in charge of heading in the logs before being trained to use the bandsaw and its ‘steam powered shotgun’, a process originally designed for launching aircraft. 

Managers Russell Smith and Wayne Hays were key influencers for Dale during these early years although he speaks very highly of the “great bunch of blokes” he got to work alongside every day as part of a great team.

He also fondly recalls Lambert Hyne, the Managing Director at the time who would arrive at the site in his large, white safari style hat. Racing out of the mill to go home for lunch one day, Lambert told him to, “slow down there sonny”.

Dale also helped to train James and Peter Hyne during their respective cadetships at the Hardwood Mill.

As with most careers, there is usually a low point. For Dale, this was losing the debate to responsibly log Fraser Island. As part of a well-intentioned team, he worked hard, meeting with officials in Brisbane and on Fraser Island to ensure the facts were being presented. Ultimately, the sustainable logging of Fraser Island ceased resulting in the sale of the Hardwood mill to the Government and redundancy of a large number of its employees including Dale.

Two years later, he won a position with Hyne Timber at the Glulam plant located in Maryborough’s industrial area. 

He has worked there ever since, as a hard working, valued employee and progressing to the role of ‘Leading Hand’.

Significant improvements in safety, focus on safety and in fact, an entire culture shift regarding safety is one of the main areas of change Dale has seen and been a part of over the years. From when he once dealt with a young colleague losing his life, crushed between packs of timber to the workplace safety requirements of today, it’s a completely different environment.

Dale left agricultural school in Tasmania at the age of 13 to commence paid employment. In recent years, he has been back on the pen and paper as part of Hyne Timber’s company-wide ‘Business Excellence’ initiative. Graduating in 2015 with his Certificate III in Competitive Systems and Practices, he claims the training schedule was a personal challenge but one he succeeded in and is benefiting from the learning’s,

“The system allows for us all to make improvement ideas and actually get them done. We have had many improvements, especially safety improvements since we brought in Business Excellence.”

Dale’s work at Glulam has provided him with opportunities to be involved in some interesting projects such as the timber bridge innovation and the Dorrigo Medical Centre curved beams which he describes as “fascinating”.

He speaks very highly of his current Manager, Mark Sawtell who also supported him through his battle with 9/10 prostate cancer saying, “He is one of the best bosses I’ve ever worked for. A very well respected guy. 110 out of 100”.

In his spare time, Dale is a volunteer with the Boonooroo Coast Guard, proudly sponsored by Hyne Timber. He is now the Deputy Commander and Leading Hand Coxswain on call 24/7. He intends to spend more time at the Coast Guard into his retirement.

Also keeping him busy, he has five children, 18 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and another great grandchild on the way. 

37 years ago, Dale commenced with Hyne Timber. As he enters retirement Dale says, “To be honest, I’ve worked hard all my life and I don’t want to do hard labour ever again!”

So when asked how he is going to relax on his first day of retirement, he laughed and said, “Oh no, I’ve got a whole house to paint, inside and out!”