Bruce clocks up a half ton on the job

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Bruce Ward has reached his 50th year working for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Camera IconBruce Ward has reached his 50th year working for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Manjimup man Bruce Ward recently celebrated his 50th anniversary with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, having started on May 11, 1970.

Since 1981, Mr Ward has contributed to 83 departmental research publications which have been published in a number of journals, including the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

During his tenure at the department, Mr Ward has collaborated with international scientists, including Professor Thomas Bragg from the University of Nebraska.

Some of the projects he has worked on include tree improvement trials, monitoring woodchip harvesting impacts, aerial mammal tracking and fire research.

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Mr Ward’s personal work highlight was taking part in camel surveying, which allowed him to see remote parts of Western Australia, flying at low height in a small aircraft.

During his time at the department, he has seen several name changes, but he said the biggest changes had been in the technology available.

“When I started there was no such things as electronic calculators, computers, a GPS or mobile phones,” he said

“The first calculator was huge and could only add, multiply and divide.”

Principal research scientist Dr Lachie McCaw paid tribute to Mr Ward and the skills he brought to the job.

“Bruce is highly adaptable, he can turn his hand to so many different aspects of the job,” he said.

“Whether it’s changing split rim tyres on a four-wheel-drive, or doing vegetation surveys, entering the data, doing the statistical analysis, he’s incredibly adaptable.

“He’s a very reliable person, if he says he’s going to do something, you know it will be done and done to a good standard.”

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