Industry News

Celebrating wool broking history


Joely Mitchell

6 Dec 2017, 9:30 a.m.

Stock & Land

A DISPLAY has been opened up at the Melbourne Wool Selling Centre to celebrate the history of wool broking in Australia.

PHOTOS: Wool broking history display



















The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia (NCWSBA) organised the inaugural display, in the lead up to its 100-year anniversary in 2019.

The theme of the display is ‘Selling the Clip – Preparing for Sale’, and has material showing the developments in wool preparation and presentation for auction in the industry’s 100-year history 

NCWSBA president John Colley said wool broking companies have been vital in the wool industry’s history, and its contribution to the Australian economy.

“The board of NCWSBA wished to present and explain the historical significance of wool broking in Australia, its role in the Australian wool industry, and developments in the industry overtime,” Mr Colley said.

“We also wanted to preserve the rich historical material that is held by our member companies.”

Stephen Keys




















The display is a part of a project that NCWSBA began in 2013, to identify and preserve the wealth of historical material held by wool broking companies.

The NCWSBA plans to recreate the current display in Sydney, NSW, and Fremantle, WA, and develop new display themes presenting different aspects of the Australian wool broking industry.

“Future displays will exhibit material that tells stories related to, and that are, associated with the history and the characters involved in selling wool in Australia,” he said.

He said it is important to preserve this historical material.

“Historical material about the Australian wool broking industry has been and will continue to be lost without a concentrated effort to conserve what is left, and we are taking steps to preserve this material,” he said.

Landmark south-east wool manager and NCWSBA board member Stephen Keys said the display, which is open to the public in the cafeteria area, has captured unique moments in the wool brokerage history.

“The current display, which will be the first of many, covers everything from the start of the early 1900s, through the war period, and particularly when woolgrowers were paid by the government to have their woolclip used for uniforms,” Mr Keys said.

“This is the initial display, and we will be changing it on a three-month basis, with new displays in each of the three locations.”

He said a big driving force behind the display has been NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox.

“The display has been well-supported by all wool broking companies,” he said.

The display at the Melbourne Wool Selling Centre.