WIA News

Recognising wool industry’s finest

Joely Mitchell//www.twitter.com/@joelyjournalist"@joelyjournalist

Stock & Land

20 Feb 2018, 9:43 a.m.

NOMINATIONS are now open for the 2018 Australian Wool Industry Medal, which recognises those who have made an exceptional and sustained contribution to the Australian wool industry.


MEDAL RECIPIENT: Retired wool broker Athol Frederick was one of 11 recipients of the inaugural Australian Wool Industry Medal last year, which recognises those who have made a contribution to the inudstry.

Only in its second year, the medal is open to all men and women who have worked in or represented the Australian wool industry, in producing, shearing, classing, testing, brokering, reporting, exporting, education, science, and more.

Federation of Australian Wool Organisations secretary Bianca Heaney said the medal is about recognising those that might often go unnoticed.

“It’s the quiet achievers that we’re looking for, those that have helped the community or other people in the industry, who might not have been recognised before,” Ms Heaney said.

“It’s not just about winning medals and recognition, it’s about showcasing those that have truly made a difference in the industry.”

At last year’s inaugural medal ceremony, 11 men and women from all throughout Australia were rewarded for their efforts; one of those being renowned wool broker Athol Frederick.

Mr Frederick was recognised for his extensive career and influence as a wool broker of over 50 years, and his strong role as an advocate for community innovation and initiatives, including developing grower workshops.

Mr Frederick said he hopes the medal raises awareness of agriculture, and encourages young people into the wool industry.

“They’re the future leaders of the wool industry, and I believe for any organisation to be successful, you need a balance of fresh, young people, and older, experienced people,” Mr Frederick said.

He said nobody works a job for “medals and recognition”, but it was nice to be nominated.

“It was completely unexpected, and a complete surprise, but it was nice to be rewarded for the effort I put into the industry,” he said.

He said it’s a very complex and unique industry, but one that he’s incredibly passionate about, and grateful to be involved in.

“If you go back to 1991, that was when the wool industry was in a huge crisis, a lot of people’s incomes got nearly cut in half overnight, and many wool representatives found themselves becoming un-qualified counsellors,” he said.

“We didn’t have much to offer, we couldn’t change the market, but we could support them through it.”

Nominations close on May 1, 2018, with the ceremony to be held on August 23, 2018, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), in Melbourne.

Nomination forms are available at the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations’ website.