WIA News

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WIA president David Michell, left, with 2020 Australian Wool Industry Medal recipient Richard Halliday, centre, and Geoff Power. Image – Livestock SA.

TWO shearers have been recognised as the latest recipients of the prestigious Australian Wool Industry Medal.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, former left-handed South Australian shearer and WoolProducers Australia president Richard Halliday and Western Australian shearing identity Kevin Gellatly have been presented with their 2020 medals in their home states.

The presentations were planned for Wool Week in August 2020 but due to the COVID lockdowns, Wool Industries Australia was not able to make the presentations.

Five recipients have been chosen to receive the 2020 Australian Wool Industry Medal. The presentations will be made state by state.

The first 2020 medal presentation to Mr Halliday was held in Adelaide last month and Mr Gellatly received his medal in Perth last week.

The medal recognises men and women who have made an exceptional and sustained contribution to the Australian wool industry.

WIA chairman David Michell said unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19 with restrictions in all states and regions, WIA made the decision to cancel the presentation in August.

“It was hoped that we could gather as an industry to celebrate with all the five recipients.

“This hasn’t been the case and the decision was made to recognize the recipients in their home state,” he said.

Mr Michell said it is very timely that we acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of outstanding people such as Richard and Kevin, to this iconic Australian industry.

“2020 was a tough year for all.

“The industry has faced many difficult times over the past three decades and the contributions that people like Richard and Kevin have made has ensured that many in the industry can enjoy and prosper in the future.”

Mr Halliday is a left-handed shearer able to use either blade or machine. He is principal of the Callowie Poll Merino Stud, a respected sheep judge, and served as WoolProducers president from 2014 to 2018. He has also been a director of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australian Wool Testing Authority. As inaugural president of Livestock SA, he had a key role in acquiring funding from the South Australian Government for water infrastructure and wild dog control. He is also active in his regional community as a member of local football and cricket clubs.

Experienced shearer and wool handler trainer honoured

Former Australian Wool Industry Medal winner, Rob Carter, left, and Darren Spencer, right, with 2020 medal recipient Kevin Gellatly. Image – Farmers Weekly.

Mr Gellatly has worked in the wool industry for 50 years. Most of his career has been as a shearer in WA and a shearing contractor/trainer. Kevin worked for Heiniger Australia in a research and development role covering Western Australia, Tasmania and the South Island of New Zealand advocating wool shed improvements, grinding and equipment maintenance. For 24 years, Kevin offered training and employment opportunities for young indigenous men and has served as a shearer and wool handler trainer for 17 years, introducing hundreds of young people into the wool industry. Kevin’s greatest strength is his ability to successfully communicate with all people and improve their self-esteem for which he is respected.

The remaining recipients will be recognized and announced early in 2021. Applications for the 2021 Australian Wool Industry Medal will also open early in 2021.

Wool Industries Australia is the peak body for the Australian wool industry. Members include: Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors, Australian Wool Exchange, AWH Pty Ltd, Australian Wool Innovation, Australian Wool Testing Authority, The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia, and WoolProducers Australia.