WIA News

Australian Wool Industry Medals awarded for 2021

Six people have been presented with the Australian Wool Industry Medal at separate events held across the country.

The medal, awarded by Wool Industries Australia, was presented to three recipients for 2021, along with three 2020 recipients who did not receive their medal in 2020.

Mr Dyson established wool marketing company Dyson Wools in 1979 along with his brother Terry and reamained managing director up to his retirement in 2005.


He was chairman of the Western Australian Sector of the Private Treaty Wool Merchants of Australia and later the National body of the Private Treaty Wool Merchants.

Australian Wool Industry Medal recipient Ken Stock with WIA deputy chairman Michael Jackson.

Mr Stock has been an exporter for more than 50 years and currently runs his own business Stockwool, trading scoured and carbonised wool.

He is a chairman of the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation, which supports rural families in need.

Australian Wool Industry Medal 2021 Recipient John Lewis with WIA deputy chairman Michael Jackson.

Mr Lewis John has been involved in many parts of the wool industry pipeline, including as Divisional Manager, AWTA Ltd Product Testing and managing director at Macquarie Textiles.

He has also been president of the Australian Wool Processors Council and chairman of the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations, now WIA.

The 2020 recipients presented with their medals were Andrew Blanch and John Gray, both from NSW, and Victorian Robert Couchman.

Australian Wool Industry Medal 2020 recipients Andrew Blanch (NSW) (left) and John Gray (NSW) (third from left) with Marion Gray and previous 2017 Medal recipient Robert Ryan.  

Mr Blanch is a a passionate advocate for the superfine Merino industry and has worked on numerous industry committees.

He has served as a director of AWEX, on the executive committee of Australian Council of Wool Exporters & Processors, chaired the FAWO Industry Compliance Working Group and is the principal architect of SustainaWOOL.

Mr Gray has served the wool and sheep industries as a broker for more than 50 years.

Australian Wool Industry Medal 2020 recipient Robert Couchman with WIA deputy chairman Michael Jackson.

Mr Couchman began his career in the wool industry in 1962 as a wool classer and was appointed as the Australian Wool Corporation's National Controller, Fibre Specification, to advance the use of additional measurement throughout Australia after completing his Masters and research on metrology.

His passion and knowledge in metrology led Robert to be a significant contributor to international research and has been on numerous commitees.

WIA chairman David Michell congratulated the winners and thanked them for their contribution to the Australian wool industry.

"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," he said.

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

"This hasn't been the case and the decision was made to recognize the recipients in their home state".

"The industry has faced many difficult times over the past 3 decades and the contributions that people like our recipients today have made has ensured that many in the industry can enjoy and prosper in the future," he said.

Applications for the 2022 Australian Wool Industry Medal will open early in the new year.