Buyers support Gippsland charity wool auction to reach milestone

Terry Sim, January 23, 2023

There was a big turnout for the Elders Gippsland Helimed charity wool auction in Melbourne last week.

SUPPORT from Melbourne wool buyers has pushed the value of Gippsland wool donated for Victoria’s Helimed in the last eight years to more than $100,000.

The Dyson Group bussed about 30 people to the National Wool Selling Centre in Melbourne last Thursday to see the milestone achieved with bales made with fleeces from the Omeo Show.

The buyers of the donated Gippsland wool, Modiano’s Lou Morsch, left, and Endeavour Wool Exports’ Mark Fayle, far right, with Elders district wool managers Mal Nicholls and Madi Gallagher.

Spurred on by other buyers, Modiano buyer Lou Borsch paid 5600c/kg for the first 17.6 micron bale and Endeavour Wool Exports’ buyer Mark Fayle paid 4000c/kg for the second 18.3 micron bale for a total of $15,736, to help push the total Helimed donations to more than $101,000 — $101,715.50 from the last eight charity sales. The Stratford Lions Club also recently donated $2000to the Helimed cause.

“So that’s a huge milestone for us to reach that level and it all goes directly to Helimed for helicopter services for Gippsland and all of Victoria,” Elders district wool manager Madi Gallagher said.

“It was a huge achievement and more than we could have expected; it’s great to be able to have a result like that.”

She said $85,979.50 had been raised up to last week’s auction, and Thursday’s result continued the tremendous trade support given to Helimed charity auctions by buyers over the past eight years.

Elders district wool manager Mal Nicholls said the donated Merino wool classed out evenly, despite the number of growers that donated wool.

“Our Gippsland wool is very even across the board and a lot of it is Pendarra blood.”

Pendarra Poll Merino and Merino Stud principal Kelvin Pendergast estimated half the donated wool in the bales could have come from Pendarra blood sheep, including his winning fleeces from the show.

“It is is a tremendous idea and cause, because we rely on Helimed as we are so remote.”

He said his brother in law and niece from the Smith family at Omeo have all used Helimed.

Mr Nicholls said Dysons donated the bus and drivers’ time and with Ms Gallagher’s efforts, he estimated Elders had put in about 80 hours of work to organise the auction and bus trip.

The Davidsons are grateful for Helimed

At the Gippsland wool auction were, from left, Omeo Show chief wool steward Belinda Smith, Scott Davidson, Will Davidson, Garry Davidson and Noeleen Smith.

Also at the auction were Will Davidson, 12, with his father Scott Davidson and grandfather Garry Davidson. Will was flown to hospital by Helimed after receiving serious internal injuries in an ATV accident as a three year-old.

Garry Davidson said he has been donating wool for the charity sale since its inception.

“It is hugely important, he wouldn’t be alive if the helicopter hadn’t been available.

“It’s been tremendous – Belinda Smith (classer and Omeo Show chief wool steward) classes our wool and I just tell her to pick out whatever she wants.”

Scott Davidson said the Helimed saved his son’s life.

“If they had picked him up with an ambulance and taken him to Bairnsdale for assessment it would have been too late.

“Now he’s going to grow taller than all of us.”

The Elders Helimed auction live with Madi Gallagher


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