Canberra student’s Olympic equestrian design wins AWI’s 2016 Wool4School competiton

Terry Sim, September 2, 2016
Radford College student Annie Liao's winning Wool4School design.

Radford College student Annie Liao’s winning Wool4School design.

YOUNG Canberra school girl and animal lover Annie Liao has won the right to have her unique equestrian uniform design made into a garment after winning Australian Wool Innovation’s 2016 Wool4School competition.

The Year 10 Radford College’s Olympic equestrian outfit design ‘Quest for Adventure’ was the top entry in the competition which combined wool, fashion and sport to attract a record 12,000 registrations from Australia’s secondary school students.

The 15-year-old Year 10 section winner said she likes wearing wool and chose her equestrian theme because of her love of animals. She will share prizes worth $10,000 with the other state and year level winners, and her design will be made into a garment by leading Australian designer Jonathan Ward.

“I was really surprised because I didn’t think I would win the competition.

“I entered last year and I was a finalist, so I was interested to see what would happen,” Annie said.

Although she doesn’t have a horse, Annie’s pets include some goldfish and three chickens Blackie, Nugget and Golden.

“Design is something I am really interested in for university.”

Winning student understands how wool can work

Annie Liao with her winning Wool4School  entry.

Annie Liao with her winning Wool4School entry.

Wool4school judge, teacher Katrina Wheaton said the overall presentation of Annie’s entry was excellent.

“Her mood board strongly reflected the Aussie team spirit as well as the mood and elegance of her chosen sport.

“Her final outfit echoed the inspiration shown in her mood board,” Ms Wheaton said.

“She demonstrated a fresh and fluid fashion illustration style and her designs were clearly annotated, highlighting just the key aspects without ‘over’ annotating.

“Annie’s Wool4School entry was well-conceived with each aspect of the criteria met to a very high standard,” she said.

“She clearly understands how wool can work within many designs.”

The Wool4School competition is in its sixth year and is linked to the National Curriculum Food and Fibre component. It invites students to think about the versatility of various wool fabrics as part of a creative design of their own. This year’s theme was ‘dress your favourite sports team’ and offered students a chance to be part of the global trend of combining sport and leisure.

Winner of the Teacher Prize in 2016, Claire Ward said when incorporating the Wool4School competition into her teaching, she found the experience encouraged students to explore the properties of Merino wool.

“This fostered natural links with a variety of curriculum areas and aspects of their daily life.

“The competition criteria and resources appealed to students’ creativity, sense of fun and fashion design, to make the entire experience fulfilling,” she said.

With an extensive resource library and free samples of both knitted and woven fabric for the classroom provided by AWI, students dressed athletes from all types of sports and for many different occasions in the competition.

While participating students do not have to make their designs, students illustrate and carefully describe the textiles used in their work. State and year level winning students and teachers share in the $10,000 worth of prizes, with the overall year 10 winner

Wool4School part of expanded AWI education program

Australian Wool Innovation Group Manager of Education and Extension Julie Davies said Wool4School was an important part of an expanded education program at AWI.

“We have an education offering to develop not only the next woolgrowers, textile experts and fashion designers but the next generation of consumers as well.

“It was very pleasing to see the 2016 winners coming from right across Australia, with both government and independent schools well represented, highlighting the wide attraction of the competition,” she said.

AWI said Wool4School also continued to make a strong impression in Hong Kong, where students are undertaking a modified version of the competition. AWI planned to launch Wool4School in the United Kingdom next year.

2016 Wool4School winners with links to designs

Year 7 winner – Lana Harris, WA, Cornerstone Christian College; runner-up – Jamie Grieve, NSW, Sydney Girls High School. Year 8    winner – Natasha Banks, WA, Belridge Secondary College; runner-up –  Emily Cardwell, Victoria, Numurkah Secondary College. Year 9 winner, Bianca Armstrong, ACT, Canberra Girls Grammar School; runners-up – Holly Ferre, Victoria, Avila College, and Cindy Kieu, SA, St Dominics Priory School. Year 10 winner, Annie Liao, ACT, Radford College; runner-up – Ellena Peach, NSW, Redlands. Year 11 winner – Chanelle Davenport, QLD, Innisfail State College; runner-up – Nelson Levers, NSW, Redlands. Teacher winner – Claire Ward, SA, St Dominic’s Priory College.

A complete list of winners, including state winners, can be seen at

Source: AWI.


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