LEADING Australian agvocate Catherine Marriott will head a top speakers’ list at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show’s annual Women of Wool lunch this Friday.
The founder of the Influential Women network will be joined at the lunch by inconic fashipo designer Jenny Kee, and Women of Wool ambassadors, Nan Bray and Sandy McDonald.
Catherine is regarded as representing the next generation of Australian farming and has grown from a family sheep farm background at Benalla in Victoria to gain global agribusiness experience and a senior role in the developing Asian beef industry.
She founded the Influential Women network to link women to create strong, resilient and sustainable rural communities, and now works with governments, political parties and related organisations to ensure the voices of rural Australians are heard.
Nan Bray goes holistic for profits
American-born Women of Wool ambassador, Nan Bray, is exploring alternatives to traditional farming with her White Gum fine wool operation in Tasmania.
Her natural, holistic approach to animal husbandry and pasture management has led to her halving her flock’s size, greatly reduce the need for stock treatments and at the same time, dramatically increasing wool production. Her three-tonne clip is manufactured into luxurious yarn in New Zealand before being sent back to her in Tasmania.
Sandy founds a global craft ‘juggernaut’
Women of Wool Ambassador, Sandy McDonald, has mobilised a craft army worldwide in order to improve young lives. When her aunt visited from South Africa, she outlined the importance of keeping thousands of babies and children – abandoned and living on the streets – warm.
Sandy employed that age-old tradition of knitting squares for blankets and a simple online campaign has turned it into a global craft “juggernaut”. Knit A Square (KAS), links knitters in 55 countries, now requires a massive logistics exercise and the appointment of a management board. More than 1000 schools have adopted the project, along with aged care facilities and urban, regional and rural craft groups.
Jenny Kee’s Merino capsule get first airing
The Women of Wool lunch will be capped off with the first public viewing of iconic designer, Jenny Kee’s new capsule collection. Her new limited edition Australian Merino wool capsule collection in collaboration with The Woolmark Company was developed using the most contemporary production techniques.