Australian wool joins the fight against Motor Neurone Disease

Sheep Central June 2, 2023

Dunkeld wool growers Trevor Mibus, his daughter, Rachel Mibus, and friend at Glenara Superfine with one of the new wool scarves. Image – AWI.

AUSTRALIAN wool growers have joined the fight against the life-crippling Motor Neurone Disease with the sale of the first ever pure Merino FightMND scarves.

Australian Wool Innovation is teaming up with the FightMND charity and its Big Freeze 9 event on 12 June King’s Birthday public holiday when AFL teams Collingwood and Melbourne clash at the MCG.

The iconic symbol of the FightMND army, the infamous Big Freeze beanie, is made with acrylic, but this year AWI has organised the event’s first pure wool scarf to raise funds for the charity.

The annual Big Freeze event involves football teams paying to dunk their coach plus one other nominated person in a tank of icy water on 12 June, to raise funds to fight the disease in support of famous AFL footballer and MND sufferer, Neale Daniher, who comes from a wool-growing family at Ungarie in New South Wales.

Neale Daniher’s brother Chris is pleased with the new FightMND wool scarves. Image – AWI.

FightMND funds research into finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for Motor Neurone Disease and was co-founded by Daniher. He and brothers – Terry, Anthony and Chris all played together with the Essendon Football Club.

Neale Daniher had a stellar career spanning 305 games as a player and a coach. In 2013, he was regrettably diagnosed with MND.

MND robs sufferers of their ability to walk, talk, swallow and ultimately breath. MND was hardly known, until Neale chose to fight the disease. So far, FightMND has committed $69.3 million for research and clinical trials.

AWI said with Neale as the co-founder of the FightMND charity, it’s therefore a touching tribute that Australian wool has been used to manufacture Big Freeze scarves, with all proceeds going to FightMND.

FightMND chief executive officer Dr Fiona McIntosh expressed her sincere gratitude for the wool industry’s contribution to help create the first-ever Big Freeze 9 scarf.

“The scarf is a wonderful addition to the Big Freeze campaign,” she said.

“FightMND’s slogan is ‘It Takes People’.

“It takes people like Australian wool farmers to help ensure that no-one has to suffer from this cruel disease,” Dr McIntosh said.

“Thank you for being ‘all in’ with us for Big Freeze 9.”

AWI CEO John Roberts said FightMND is an important and extremely well-regarded charity to support.

“Wool growers told us they wanted to help fund raise for FightMND and AWI is proud to play a small role in making this great fundraising initiative happen.

“I know ‘It Takes People’ to FightMND it now also takes Australian wool and we look forward to working with FightMND for many years to come.”

The limited edition 100% Australian Merino wool scarf – made in Australia, retail at $70, with all proceeds going to FightMND and are available for purchase at


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