LEADERS from Australia’s wool grower, testing and broking spheres were honoured during the Wool Industries Australia’s annual celebrations in Melbourne last week.
At the WIA Wool Week dinner on Thursday, Australian Wool Industry Medals were awarded to former Australian Wool Testing Authority chairman Donald McGauchie, WoolProducers Australia chief executive officer Jo Hall, New South Wales broker Marty Moses, and retired Elders showfloor and district wool manager Mal Nicholls.
WoolProducers vice president Stacey Lugsdin said she admired that Ms Hall has worked her way up through the industry from shed hand to CEO, clearly showing her passion and commitment to the wool industry.
Ms Lugsdin said Ms Hall is passionate about the wool industry and has always ensured strong representation for grassroots growers. In pursuit of establishing industry development pathways for young professionals Ms Hall secured government funding for the Leadership in Agriculture (Raising the Baa) program that provided opportunities for emerging industry leaders to undertake professional development by attending the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and be mentored to attend WPA board and committee meetings.
WoolProducers president, Steve Harrison said Jo’s passion, commitment and dedication to the industry made her a worthy recipient of the award.
“She always represents the best interests of wool growers across a range of variable and challenging issues and applies herself well beyond the expectations and requirements of her role.”
During her time as WoolProducers CEO, Ms Hall has directed WPA efforts beyond direct grower advocacy to issues and initiatives spanning the entire wool supply chain, including diversification of wool processing, development of the Trust in Australian Wool and campaign, and being a founding force of the Sheep Sustainability Framework.
“Jo is, without doubt, a major contributor to the success of the Australian wool industry.
“The work that she undertaken on behalf of growers (and by extension the entire industry) often goes unrecognised and can, at times, be averse to the desires of some elements of industry – though Jo always maintains long-term holistic industry benefit as a fundamental focus – this is clear to no-one more than the WPA board”, Mr Harrison said.
WoolProducers congratulated all the 2023 Australian Wool Industry Medal recipients as being “worthy recipients as contributors to the prosperity of the most sustainable fibre in the world.”
Retired AWTA Ltd chairman honoured
Mr McGauchie last year retired as chairman of AWTA Ltd and as a GrainCorp director. He served as president of the National Farmers Federation from 1994 to 1998 and held executive roles with Woolstock Australia Ltd, Telstra, the Victorian Rural Finance Corporation and sat on the boards of the Reserve Bank, the Ridley Corporation, National Foods, James Hardie Industries NV and Nufarm Limited.
Mr McGauchie is currently chairman of the Australian Agricultural Company Ltd, a non-executive director of Special Olympics Australia and special skills external director at Nuffield Australia.
In 2001, he was named the Rabobank Agribusiness Leader of the Year and later awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Australian society through agriculture and business. Mr McGauchie was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to agricultural industries in 2004.
Malcolm Nicholls – a wool marketing and breeding force
Elders national manager – wool operations, Simon Hogan said he has been fortunate to work with Malcolm Nicholls for about 30 years, including as his direct manager for several years.
He said Mr Nicholls is currently on long service leave. He will reach his 30 years of service in late June when he officially retires from Elders and will be sorely missed.
Mr Hogan said he has always been a respected, passionate and a popular employee who epitomises the One Elders values.
“His career has been built on forming strong relationships with both clients and colleagues, this I believe is why he has been so successful.
“He goes out of his way to mentor young staff and shares information and knowledge whenever he can, our younger staff have benefited thanks to Mal’s guidance,” Mr Hogan said.
Mr Nicholls commenced auctioneering at 60, when Elders was short of auctioneers.
“I can’t recall any other broker commencing auctioneering at an age when many are considering retirement, he stepped out of his comfort zone to help the team,” Mr Hogan said.
Mr Hogan said Mr Nicholls promotes Gippsland’s Merino sheep at every opportunity and is passionate about sheep breeding and genetics. He has spent more than 50 years in the industry in a number of roles, including wool grower, shearer, wool classer, shearing and mulesing contractor, wool valuer, district wool manager, branch manager, wool auctioneer and show floor manager.
Mr Nicholls’ achievements include life member of Gippsland Sheep Breeders; secretary/treasurer of Gippsland Stud Breeders for about 25 years, mentor of three winners of the NCWSBA Broker of the year award, Gippsland Ram Sale organiser for 30 years and his Helimed Charity Auction involvement.
Marty Moses – more than a wool marketer
Mr Moses is managing director of the progressive wool marketing business Moses & Son that has been providing regional wool producers with wool marketing and quality handling services since 1920. Mr Moses has also led the business into fostering many sheep breeding and management developments that extend beyond wool marketing.
In 2010, Moses & Son established Bluechip Livestock to help growers make informed marketing decisions based on sound and objective data. In October 2011, Mr Moses became a founding member and director of the research and development body MerinoLink Limited.
Moses & Son and Bluechip Livestock purchased a grazing farm near Temora in 2014 that has hosted a number of important Merino breeding research initiatives encompassing genomic validation sire evaluation, lifetime ewe productivity and electronic identification trials. In 2015, Moses and Son introduced a precision sheep management service, aimed at making precision sheep management easier, more efficient and produce accurate data for producers.
Mr Moses is the fourth generation family member to manage Moses and Son, becoming managing director in 1993. His most notable work in the wool industry and community includes as director of the Inland Wool Brokers Association, Yennora Wool Brokers, and director representing Brokers on the board of the Australian Wool Exchange Limited. In more recent years, Marty has developed a passion for sheep and genetics. He is the current chairman of a local charity, TAPIN, supporting people within the community who suffer from chronic illness’.