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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
Gary Robinson, formerly of CSIRO, teaching students at the International Wool Education Centre at Yantai-Nanshan University in Nanshan, China. AWI continues to foster the education and development of tertiary textile and fashion students -- inspiring them in the early stage of their careers about the properties and benefits of Merino wool, and encouraging them to continue to use the fibre in their designs as they progress through their professional lives. The International Wool Education Centre (I-WEC) was established in October 2014 by AWI in cooperation with Yantai-Nanshan University and one of China's leadings wool textile enterprises The Nanshan Group. The courses being run at the I-WEC highlight AWI's commitment and dedication to ensuring that technical education remains readily available in a market as important as China. The collaboration between Nanshan and AWI helps drive the expansion of the Chinese wool textile industry. Examples of educational initiatives under way at the moment include a series of lectures on worsted topmaking and spinning being delivered by Gary Robinson (formerly of CSIRO) to third year textile engineering students as well as technicians from the local AWI's Naturally Inspiring seminars extended their reach this year, travelling to Perth for the first time as Curtin University and Perth TAFE students were educated on the versatility of Merino wool. Speakers included International Woolmark Prize global finalist Lukas Vincent of fashion label Ex Infinitas, and sourcing expert Natalie Skubel. "The seminar was very interesting," said Perth TAFE student Catherine Kelly who is studying a Diploma of Fashion. "I discovered so many new techniques and I also liked how they discussed where you would buy and source your wool -- that was really helpful." More recently, students from NSW attended a Naturally Inspiring seminar in Sydney. topmaking plant. Mr Robinson also confers with wool processors on current issues and opportunities for process improvement in worsted topmaking and spinning. "The realignment of wool manufacturing operations in global regions over the past decade and its shift to Asia, has highlighted the need for investment in tertiary education of design and textile engineering students. This is to ensure a future generation of wool experts and specialists to support the wool industry," explained Julie Davies, AWI General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension, Trade Education. "To fill this void and address both current and future needs, AWI and Nanshan agreed to closely collaborate in the creation of the International Wool Education Centre almost AWI continues to educate university students about wool manufacturing, at the International Wool Education Centre that was established in 2014 in China. Since 2014, AWI has hosted Naturally Inspiring seminars for tertiary textiles and design students across the world. The seminars not only offer students the chance to learn about wool and the variety of ways to work with the fibre, but also give students a rare insight into the fashion and retail industry from those in the know. INTERNATIONAL WOOL EDUCATION CENTRE NATURALLY INSPIRING GOES WEST EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS three years ago. The centre now runs a whole series of courses, up to degree level, covering most aspects or sectors of wool manufacturing supply chain." The I-WEC complements the Wool Development Centre which was also set up at Nanshan in 2013 with co-funding from AWI. The Woolmark wool education program in China now involves five universities, including those in Xian, Wuhan and Beijing. The program utilises the considerable talents and expertise of consultants such as Gary Robinson (CSIRO) and Dr Jock Christoe (CSIRO), as well as that of staff from AWI and Deakin University. 28 OFF FARM