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Beyond the Bale : December 2017
Whitehouse Institute of Design. Institute founder Leanne Whitehouse said it was an honour for the Institute to partner with AWI and contribute to the advancement of design in Australia through Wool4School. “Chanelle’s knowledge of Merino wool and her use of Merino innovations in her on-stage design for Kylie Minogue not only demonstrates a strong focus on trend, but she also shows a powerful sense of fashion, combining a measured balance of proportion, texture and colour,” said Ms Whitehouse. “I would also like to extend congratulations to the runner- up Isabella Miller, and highly commend all 2017 Wool4School applicants for the high standard of their very creative entries.” Now in its seventh year, AWI’s Wool4School competition invited students to design an onstage outfit, made from at least 80% Australian Merino wool, for their favourite musician. With more than 13,000 registrations and almost 1,000 final entries, this year’s competition was clearly a hit. While participating students do not have to make their designs, the students illustrate and carefully describe the textiles used in their work. To assist them – and to educate them about wool – the students are provided with access to an extensive wool resource library and free samples of both knitted and woven wool fabric in the classroom. The Year 10 winner, Alice Wang from St George’s High School in NSW will see her design for Australian singer-songwriter Sia become reality with leading Australian designer Jonathan Ward making the garment. Alice described Wool4School as an “eye- opening experience” and was amazed at the versatility of Merino wool. Year 12 winner Chanelle Davenport from Innisfail State College in Queensland has won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, SIA and Taylor Swift were among the many superstars that Australian school students designed for as part of this year’s Wool4School competition. A small school in Boorowa, NSW, is changing the way city students learn about agriculture, with the Year 6 students taking the lead and showcasing life on the land. STUDENT DESIGNERS HIT RIGHT NOTE WITH WOOL4SCHOOL FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW Each year, Year 10 agriculture students from PLC Pymble in Sydney travel to the NSW wool-growing town of Boorowa to further their knowledge of rural enterprises. Known as the Boorowa Educational Excursion Program, it aims to help bridge the gap between city and country students. It’s not too often that Year 6 students become the teachers, or that the gap between city and country school students in bridged. Yet that’s exactly what a school in Boorowa, NSW, has been doing for the past 17 years. The Boorowa Educational Excursion Program (BEEP) was initiated in the year 2000 at St Joseph’s Primary School, to foster an awareness and appreciation of local wool and rural enterprises and extend that knowledge to students from city schools. During a three-day excursion, the Year 6 students meet with woolgrowers and other local farmers to learn about on-farm and agricultural issues. “There is so much to find out in a rural area and so many generous people to help answer the questions,” explains BEEP founder and St Joseph’s school teacher Nicky Merriman. “Everyone has a vested interest, it seems, in sharing real knowledge in a real environment to young people in their community. “In Boorowa, more than 30 farmers, graziers, business owners and NGOs each donate about an hour of their time to meet the students on farm, answer questions, show their sheep, examine a fleece, compare plant roots, checkout grapevines, watch cattle being weighed or feel the latest Merino wool fabrics destined for export. Even just being in the bush listening and learning about the role of birds is included in the program.” Each student then selects a topic of interest to them and continues their studies to put together individual presentations. Later in the year, the younger students become the teachers, explaining what they have learned to their city peers who have travelled to Boorowa. During the past 17 years a number of city schools have taken part in the BEEP program, with Year 10 agricultural students from PLC Pymble, Sydney, visiting each year for the past 10 years. 30 OFF FARM