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Beyond the Bale : December 2018
As part of the recent Royal Tour of Australia, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visited some drought-stricken sheep farmers, the Woodleys of ‘Mountain View’ near Dubbo. Prince Harry and Meghan learned first-hand what it is like to work in one of Australia’s most iconic industries and be at the mercy of Mother Nature. The Woodleys’ 3,000-hectare farm ‘Mountain View’ has had to de-stock its White Suffolk sheep due to the drought. The 1,400 they were running before the drought is now reduced to 250 stud ewes. The visit to Australian sheep farmers was timed with a letter sent by HRH The Prince of Wales to all Australian woolgrowers, reassuring them during the current dry conditions. The Prince of Wales expressed his sadness at the impact the drought has had on woolgrowers throughout the country. “I cannot begin to imagine the anguish that those of you who have been affected by this climatic tragedy must be facing,” wrote The Prince of Wales. “I wanted you to know that you are very much in my thoughts at this difficult time. On Prince Harry and Meghan’s first royal visit to Australia, they learnt first-hand the harshness of the lives of rural people coping with drought – and their resilience. ROYAL VISIT’S WOOL CONNECTIONS Meghan wearing an Australian Merino wool dress, at an event on 18 October at Government House in Melbourne. The Tambo Teddy that was presented to Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex by the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk. TAMBO TEDDY GIFTED TO ROYAL BABY The Queensland Premier presented Prince Harry and Meghan with a hand- made Tambo Teddy for their first child, when she joined them on their official visit to Fraser Island on 22 October. Tambo Teddies are 100% wool sheepskin teddies, which have recently become Woolmark-certified, crafted in the outback town of Tambo. The inspiration for Tambo Teddies began in 1992: wool prices had crashed, the district was in the grip of a drought and the community of Tambo was challenged to come up with new industry to sustain the economy of the little town. A brainstorming session during a workshop developed the idea that Tambo “Please be assured that my Campaign for Wool will continue to do everything it can to support the Australian wool growing community, not only throughout these difficult times but perhaps more importantly, in the future when the growing conditions return to normal.” The day after the visit to the Woodleys, Meghan stepped out at a Melbourne function in an Australian Merino wool dress, designed by Australian designer Dion Lee. Dion Lee, whose long-standing relationship with AWI dates back to 2012 when he participated in the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, said the classic design was made at The Duchess’s request after seeing another of his designs she admired. The Folded Sail Dress in navy Merino wool is available for pre-order via the designer’s website and will be part of Dion Lee’s Resort 2019 collection. It is crafted from 94% double- weave Merino wool and includes a single lapel fold constructed into the bodice and an A-line asymmetric fold in skirt. MORE INFORMATION www.dionlee.com could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool. Since the first Tambo Teddies were made in 1993, more than 45,500 teddy bears have been sold. Premier Palaszczuk said giving Harry and Meghan a Tambo Teddy was a reminder of the importance of Queensland’s fine wool industry and how much the western parts of Queensland have suffered from years of drought. Tambo Teddies is currently run by Tammy Johnson and Alison Shaw, who say the impact and enthusiasm of the public over the years has been overwhelming, with the business now employing 11 people. “We’re keeping the Royal Tambo Teddies tradition going. Prince George and Princess Charlotte have one, now Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex’s new bub will get one too,” they said. MORE INFORMATION www.tamboteddies.com.au Prince Harry and Meghan visiting sheep producers, the Woodleys, on 17 October in Dubbo, NSW. OFF FARM 37
In the Shops - March 2019