HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2019
28 ON FARM ELLIE BIGWOOD Ellie was born and raised on a Merino sheep farm in the Great Southern region of WA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Animal Science and Biological Sciences at Murdoch University. If you had told me during university that my first job could take me to Sydney, Shanghai, Hong Kong and London, I would’ve said “ya dreamin”! Before starting the AWI Graduate Training Program, I knew little about what happened to wool after it left our shed. Now, at the end of the program, my knowledge of the global wool supply chain has dramatically grown from the scientific and farm-focused research and development, to product innovation, manufacturing and understanding the demands of our end customers around the world. While a mixed-farming background and double degree in Animal Science & Biological Sciences may seem very useful for research projects and farm-workshops in Australia, it doesn’t have quite the same effect in a foreign country of 1.3 billion people who don’t speak English as a first language. In Asia, I was well out of my depth – my skillset was irrelevant, I didn’t understand the market and my Mandarin was limited to ‘I want dumplings’. Nevertheless, where I knew the least, I learnt the most. The international rotations in Asia and the UK proved to be the most informative experiences. It’s not until you travel overseas to the mills and key customer markets that you realise just how immense the wool supply chain is and how important it is to market AWI GRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM Two of the graduates in the inaugural AWI Graduate Training Program have now completed the 18-month program. Here they reflect on their time working with AWI along the wool supply chain and we find out what awaits them next in their careers. Ellie Bigwood with AWI Country Manager for China, Jeff Ma, in The Woolmark Company’s booth at the SpinExpo trade show in Shanghai. our fibre. I admit to being disconnected from our end consumers, until working with the AWI Marketing teams in Sydney, Asia and London. At the end of the day, people do not need wool to survive – they can only choose to purchase it. So whether we’re woolgrowers, wool brokers, manufacturers or even retailers, we all need to play our part to ensure wool is the customers’ first choice. “It’s not until you travel overseas to the mills and key customer markets that you realise just how immense the wool supply chain is and how important it is to market our fibre.” Ellie Bigwood As much as I enjoyed working abroad, my favourite part of the program has been on Aussie soil, engaging with students through AWI education programs, and woolgrowers and stakeholders through on-farm workshops and industry field days/events. It’s because of this that I’m itching to commence my next role at AWI as Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator. With the primary focus to communicate directly with woolgrowers and industry bodies, I look forward to engaging on the ground with more of the wool-growing community. It seems that there is truth in the sentiment that ‘once you’re in the wool industry, you stick with it’. I thank AWI and Australian woolgrowers for investing in my education throughout the AWI Graduate Training Program and hope to continue to ride the sheep’s back in this incredible industry for a wee bit longer! ELLIE’S NEXT STEP Ellie will be starting her full-time permanent role in September with our Woolgrower Services team in the capacity of Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator. Throughout her time in the program, Ellie’s enthusiasm and passion for the industry has proven to be infectious and endearing and naturally we want her to spread that across our networks on the ground and through our communication channels. The AWI Graduate Training Program provides successful applicants with a thorough understanding of the wool supply chain – from fibre to fashion. The 18-month program starts each year in March and is based primarily at the AWI office in Sydney, where the graduates gain exposure to many areas of the AWI business from on-farm and off-farm R&D through to marketing. The graduates are also given the opportunity to gain a global exposure to the wool supply chain through two three-month international rotations. The program is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry. The inaugural program began in March 2018. As the journey through the 18-month program comes to an end for two of AWI’s 2018 graduates, here in their own words they reflect on their time in the program.
In the Shops - September 2019