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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
Ambassadors and High Commissioners from 75 countries around the world have a better understanding of Australian wool, after attending a rural function hosted in March by the Governor-General Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC. 'Touch of Australia -- a visit to an Australia rural working property' was held for the Canberra Diplomatic Heads of Mission at the property of adventurer and philanthropist Dick Smith, near Gundaroo in NSW. The function included a shearing demonstration, a wool display organised by AWI, some Merinos displayed by Charlie Merriman and a working dog demonstration. The Governor-General has great affection for Australian wool and the people who produce it, having spent so much time in the wool industry as a young girl -- her father was the manager of the wool scour at Ilfracombe in Queensland. She was delighted to be back in a woolshed again smelling the lanolin, and particularly enjoyed examining some of the fine wool Merinos and getting her hands into a 13 micron fleece. The guests included Ambassadors and High Commissioners from many of Australia's wool export markets, including China, India, Korea, the US, Italy, the EU, the UK and Russia. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The Heads of Mission thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into the Australian wool industry -- they were impressed with the quality of wool presented and the diversity of Australian wool as shown in the display. UPFRONT 3 FAST FACTS lAmbassadors and High Commissioners from Australia's key wool export markets recently attended a rural function hosted by the Governor-General. lThe Heads of Mission gained a valuable insight into the Australian wool industry and have an appreciation of Australian wool production and products. Wool celebrates a diplomatic coup (From left) His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce AM AE, Mrs Rebecca Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia Mr Jeff Bleich, Governor-General Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Mr Dick Smith AO and Mrs Pip Smith. The US Ambassador to Australia being taught the skills of shearing by champion shearer Ian Elkins. Several of the guests, including US Ambassador Mr Jeff Bleich, even rolled up their sleeves and tried their hand at shearing some Merinos. Mr Bleich has shown a keen interest in the Australian wool industry since his appointment in November 2009. In February he was invited to sash the grand champion Merino at the Royal Canberra Sho w. PHOTO: COURTESY PIP SMITH PH OTO : COURTESY PIP SMITH