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Beyond the Bale : December 2011
December 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 34 ON-FARM April 2010 to Catherine Middleton was an opportunity to create a woollen "gesture of thanks" to the Royal family for Prince Charles's initiation and patronage of the Campaign for Wool. So in January, AWI invited woolgrowers from across Australia to donate wool towards the making of a one-off suiting fabric. In total, 211 woolgrowers from every district donated raw wool, many sending a handful of staples to AWI. After the fabric was produced, and Prince William was measured and fitted for the final suit, the surplus fabric was auctioned at woolgrower events to raise funds for Prince William's nominated Australian charity: the Royal Flying Doctor Service. These auctions took place across the country and raised $54,100 -- see the table below. All woolgrowers who donated some of their wool were sent a sample of the finished fabric together with a certificate of appreciation. In addition, all donors' names were placed in a draw for one remaining The unique "Wool Fit for a Prince" project has been one of many highlights of 2011 at AWI. In addition to the significant media coverage generated for Australian wool, $54,100 was raised for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The idea for the project came from South Australian woolgrower Tom Ashby at the AWI 2010 Annual General Meeting. He suggested Prince William's wedding in suiting length and Bob Cummins of Deepwater NSW was the lucky recipient. In all, the media value of the project was estimated by Media Monitors to be worth $750,000 and included reports on SkyTV News, ABCTV 24, ABC Country Hour, Australia All Over with Macca, Rural Press newspapers in all states and many regional newspapers. Along the way, over 500 separate media stories highlighted the Campaign for Wool. AWI country manager for Australia and New Zealand Stephen Feighan says the project showed the power of a great idea and a common cause. "From woolgrowers right through to Savile Row, we all knew what we wanted to achieve; to promote and profile wool. It was an example of what AWI can do in the industry, bringing all the contacts and threads together for the benefit of wool." To all involved, thank you and we now look forward to Prince William wearing the suit, perhaps when he next visits Australia. FAST FACTS l Wool donated by Australian woolgrowers was made into suiting fabric as a wedding present for Prince William. l "Surplus" fabric was auctioned raising $54,100 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. l All woolgrowers that donated wool received a small sample of the fabric with a certificate of appreciation. Wool fit for a future King FABRIC SALES/DONATIONS TO THE FLYING DOCTOR PURCHASER/DONATOR AMOUNT Paul Foley/Tony Price, Swan Wool Processors, WA $7,000 John Cr awford, "Rock-Bank", Victoria Valley, Vic $3,600 Pat Millear, "Stud Park South", Willaura, Vic $4,500 Landmark, c/o Kym Gunn, Melbourne, Vic $5,000 Bob Rollinson, "Concordia", Mysia, Vic $3,500 Rober t Ryan, c/o Schute Bell, Sydney, NSW $8,500 Don MacDonald, Don MacDonald & Co Woolbrokers, Dubbo, NSW $3,000 Francis Andrews, "Kongal Park", Mundulla, SA $9,000 Elizabeth Lee, Southport, Qld $10,000 TOTAL $54,100 Above: Robert Ryan of Schute Bell and AWI Board member David Webster with the fabric Mr Ryan purchased at the Wool Week dinner in September for $8500. Left: John Crawford, Rock-Bank, Victoria Valley (right), with the cloth he purchased at the Bendigo Sheep Show for Jim Cooper, woolgrower from King Island Tasmania (left).