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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
FAST FACTS l NSW woolgrowers’ daughter Jenepher Doyle spent the month of August as an intern in AWI’s Woolmark office in London. l While very familiar with the ins and outs of a shearing shed and working with stock, Ms Doyle was keen to find out how wool is being marketed. l Ms Doyle was impressed with the work that AWI staff are doing on woolgrowers’ behalf to increase the demand for wool. 14 14 OFF-FARM A postcard from England Woolgrowers’ daughter Jenepher Doyle, who grew up on her parents’ property ‘Blythswood’ in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW, has always had a strong interest in wool, not only the production of the fibre but also how and where it ends up at retail. Now living on a farm in England, Jenepher contacted AWI’s Woolmark office in London to see if there were opportunities for her to work as an intern and learn more about the marketing of wool. Here, Jenepher tells us her story: Where did your passion for wool originate? “I grew up on a large wool property about an hour south of Tamworth where my parents run 7000 Merinos averaging 14 to 16 micron. “When I was a little girl shearing time at my house was always the highlight of my year. I remember running around playing on the giant wool bales and hiding under the piles of greasy wool. The smells and sounds of the working shed, of lanolin, sheep, sweaty shearers, the clicking of the shears and cheap cigarettes are still lodged into my brain like a sixth sense – a strangely beautiful thing that runs in my blood and has been running in my family’s blood for generations.” How did you end up interning at AWI’s Woolmark office in London? “Like all Australians at some point you pack your bags and head for old Blighty on your big adventure. I packed my bags four years ago and never came back. I managed to find a sheep farmer and fell in love. “When I was given a chance to come down to London and spend five amazing weeks working with the London team at Woolmark it felt like the jackpot - like a new connection to home. I must admit my parents were proud as punch and I’m pretty sure the entire district knows where I have been and have had regular updates from my dad. “So off I went on my five week woolly adventure to London town. Meeting the team was nerve wrecking and while I had been expecting a little old lady with farmer’s hands and comfortable shoes I was actually greeted by some very cool London ladies who were warm and welcoming. I was brought into the office and made to feel like one of the team straight away.” What were your impressions of the work done there? “At first it took me a while to get back into the swing of working in an office environment. I had to dust off the old typing fingers and remember how to use spell check but I was guided through with the help of the office crew and slowly got back into the swing of things. “I learned a lot about Cool Wool and the Campaign for Wool and the role they all play in the wool world. There are many different cogs in the wool industry and I became aware of just how well they come together from the farmer to the designer right through to the consumer. I learned a lot about what actually happens beyond the bale. “It’s not very often you will find a group of people willing to get to the office at 6:30am, wrestle with demanding designers and do the amazing job they do. The team in London are an asset to Woolmark. They work outrageously hard and genuinely care about the product. They care about Woolmark and they care about where the wool comes from. They have in depth knowledge from behind the bale to beyond the bale and they certainly understand designers a lot more than I do.” Any final words? “So a big thank you to the team in London for accommodating me and my strange love of sheep and for all your seriously hard work. I know everyone at home will be proud to know that their livelihoods and their passion are in good hands. Thank you for keeping me entertained, I had a great time on my woolly adventure.” NSW woolgrowers’ daughter Jenepher Doyle on her farm in Northamptonshire, England. December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE