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Beyond the Bale : June 2014
June 2014 BEYOND THE BALE 5 OFF-FARM and designed for the Duchess by 16-year- old student Sophie Aylward from Kinross Wolaroi School. The design was made into reality by leading Australian designer Jonathan Ward and was worn on the day by Australian model and woolgrower's daughter Stephanie Joy Field. "Meeting Kate was really a once in a life-time experience and something I will definitely always remember," Sophie said after meeting The Duchess. "She seemed a really genuine person and was quite easy to talk to, which was lucky for me as I was rather nervous. "I explained to her that the bodice was made from a wool devoré and that the skirt of the dress was made from a finely woven Merino wool fabric. I also told her about how the design came about and how I designed it for a specific occasion, which was her two-year wedding anniversary. "I felt really lucky to have been the one chosen for this amazing experience and Stephanie looked amazing in the dress, it was really great to have her there with me on the day." The visit has created significant media attention across the The public also had the opportunity to try their hand at shearing at the AWI shearing demonstrations held throughout the two weeks of the Easter Show. The public had a chance to pose with Fred the Merino ram at the Easter Show -- seen here promoting AWI's 'Tested by Nature, Tested by Us' washable wool campaign -- see page 20. "I was quite surprised when the Prince told me he had never seen shearing before," said AWI shearer trainer Ian Elkins. "He seemed genuinely interested in the process of shearing and the wool industry. He asked me how long I had been shearing for and also if all the children loved to watch these demonstrations, which they do. "I was one of the few very lucky people to have this opportunity to meet the royal couple and it was one of those special moments I'll never forget." After 34 years in the shearing industry Mr Elkins believes that demonstrations at events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show are of vital importance. "I remember going to the show about 10 years ago and there was only room for about 20 to 30 people to watch the shearing as they walked on by. Over the years we've got more and more people and now do about five demonstrations each day." The winning design from AWI's Wool4Skool® student design competition was then presented to the royal couple. The royal blue evening dress was inspired by PHOTO: Chris Jackson/Getty Images northern hemisphere, helping to highlight the significance of the wool industry to Australia. AWI CEO Stuart McCullough added how fortunate the organisation was for the support offered by the extended royal family. "The ongoing global Campaign for Wool continues to grow under the valuable patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales. Woolgrowers around the world have expressed their gratitude as the campaign has connected the world's consumers with the sustainable and versatile nature of the fibre." MEDIA COVERAGE The visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Sheep and Wool Pavilion at this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show generated enormous interest and media coverage across the world. The total volume of syndicated coverage in Australian media alone was 1,125 reports, reaching a cumulative potential audience of 9.5 million in Australia, which is equivalent to advertising space worth $4.3 million. Coverage of the events also appeared in international media such as The Daily Mail (UK) and Good Morning America (ABC Television Network). The Duke of Cambridge talking to AWI shearer trainer Ian Elkins as shown live on Channel 9.