Thursday, 8 September 2022

Rod and I are delighted to join you today to take part in your Centenary Event.

In meeting you for the first time, we are both honoured that we could do so at such a significant milestone for Merino SA and thankful we can join together at the Royal Show after its two-year hiatus due to COVID.

I am also pleased to bring a Vice Regal touch to this occasion, as His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales has long been a champion of the quality and environmental sustainability of wool.

In echoing his sentiments, and in my own role as a former Australian diplomat, I have long sought to promote the benefits of wool and its exceptional quality and versatility.

Over that time, I witnessed the value that people around the world place on the Woolmark brand.

As Ambassador to China it was evident that as China grew and became wealthier, demand for Australian wool, including super fair Australian wool was increased, although there are of course currently challenges within that market.

While synthetics and blends have played a role in meeting the world’s burgeoning need to produce clothes and textiles; current and growing concerns about climate change and sustainability are reinvigorating awareness that natural fibres, in the words of Prince Charles are indeed “nature’s gift”.

The wool industry has long been part of our Australian iconography and an important contributor to our economy, navigating significant challenges: droughts, biosecurity imperatives, the pandemic restrictions, price and overseas market fluctuations with resilience and strength.

I thank Merino SA for its promotion and encouragement of the breeding and improvement of pure Merino and Poll Merino sheep, and importantly investing in the development of our next generation of young people who will guide the industry in the future.

Congratulations on your Centenary, it is a milestone of which to be proud.