Chinese textile giant Nanshan encourages Australian wool industry development

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The 3rd annual Nanshan Australian Wool Forum and Golf Tournament teed off this week at the beautiful Riverside Oaks Golf Resort, located in the Hawkesbury region of NSW.

Shandong Nanshan Zhishang Sci-Tech Co., Ltd (Nanshan Zhishang), in conjunction with Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), have proudly developed this wonderful event to give the Australian wool industry a long-term communication platform to discuss wool research, development and innovation aimed at increasing the profitability, productivity and sustainability of Australian woolgrowers.

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This two-day event attracts more than 150 woolgrowers and associated parties from across the country and aspires to ignite the future trends of the Australian wool industry, as well as raising money for charity.

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The event commenced on Monday the 12th of August with a networking lunch before the welcome address by Hills Shire Council GM and CEO Michael Edgar, AWI CEO Stuart McCullough and Nanshan Group Australia Chairman, Jeremy Song.

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Guests were able to meet some key members of the wool industry during the networking lunch.

This year’s forum attracted a high caliber of keynote speakers from across the world including globally recognized food systems innovation expert Sarah Nolet. The Silicon Valley native discussed the opportunities and challenges for farmers within the Ag Tech sector and the rapid increase in interest from venture capital investors within this space.

UNE Lecturer and Researcher, Jamie Barwick, discussed precision livestock monitoring systems, explaining in-depth about the use of motion sensors and GPS trackers attached to animals to detect changes in activity and movement.

Mark Robinson from the University of Melbourne presented on understanding and preventing shearer’s injuries. While Damian Madden, AWI GM Digital, spoke about new technologies and how they are bridging the gap between on-farm to the consumer.

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Cleto Barberis, Italian fabric expert, spoke about the current innovations emerging in fabric and fashion and AWI’s Global Editor, Lisa Griplas, facilitated three panel discussions with industry professionals from a range of sectors covering a wide snapshot of the wool industry including:

  • Woolgrowers (Danny Picker, Don McDonald, Natasha Kessler)
  • Trade (Michael Jackson, Mark Denton, Michael Avery, Tom Rookyard)
  • Consumers and Fashion (Stuart McCullough, Cleto Barberis, Jonathan Lobban)

The first day concluded with a picturesque dinner overlooking the beautiful Riverside Oaks Golf Resort. Delegates feasted on Australian and Chinese Spit Roasted Lamb, accompanied by locally sourced seafood and a variety of Australian wines.

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Day two saw more than 100 participants take to the golf course to compete in the Nanshan Wool Golf Tournament. The beautiful Bungool Golf Course at Riverside Oaks Golf Resort looked stunning as the sun came out for a fun day of golf.

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At the conclusion of golf, guests returned to the clubhouse to attend the Awards Dinner hosted by Australian Wool Ambassador Catriona Rowntree.

The Nanshan Wool Trophy Award was presented by Mr Jeremy Song and Mr Stuart McCullough to Scott Bowden from Bothwell, Tasmania who produces the best quality / finest wool for Nanshan last year. The Nanshan Wool Trophy Award is designed to reward the woolgrowers who are devoted to producing the best quality wool in Australia.

Awards for the winner of the Golf Tournament, along with many other awards from the day’s activities were then presented.

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Guests were treated to a four-course fine dining menu, superbly presented by Riverside Oaks Executive Chef, Len O’Mally.

At the conclusion of dinner, a Charity Auction was held that raised almost $10,000 for Beyond Blue, an organisation that assists with the ongoing mental health struggles of a portion of Australian farmers, heightened lately due to the acute negative impacts of dealing with the effects of the drought.

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Nanshan Zhishang would like to thank AWI as an organising body as well as all the wonderful event sponsors and participants for their support and look forward to hosting another successful event again next year.

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