I’m Chantel McAlister – masterclasser, photographer, wool advocate and mum.
In a nutshell, I am a former city girl who fell in love with a shearer and the Australian wool industry in my early twenties. I have continued my love affair and obsession with both that shearer of mine and wool for the last 12 years. I call both of them, home.
The last decade working in the woolsheds as a woolhandler and masterclasser has allowed me to have an in-depth look at the wool industry and how wool is grown and harvested. I have unearthed a culture, a proud heritage and exciting future that I never saw, just looking in from the outside during my city days.
Sheep are no longer just clones to me. Every woolgrower has their own story. Every shearing team is full of different characters. Wool brokers, buyers, garment makers and fibre enthusiasts are all part of the wool pipeline. We are all in this together with the same love for wool and respect for the sheep producing it.
Outside of my woolclassing hours, over the last 5 years I have also established myself as a professional photographer. My happy snaps of my daily life in the woolsheds have evolved to storytelling of all the on-farm wool practices and putting a real face to those growing and harvesting it.
I am now known within the industry as ‘that girl who photographs sheep’.