The birth of the Truth About Wool National Tour is the result of a handful of life experiences all coming together to become my driving force in life and work.
I wasn’t always an advocate for wool (gasp!) I grew up in suburban Brisbane having very little knowledge of how wool went from the sheep’s back to those horrible orange, itchy wool blankets my mum would stuff into my sleeping bag during family camping trips. A single glance at a billboard when I was 18, was the start of my campaign for wool, although at the time I had no idea.
While pulled up at the lights at a major Brisbane city intersection on my way to work one morning, I glanced up at the billboard next to me and what was plastered up there for the world to see has haunted me ever since. It was an image of a sheep that had been butchered from tail to hock, boycotting muelsing. In that moment, with the small amount of (mis)information that I could take in within a few seconds, I made the decision that all farmers are heartless bastards. Wool was cruel.
Fast forward to my early twenties and I fell in love with a woolgrowers son. Visiting his parents property and experiencing muelsing, shearing and the compassion my new beau and his family had for their sheep, the opinion and hatred I had towards farmers for the last five years changed. I loved wool, the creatures growing it and the people looking after them.
I soon fell into life as a woolhandler and with my camera in hand, I documented my new life in the sheds. My photography forced me to examine the industry closer and the more I learnt about the growing and harvesting of wool, the more I became an advocate for it.
Years passed, I had promoted myself to masterclasser and my advocacy deepened. My obsession with promoting wool (I just had to let everyone who wasn’t wearing wool, know exactly what they were missing out on) grew, alongside my frustration of only photographing my shearing team and telling just a small part of the story of Australian wool. I had a thirst to learn more, to tell a bigger story, to celebrate wool on a national level.
So, I committed to taking my campaign on the road by posting on social media that my tour was about to launch, I kissed my stable job and family goodbye and embarked on a journey that is helping to change not just the public’s perception of wool, but my purpose in life.
I am The Truth About Wool. The industry has such an important story to tell and I am listening.