As a teenager, saw the last year of WWII out as a British Merchant Seaman on Arctic Convoys. Settled in Australia in 1949 and joined Woolworths as a Management Trainee in 1954 - retiring as Executive Chairman, Woolworths Ltd from 1987-1995. Since 1982, owner of wool-producing property "Euralie" and a second property "Glencoe" in the last five years. Recipient of an AM, an Honorary Doctorate, Griffith University, and graduate of Advanced Management Program, Harvard University.
In the past decade, we have been able to sell our wool from unmulesed sheep direct to Norway and the UK (Yorkshire), as our wool meets all their requirements. As with food, the ethical provenance of fibre is becoming an essential marketing tool. At a basic level - we give the customer what they want.
This week, the Federal Government excused itself from its obligation to reduce our carbon emissions which lead to extreme weather situations. Of course, many other farmers across the nation (as well as householders) have installed solar panels. With our abundant natural resources of sunshine, wind and water, we’ve taken a leaf out of nature’s book and for example, last year, installed solar panels for both sheep properties so that we have an independent supply of power for all our needs.
Australia produces 80% of the wool used to manufacture the world’s woollen clothing and 80% of such wool is sent to China for processing and manufacturing. In recent times, our trading relationship with China has deteriorated and there is now the possibility that China may cease importing Australian wool.
Our Awards system allows anyone to nominate a person for an Award. During the past couple of years, there will have been many people who are worthy of nomination. For example, health workers, firefighters, state emergency members, all of whom have been stretched to the limit ... I am worried about one feature of the Australian Awards system and it is that the higher Awards – AC, AO and AM - are sometimes given to senior business leaders for running companies for which they are well paid ...
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