Consistent with the Wool Levy Poll Regulations, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has appointed Mr Sydney Lawrie to chair the independent 2018 WoolPoll Panel.
Together with his wife Therese and young family, Sydney owns and manages a sheep and cropping enterprise at Tumby Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. His farming operation includes around 4000 sheep and 7000 acres of wheat, canola, barley, peas and oats.
Sydney was a member of the 2015 WoolPoll Panel, bringing many new ideas to the Panel, especially relating to increasing voter turnout. In recent years, Sydney has been actively involved in supporting the next generation of woolgrowers as a committee member of AWI’s National Merino Challenge and is also on the Eyre Peninsula Stud Merino Breeders Committee and the Tumby Bay Silos Committee.
In his role as WoolPoll Panel Chair, Sydney will first set about establishing an independent panel of woolgrowers from across Australia – the WoolPoll Panel – to ensure the poll is delivered in accordance with statutory requirements and promote woolgrower participation.
As in recent polls, AWI will be calling on woolgrower representative groups and state farm organisations to nominate three growers for the WoolPoll Panel, including a grower under 40 years and a female. This recommendation from previous Panels has encouraged fresh ideas and ensured Panel members are linked into a range of grower networks.
The Panel will also include a representative from the Australian Government and AWI. Once formed, the Panel will work closely with their respective organisations and networks to ensure the broad range of woolgrower interests from across the country are represented in WoolPoll 2018.
Held every three years, WoolPoll allows Australia’s woolgrowers to directly determine the amount of wool levy they pay for the next three-year period to fund wool research, development and marketing activities by AWI.
WoolPoll voting packs will be sent to eligible growers towards the end of September 2018, with votes to be returned by 2 November.