The Australian Wool Education Trust was established in 1998 by the Australian Wool Testing Authority Ltd.
The Trust is administered by 8 Trustees, 3 appointed by AWTA Ltd, 3 appointed by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and 2 by
the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations (FAWO).
The Trust is an independent body, with policy being fully
determined by the Trustees, without influence from AWTA Ltd, FAWO
This website provides access to resource material developed since 2005 using funding provided by the Australian Wool Education trust. It is also a repository for educational material developed by the Premium Quality Wool Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), which commenced in 1993 and wound up its activities in 2000, and for the Wool and Sheep Industry CRC, which commenced in 2001 and wound up in 2008.
Woolwise was originally developed, using funding provided by the then AWTA Ltd Wool Education Trust, to provide an online presence for the Premium Quality Wool CRC while it was operating, but also to provide access to the educational material produced by the CRC.
When the CRC terminated the site ownership reverted to the Australian Wool Education Trust
The original website developed by the CRC for Premium Quality Wool has been retained within the current site in order to preserve the history of Woolwise and to acknowledge the people responsible for its creation.
The core parties of the Sheep CRC transferred ownership of the educational IP produced by the CRC to AWET in 2008. These materials are now available from AWET via Woolwise subject to specific conditions of use. As a result of this transfer the educational material provided on Woolwise extends beyond wool production, processing and marketing to include other aspects of the sheep industry. such as sheep meat production, genetics and sustainable land management.
The Trust has licenced this educational IP to the University of New England (UNE). It is the basis of a number of wool and sheep units delivered by UNE. This arrangement is unique for agricultural education in Australia. The courses are offered in external mode to students enrolled in UNE and other Universities within Australia. This "hub and spoke" model for education about wool and sheep recognises that it is difficult for any one University to maintain sufficient student numbers to justify such specialised courses within their Agricultural Science Degrees.
To facilitate the delivery of these units the Trust provides funds to:
- Support a Wool Lectureship at UNE
- Provide scholarships at the undergraduate and 4th year level
- Subsidise the cost of travel incurred by external students attending workshops at UNE
- Compensate external Universities for any loss of revenue as a consequence of their students enrolling in the wool courses delivered by UNE
Other Activities of the Australian Wool Education Trust
In addition to managing the resources developed by both CRC's the Trust provides funding for a range of activities such as:
- Education programs for wool industry participants;
- Development of education programs about the Australian Wool Industry within primary and secondary schools; and
- Scholarships for students undergoing wool education within the VET sector.