Until 1996 the Department of Wool & Animal Science at the University of New South Wales was the only Australian Tertiary institution providing comprehensive specialist training in wool and textile science and technology. Other institutions offered some training through the provision of wool science related topics as elective subjects.
As such, the Department was a major source of graduates employed in wool marketing and technology industries and in related research. Graduates have been and are still employed in the wool broking and exporting industries, wool processing, CSIRO, State Departments of Agriculture, The Woolmark Company, Australian Wool Innovation and AWTA Ltd.
The decision of the University of New South Wales at the end of 1996 to close the Department created a void in the tertiary training of undergraduates and graduates and also reduced the facilities for post graduate training and research – a situation which further exacerbated opportunities lost with the closure of the CSIRO Division of Wool Technology laboratory at Ryde, NSW, in mid 1996.
AWTA Ltd moved to minimise the effect of the closure of the Department of Wool & Animal Science by the establishment of “The AWTA Ltd Wool Education Trust” with a grant of AUD3,000,000.
In June 2004 Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) invested four million dollars in the AWTA Ltd Wool Education Trust. The capital for the AWI investment became available after the sale of the CSIRO Prospect property.
With the AWI grant, the Trust’s total capital almost doubled. The extra funding enabled the Trust to generate up to $0.5M per annum for education in the wool industry. The Trust is therefore able to fund skills development for the industry on a much larger scale than before.
As a consequence of this grant the Trust was renamed the “Australian Wool Education Trust” , with 8 trustees.
In June 2019 the Trustees unanimously supported a variation to the Trust Deed to reduce the number of Trustees. As of 1st July 2019 there are 5 Trustees, two appointed by AWTA Ltd, 2 by AWI and one by FAWO.
The Trustees shall hold the Trust’s capital upon trust for the application of the income for charitable purposes being the advancement of education in wool and wool textile science and technology including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, in all or any of the following methods:
Funds may be used to provide scholarships and/or fund an academic position. They may also be used to fund other resources as required.
Funds are not restricted to any one institution.
Allocation of funds is determined by the Trustees.
Under its deed The Australian Wool Education Trust is a perpetual charitable trust. As such it is registered with the ACNC and reports annually , as required by law, to the Commission.
T0 fund worthwhile projects that fully comply with the objects of the Trust Deed while:
To achieve these objectives, Trustees have determined the following:
On an annual basis, approximately 4% of the asset value of the Trust is expected to be available to be distributed to funded projects. (Note: This figure is calculated from the expected long-term nominal return on investment of 8% less CPI (2.5%), investment management fees (1.0%) and other administrative costs (0.5%).)
Length & Timing of Funding Committments
The following table represents the maximum funding commitments for future years:
|Current Year||1 Year Out||2 Years Out|
|% of Annual Funding Committed||100%||60%||30%|
Typically, the Trust funds projects up to approximately $50,000 per annum for up to 3 years.
Funds available for allocation by the Trust are limited to earnings on its investments. Current policy is to retain 50% of those earnings, leaving the other 50% for funding of selected projects/programmes.
The objectives of the Trust clearly allow funding across all educational sectors, but do not prescribe the proportion of funding to be allocated to each sector. However, within the limits on available funding dictated by the Funding Policy, Trustees’ decisions to apportion funds are circumscribed by the Trust’s Principal Objective, namely:
“To support the education of students, growers and others considered to be capable of contributing to the development of the wool industry, from the growing to the textile product stage.”
The capability of students, woolgrowers et al to contribute to the development of the wool industry is clearly related to the degree to which any assistance provided by the Trust is contiguous with their career choices and/or their motivation to become leaders. This suggests that the majority of the funding should be directed at the tertiary rather than the secondary education sector. Within the secondary sector, exposure to wool and sheep education might influence employment choices, but the impact will be proportionally diminished the further away it is in time from when such decisions will be made and, correspondingly, the effectiveness of the Trust’s funding is likely to be diminished.
The justification for allocating less funds to the VET sector than to the Colleges and Universities relates to the fact that VET courses are normally shorter and less costly to deliver. In addition, academically trained professionals are generally recognised in the employment market as being more valuable and more likely to develop as leaders. Of course, this is not always the case.
The policy for apportioning funds is described as ranges, rather than as finite targets, so they are not too prescriptive. In practice, the actual mix of project/programme funding between the sectors will be influenced by the circumstances and perceived needs at the time decisions are made.
|Sector||Percentage Range||Percentage Mid-point|
|Schools||0% – 5%||2.5%|
|VET – Production||5% – 10%||7.5%|
|VET – Fashion Schools||10% – 23%||16.5%|
|Undergraduate||65% – 80%||72.5%|
The long term percentage range applies over a 10-year funding cycle, but within any particular year these may be exceeded depending upon the quality of the applications received.