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17.09.2021 Source: AWEX
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The AWI Graduate Training Program provides successful applicants with a thorough understanding of the wool supply chain from fibre to fashion. Applications for the 2022 program open on 1 July.

The 18-month program starts each year in March and is based primarily at the AWI office in Sydney, where the graduates gain exposure to many areas of the AWI business, from on-farm and off-farm R&D through to marketing. Graduates are also given the opportunity to gain exposure to the global wool supply chain through rotations to AWI’s international offices.

The program is open to those who have graduated in 2020 and 2021, and is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry.

Applications for the 2022 program can be made from 1 July via


AWI graduates – where are they now?

Ellie Bigwood


Ellie at the SafeSheds program launch in WA in November last year, with WA Farmers’ Vice President Steve McGuire and WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA) President Darren Spencer and Executive Officer Valerie Pretzel.

Hailing from the Frankland River region of WA, Ellie was one of AWI’s first graduates, joining the program in 2018 and bringing with her an abundance of enthusiasm and passion for wool. Since completing the program in 2019, Ellie has relocated back to regional WA where she is now AWI’s Industry Relations Officer, a role that provides an essential conduit between AWI and wool industry networks in WA.

Miles Barritt


Miles presenting at the Leading Sheep ‘Leading the market with Merinos’ forum at Longreach in March.

Miles entered the program in March 2019, after completing his bachelor’s degree in commerce at the University of Western Australia. Miles has now taken on the role at AWI of Business Analyst, Risk & Recovery. In this role, Miles analyses the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on global marketing strategies, as well as the opportunities and threats to the global supply chain and key markets in terms of trade, manufacturing and consumption.

Emma Murphy


Emma representing AWI at the inaugural Elders Walcha Merino Flock Ewe Competition in April, pictured with AWI’s WoolQ & Traceability Project Manager, Mark Scott. PHOTO: The Land

From NSW, Emma began the program in March 2019. Her background in event management, a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, and a recipient of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, helped her thrive across all the program’s rotations, including an extended international rotation in the London office. Back in Sydney, Emma supports AWI’s global marketing team in the role of Marketing Communications Coordinator.

George Lehmann


George presenting at the SA Sheep Expo in April.

Coming from a wool-growing property in Junee, NSW, George joined the program in March 2020 which was unfortunately when the global pandemic started to hit. The postponement of his international rotations and the ending of the program earlier than anticipated did not dampen George’s enthusiasm or motivation. In March this year, he joined AWI’s Woolgrower Services team as Project Coordinator, Training and Education.


This article appeared in the June 2021 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged, however prior permission must be obtained from the Editor.

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